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The Hand Off: Sweet Sausage Patties with Cucumber Tomato Salsa

2011 August 4

By Jeremiah Tickner (with some help from his mother Stephanie)

Basil-cherry-tomatoes-and-cucumber-for-the-salsaSince I was 9-months old, my family and I camp and listen to great music for five wonderful days in mid-July at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in Oak Hill, New York. This year was different because I was participating in RecipeRelay for the first time. As I said on Tuesday, there is a farmers market right on the festival site and I was able to find all kinds of locally grown, organic vegetables, a lime, and sausage from grass fed pigs. For my meal I was inspired by the salsa in Valerie and Eugenie’s Summer Flounder with Roasted Fennel and Blueberry Mint  Salsa and Mandy’s Melon Salsa from the week before. It was very hot at the festival and I loved the idea of a cool salsa. My other inspiration came from how much I loved the sausage I tried at a cajun cooking demonstration at the festival.

CLICK HERE for the full post and recipe.

Once I found the pork sweet sausage patties from Cool Whisper Farm in Ghent, New York, I decided to create a “cook out” style meal with some fresh new ideas. I planned to serve the sausage patties on Barowsky’s Organic Hamburger Rolls we brought from home, topped with a chunky salsa made with cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, garlic, scallions, basil and lime juice. Valerie and Eugenie also included corn in their salsa, but I decided I wanted to serve it on the cob. The sugar snap peas also looked really good at the market, so I decided to add them to my meal as a second side.

My family and I camp in a small 1962 Shasta Astrodome trailer. It has a stove and sink, which makes it pretty easy to cook good food while camping. Early in the afternoon, my mother and I chopped all the vegetables for the salsa, added juice from half the lime, then put it in the cooler so the flavors would mix. Then during the “dinner break” when the music stops for an hour, we went back to our trailer and started the corn in a big pot on the stove, tossing the peas into the water after we turned off the heat. Since my mother and sister are vegetarians, my dad helped me cook the sausage patties on my cousin’s outdoor cook stove so the trailer would not smell like sausages. When those were finished I went back inside to melt butter in a small pot on the trailer stove, then added chopped basil, the juice from the other half of the lime, and salt and pepper.

I made plates of food for everyone in our camping group, including veggie burger versions for my mother and sister. It was amazing how fresh and delicious everything tasted. The corn and peas were so sweet, and the sausage was better than any I have tasted before. It was a perfect camping dinner to have in the shade of our trailer awning, surrounded by family and friends, with bluegrass music played by other campers filling the air all around us.

Sweet Sausage Patties with Cucumber Tomato Salsa, Sweet Corn and Sugar Snap Peas

Prep Time: 40 minutes (plus 30 minutes for salsa flavors to blend)
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and cut in small chunks
  • ½ pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quarters if large
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped (or more to taste)
  • 1 scallion, green and white parts, chopped (or more to taste)
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon seasoned salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 6 ears of sweet corn
  • ½ stick butter
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 cups of sugar snap peas, stems trimmed
  • 1 package of 4 grass fed pork sweet sausage patties (or 4 – ½ inch thick patties hand made from ground sweet pork sausage, or 4 hot dog-shaped sweet pork sausage links)
  • 4 whole wheat hamburger rolls (or whole wheat hot dog rolls)

Cooking Directions:

  1. Prepare the salsa about a half hour before you plan to cook the sausages, corn and peas. In a large bowl, gently stir together the chopped cucumber, tomatoes, 1 clove garlic, 1 scallion,  and 1/4 cup fresh basil.
  2. Stir in the juice of 1/2 a lime, salts and pepper.
  3. Cover with foil or saran wrap, or place in a covered container and leave in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors blend
  4. Shuck the corn, removing the husks and silk.
  5. Place corn cobs in a large pot and fill with enough water to cover.
  6. Bring water to a boil and let corn cook to your texture preference, usually anywhere from 1 – 7 minutes. Remove from pot to serving bowl or plates.
  7. While the corn is cooking, melt butter in a small pot over low heat.
  8. Stir in basil and the rest of the lime juice.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Place peas in a medium pot and fill with enough water to cover.
  11. Bring water to a boil and cook 1 minute.
  12. Drain water or remove peas to a serving bowl or plates. An alternative is to add peas to the corn water at the last minute.
  13. Place patties on a preheated, well-seasoned griddle or skillet (or lightly sprayed with oil). Cook on medium heat 5-7 minutes, then flip patties over. Continue cooking another 5-7 minutes on the second, or until juices run clear. You can also check for done-ness by making a small cut in the center of each patty to make sure it is cooked through.
  14. Place rolls on four plates and put 1 patty on bottom of each roll. With a slotted spoon, top each patty with a generous serving of salsa and then the roll top. Place one ear of corn on each plate. Drizzle with lime basil butter. Add large spoonful of sugar snap peas to each plate. Serve plain, or drizzle with some of the butter.
  15. Share with family and friends and enjoy!

Sweet-sausage-patty-on-a-bun-with-salsa-sweet-corn-and-sugar-snap-peasJeremiah Tickner is enjoying his summer break before starting 6th grade in rural Marlow, NH this fall. He enjoys biking, swimming, playing and building in the woods, tending our vegetable gardens, and learning about farming at nearby Orchard Hill. He also loves to eat adventurous foods, and has been gaining cooking skills by helping his mother Stephanie in the kitchen.