Recipes by Maine's COastal Co-ops

Words by
Sweet, spicy, and smoky
Photography by
Southern flavors for local grills

The challenge of cooking in the summer can be figuring out how to get the bounty of new produce that you can finally get your hands on into a single meal. While you may just be discovering sweet corn at your local farmers’ market or the promise of slow-growing tomatoes in your garden, Maine co-ops have been working year-round to make sure there’s a place for all farmers and eaters to connect.

This season’s recipes incorporate an abundance of summer foods that can be found at your nearest co-op and provide unique, yet simple pairings that don’t shy away from flavor and allow you to use what’s fresh. The longer days and warmer weather mean cooking outdoors or wanting quick meals to accommodate all the other activities of the season. Grilling is a great way to stay outside while cutting time in the kitchen. Many of these recipes have components that can be prepared ahead of time.

Corn on the cob is one of the most iconic summer foods. We’ve added a Mexican-inspired, street-style kick by including cilantro and cumin butter. This grilled version is the perfect thing to whet your summer appetite. We recommend pairing it with a crisp lager.

Continue the flavors of sweet and heat with an adobo flank steak, taking advantage of the abundance of corn and tomatoes for the relish. This dish makes a great filling for soft tacos or a topping on a piece of grilled sourdough.

The grilled veggies with smoked paprika vinaigrette will be a surefire hit, using all the bounty of the season. The clean and fresh vinaigrette pairs the veggies with salad greens to make a unique summertime salad. Serve this as a side dish or an entrée with the addition of some grilled chicken or fish.

Not to forget about dessert, sometimes the simplest combinations are the most impressive. Try pairing grilled fresh apricots with fresh local chevre and local honey for a unique appetizer, accompaniment to a salad, or give it center stage as a refreshing and light sweet treat.

Adobo Flank Steak with Corn and Tomato Relish

Recipe by Caden Rocker, reprinted with permission

This sizzling summer recipe is perfect for an outdoor grill, friendly for gluten-free diets, and takes only 45 minutes from start to finish. Serve with grilled sourdough bread, warmed tortillas, or corn chips.


For the marinade

4 cloves peeled garlic

2 chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce (canned)

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

½ teaspoon cumin

1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme)

1 cup honey

½ cup brown sugar

For the steak

1¼ pounds flank steak

For the relish

3 cups fresh corn kernels

2 cups diced tomato

1 chopped chipotle pepper in Adobo sauce (canned)

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup cider vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste


Combine all marinade ingredients into a food processor or blender and purée.

Pour half the marinade over the flank steak and let sit for 30 minutes. Over a medium-hot grill, cook to desired doneness (145 for medium-rare), brushing on additional marinade while on the grill. Remove from heat and let rest for at least 5 minutes.

For the relish: In a separate bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well and season with salt and pepper.

To serve, slice the rested flank steak on the bias and top with tomato and corn relish.

Corn with Cilantro-Cumin Butter

Recipe by Co+op, stronger together,

reprinted with permission

Total Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 6

Brighten up your summer meal with this fresh and tasty corn-on-the-cob recipe. The versatile seasoned butter is also delicious on grilled tuna steaks, chicken breasts, or toasted baguette slices.


¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

6 ears of corn, shucked

½ teaspoon chili powder (optional)

½ teaspoon salt (optional)


Bring a large pot of water to boil on the stove. While waiting for the water to boil, blend together the butter, fresh cilantro, and cumin in a bowl or food processor. Add the lime juice and mix until incorporated; set aside. Place corn in boiling water, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until kernels are bright yellow and just tender. Remove from the heat and drain.

Spread the seasoned butter on hot corn, dust with chili powder and salt if desired, and serve immediately. Wrap any leftover butter in plastic wrap or waxed paper.

Vegetables with Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette

Recipe by Co+op, stronger together,

reprinted with permission

Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

Topped with paprika, fresh basil, and Dijon vinaigrette, this grilled veggie salad is bursting with flavor. A grilled vegetable salad is a colorful accompaniment to grilled pork, chicken, or burgers. For a vegetarian main dish, scoop warm quinoa pilaf onto the salad greens, and arrange the grilled veggies on top.


For the vinaigrette

½ cup white wine vinegar

½ cup olive oil

⅓ cup honey

½ cup green olives

1 tablespoon Dijon

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

3 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup packed fresh basil 

1 teaspoon sea salt

For the vegetables

½ cup baby carrots, cut in half lengthwise

1½ cups halved button mushrooms

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 large red onion sliced into ½-inch thick slices

2 zucchini, ends trimmed, halved lengthwise

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1-pound bag washed mixed salad greens


Place all ingredients for the vinaigrette in a blender or food processor. Blend until emulsified and set aside.

Heat the grill over medium-high heat. Drizzle all the vegetables with the vegetable oil. Place the carrots on the grill, turning every 4 to 5 minutes, until you can pierce them with a fork (15 to 20 minutes total). Make a foil packet for the mushrooms and tomatoes and place on the grill, or use a grilling basket to cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until cooked through. Next, grill the onion and zucchini until tender, approximately 3 to 5 minutes per side. 

Arrange salad greens on a serving platter, place grilled vegetables atop greens and drizzle with vinaigrette to taste. Leftover dressing will keep refrigerated for a week or more.

Grilled Apricots with Chevre and Honey

Recipe by Co+op, stronger together,

reprinted with permission

Total Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4–8

This delicious, elegant dessert is deceptively easy to make. This sweet little recipe works as an appetizer or salad with some fresh lettuce, arugula, or watercress, or as a dessert when drizzled with warm honey.


2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons orange Juice

1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, minced

4 apricots, halved and pitted

Canola oil to brush the apricot halves

Salt to taste

4 ounces soft chevre, divided


Preheat the grill to medium heat.

In the microwave or in a small saucepan, gently heat the honey, orange juice, and tarragon. Stir well and set aside.

Brush each apricot half with a little canola oil and sprinkle with salt. Place apricots cut side down on the grill for about 2–3 minutes. Turn the apricots over and reduce the heat to low. Brush each apricot half with the honey mixture (save any unused honey mixture to serve with the finished apricots). Top each apricot half with ½ ounce of goat cheese. Close the grill lid and let the cheese melt for a couple of minutes. Serve with a drizzle of the remaining honey mixture.



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