Puff-Pastry Tomato Tarts

The Great British Baking Show. Love it. Every season, it seems like Paul and Mary have the bakers make puff pastry at least three or four times. I’m mesmerized anew each time. I’ve tried it myself from scratch exactly once. Made the lean dough (yes, by hand and pastry scraper). Chilled it. Pounded the butter…

Tahini Slaw

Sure, sure, you could say this is just a riff on the salad I posted last winter, the one with the shaved Brussels and kale with tahini-lemon-maple dressing. But this one’s way different. For one thing, there’s cabbage in this one—big heads, not those little mini guys. And for another, there’s honey, not maple syrup….

Endless Summer Salad

All summer long, my Grandma Morsch had a bowl of this refreshing, sweet-and-sour salad in the fridge. It’s possible, actually, that it was the same bowl all summer long. Well, for a couple weeks in a row, anyway. Because after supper, when the vessel’s contents were more brine than veg, she’d just slice in another…

I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold

You could blame Brooks Robinson and George Brett, but mostly you should blame a slap-hitting, drag-bunting, slick-fielding, former Atlanta Braves farmhand named Terry Muck. Terry played short and sometimes second on the Aurora SealMasters, a men’s fast-pitch team from my hometown that won a bunch of National (and World) Championships when I was a kid. Sounds corny, I suppose, but they…

Hand-Me-Down Muffins, Share-Worthy Curd

Kim Severson’s lovely and poignant Mother’s Day piece in last week’s Food Section sent me sorting through my stash of handwritten, handed-down recipes for one of my favorite fruit-spread vehicles, my mom’s Vanilla Muffins. Fragrant, moist, and simple, these were not muffins you studded with fruit; these were muffins you smeared with fruit. With, say, Aunt Harriet‘s peach butter, made…

Forage Potage

(faw-razh paw-tahzh) A thick soup, stew, or porridge in which found or scavenged items are boiled together until they form a thick mush. Yes, this one was a real hodge-podge. Ramps, the spring-heralding, wild allium that gave Chicago its name, picked up at the season’s first Headhouse Farmers’ Market Sunday. Stinging nettles—another truly foraged plant—that came…

A Stew So Nice I Made It Twice . . .

. . . just so I could eat it once. A recent all-night (and all-the-next-day) bout with a hidden crustacean left me, um, shell-shocked. I’ve been so careful these past few years. But with too many plates—and probably too many glasses—on the six-top that night, I didn’t ask our server all the questions I should have. I…

Sunny & Crisp Triple-Root Salad

Fresh and bright in a way that makes you ask the Polar Vortex how many days until pitchers and catchers report, here’s a crisp and crunchy three-root salad that’s somewhere between a slaw and a remoulade. Triple-Root Salad Really, any roots will do. I loved this combination of celery root, beets, and carrots from last week’s sharebox,…

Swap-Box Hero: SpanaKohlpita

Judging by end-of-day swap-box contents, kohlrabi—especially the giant Kossaks we see in the colder months—is in the running for our site’s least-loved (most-feared?) CSA item. Even in high July, after zucchini fatigue has set in, we rarely see a uniform swap box at closing time. But last Tuesday, after all the first-week Winter Season shares had…

Scary-Good Hot Sauce

Bubble, bubble, a little toil, not much trouble. In mid-September, I chunked up a whole mess of hot, super-hot, and mild peppers, stuffed them into a couple jars, added salt water, and let them burble away on my kitchen counter. Fermentation, kickstarted by the the ambient yeasts and mild fall temps in my kitchen, worked its black…

The Braisy Bunch

Lots of gorgeous green things in my half-share today – spinach, kale, lettuce, bok choy and more – but what caught my eye immediately was this bunch of White Beauty radishes. Perfect for braising. I’d never had white radishes before last spring – and I’d never even cooked radishes before last spring, either. If you’ve never…