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Corn and Tomato Bake

2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 cups chopped onions
5 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 7 ears)
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2-1/2 cups half and half
3 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
2 cups diced seeded tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onions to skillet. Sauté until onions are translucent. Add corn kernels and sauté until cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in ground nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool. Lightly oil a 2 quart baking dish, or spray with nonstick spray. Combine half and half, eggs, egg whites and hot pepper sauce in large bowl and whisk to blend. Stir corn mixture into custard. Pour into prepared dish. Bake until custard is set, about 30 minutes. Remove custard from oven. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper. Spread evenly over custard. Bake until tomatoes are heated through, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and serve. (Serves 6).

Minted Pea Soup
Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best:

1-1/2 cups shelled peas (from about 1-1/2 lbs fresh peas)
1/2 small onion (chopped) or 1 clove of garlic
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1-2 tablespoons mint leaves
1 can of chicken broth
1 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
Yogurt (optional)

Cook peas in 2 cups of boiling water for just a few minutes. Drain, reserving water for use later in the recipe. Puree peas in a food processor. Mix 2 cups of the cooking water, broth and lemon juice in a sauce pan. Add pureed peas and bring to a simmer. Turn off heat. Chop mint in a food processor and add to soup. Serve with a dollop of yogurt. (Serves 4)

Basil Pesto

4 cups packed basil leaves, washed
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted until golden, cooled and chipped fine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
(or a mix of parm and pecorino)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Have ready a bowl of ice and cold water. In a saucepan of boiling water, blanch basil a handful at a time for 2 seconds, removing with a strainer or a slotted spoon to ice water. Drain basil in a sieve and pat dry. In a food processor puree basil with remaining ingredients until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Pesto may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered with plastic wrap. Mixing in 1/4-1/2 cup of plain yogurt will preserve the color, and extend the storage time to 5 days. Pesto may also be frozen.

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