Looking Back at Summertime Bounty

This summer, tomatoes and corn turned all that great energy from basking in the sun into sweet delicious nutrients. August offered Hope’s Harvest RI and the pantries and soup kitchens we serve an abundance of these ingredients and our partner chefs used their skill and passion to transform this healthy, fresh, and delicious food into extra special meals for their guests. 11 high school age youth from Groundworks RI’s Summer Green Team joined Hope’s Harvest RI to harvest 750 lbs. of corn from the URI Agronomy Farm. We were able to deliver it, along with  already harvested eggplant, peppers and tomatoes, to our amazing partner hunger relief agencies  including: Crossroads RI, Jonnycake Peacedale, Amos House, and Good Neighbors Soup Kitchen.

Chef Dave Rocheleau shared a recipe that he developed for the Crossroads RI Meal Program, which feeds 100+ homeless and at risk adults per day. He created the scrumptious salad recipe below using the corn rescued from URI and tomatoes from Big Train Farm. It’s stories like these, where folks from so many parts of our local food system work together for a greater cause, that truly fulfills the mission of Hope’s Harvest RI.

Chef Dave’s recipe is quick, easy, affordable, and healthy. This salad can be adapted with anything you have laying around, cucumbers capers, or whatever is available at the last few markets of the season. Add a protein to make it a complete meal. The versatility of this salad allows you to enjoy it over and over again.

Tomato, Corn & Basil Salad

2-3 lbs. Vine-ripened tomatoes

3-4 ears Sweet corn (grilled, blanched in water for 5-10 min, OR raw)

½ cup Fresh basil

1 medium Red onion

½ cup (optional) Capers, chopped olives or pickles

Salt, pepper, sugar, garlic, vinegar and/or oil (to taste)

  1. Slice or dice tomatoes into equal sized pieces. Cut around and remove any bruised or cracked parts.
  2. Cut kernels off the corn.
  3. Tear the basil leaves by hand or chop as desired.
  4. Slice or mince onion as desired.
  5. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste.

Want to be part of this great work? Now is the time to get out in the fields and start harvesting fruits and veggies to bring nutritious foods to our community while helping Chef Dave and those like him feed delicious meals to those in need. Make a commitment to help end hunger in your community by registering to volunteer with Hope’s Harvest RI today! No prior experience necessary, just a willingness to get your hands dirty and make a tangible difference in your world.