It’s probably been 10 years since I spoke to my college roommate. We didn’t live well together and we weren’t really even friends. But sometimes life (or student residential services) puts people in your path for a reason. Jess had an uncanny ability to ignore the future. Were a meteor expected to hit the earth tomorrow, a really fantastic cup of coffee would make her happy right now. Falling leaves fascinated her, despite midterms looming in the morning. I, on the other hand, am a planner – a neurotic dreamer who struggles to live in the moment.
But there is something about eating with the seasons, enjoying the freshest flavors, that helps, just a little bit, to keep me in the here and now. It’s hard to think about my dream house when I’m shucking corn in my current kitchen. And we’ve had some fantastic corn this season. So I’ve been trying out new recipes, keeping myself grounded in this day, this moment, this meal.
I love simple steamed corn smeared with butter, but this year I’ve been all about the grill. Charred bits of summer sweetness make this corn relish outstanding. And if you have never made quesadillas on the grill, do it now! More flavor and less grease, what’s not to love about that?
Poblano Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Corn Relish
2 poblano peppers
2 ears corn
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 small avocado, diced
salt and pepper to taste
8 whole wheat tortillas
5 ounces goat cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
1/4 cup diced tomato
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Roast the peppers over a direct flame until blistered on all sides. Remove from the heat, place in a bowl, and cover. Set aside.
Meanwhile, remove the silky fibers from the corn and replace the husks. Grill the corn in the husks until slightly charred. Remove and set aside until cool enough to handle. Cut the kernels from the cobs and place in a bowl. Toss the corn with the vinegar, oil, basil, onion and avocado. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Peel, seed and dice the poblanos. To make the quesadillas, place four tortillas on the grill. Quickly sprinkle evenly with the two cheeses, the tomato, and the diced poblanos. Top with the remaining four tortillas and close the grill. Cook just one minute until the cheese melts, and then carefully flip the quesadillas. Cook until browned on the bottom, remove and slice into quarters. Serve with the relish.