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Susan and Ted Axelrod

Susan and Ted are a writer and photographer team who met while working for a magazine — Susan reviewing restaurants and writing food features, Ted photographing them. When Ted left the magazine for a freelance career, they launched their blog, Spoon & Shutter in 2010 as a way to keep doing what they love, together. After many years in Northern New Jersey, they are thrilled to be living in Maine, where Ted's clients occasionally include restaurants and food businesses. When they're not working, cooking, rehabbing their old farmhouse or hanging out with their two cool dogs – Ella and Dixie – they're having a blast exploring this spectacular state. To reach Susan, email saxelrod [at] mainetoday.com or follow her on Twitter: @susansaxelrod To reach Ted, email ted [at] axelrodphotography.com or follow him on Twitter @TedAxelRodPhoto .

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Spoon & Shutter with Susan and Ted Axelrod
Posted: September 4, 2014

Corn, tomatoes, herbs and greens take center stage for breakfast, lunch and dinner

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Simple summer supper on the deck – produce-packed pasta and a crisp Chilean sauvignon blanc.

Dear reader, we apologize for the recent spottiness of our blogging. In an effort to make it up to you, I offer an entire day of light, luscious meals, all of which take great advantage of the marvelous produce available right now in Maine.

(Fans of Ted’s beautiful photography take note: due to his busy schedule, these photos were all taken by me.)

Breakfast: To start my day, I folded gently sauteed asparagus, a nubbin of herb goat cheese – the last of a dill-covered roulade I purchased from the vegetable boat that makes the rounds of several harbors on Southport Island in July and August – and chunks of local tomatoes into a two-egg omelet (made with fresh local eggs, of course).

Omelet with asparagus, goat cheese and tomato – with the jar of iced tea I keep in the fridge.

Omelet with asparagus, goat cheese and tomato – with the jar of iced tea I keep in the fridge.

Lunch: After a morning tidying up our West End apartment in the late-summer heat, I plunked down on the deck to enjoy my favorite seasonal lunch: more of the same tomato, cubes of fresh mozzarella (feta or goat would be good here, too) and a generous sprinkling of fresh basil from the pot outside our  door. A drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, plus a piece of whole grain bread made perfection on the plate.

A chopped version of the classic Caprese salad.

A chopped version of the classic Caprese salad.

Dinner: Tonight I got a little more involved, finally trying a dish I admired in the June 2008 issue of Bon Appetit. (Here’s where you actually get a recipe!) It’s pasta, but loaded with good-for-you greens, herbs and fresh local corn, with cheese for protein — and it’s served at room temperature, making it an ideal option for a warm evening. The only heat that’s created is in the beginning, where you roast the corn and a whole head of garlic (any excuse to do that is always fine with me).

My new favorite summer pasta.

My new favorite summer pasta.

Capellini with Fresh Ricotta, Roasted Garlic, Corn and Herbs

Serves 3-4

1 large head of garlic, 1/2 inch cut off
6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 ears of fresh corn, in the husks (I did snip off the excess silk protruding from the top)
6 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
8 oz. capellini, broken in half (I used thin spaghetti, but I wouldn’t try anything more substantial in the way of pasta)
2 cups (loosely packed) mixed greens
2 cups torn radicchio leaves
1 cup fresh ricotta (try to find this if you can, it’s not as thick as the supermarket variety, which you can use in a pinch)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus shaved Parmesan for garnish
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup each chopped fresh dill and chives

Preheat oven to 400. Place head of garlic on sheet of foil. Drizzle with 2 tbsp. olive oil, wrap foil around garlic and pinch to seal tightly. Place on baking sheet with corn. Roast until corn is tender and garlic soft – 25 mins for corn and 40 for garlic. Cool slightly.

Squeeze garlic out of skins into large bowl. (This is fun and the garlic is now gloriously caramelized). Add any leftover oil from the foil. Add lemon juice, zest, and 3 tbsp. olive oil, mash garlic and whisk together. Shuck corn kernels from cobs and add to bowl with garlic.

Meanwhile, cook capellini in large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain and add to bowl along with 1 tbsp. olive oil. Add greens, radicchio, ricotta, grated Parmesan and herbs, mix well (I got frustrated trying to use a wooden spoon and tongs, so resorted to mixing with my hands). Season with salt and pepper to taste and served topped with shaved Parmesan.

I just had to show you how gorgeous the garlic and corn look when they’re done roasting.

I just had to show you how gorgeous the garlic and corn look when they’re done roasting.

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