Yummy Stuff

Well, stuffed Yummies, to be more precise. Yummy peppers are juicy, thick-walled, two-bite little bells that are perfect for jamming with tuna salad, chicken salad, or pesto and cheese, which is perhaps my favorite way to eat them. In fact, we popped about a dozen between the two of us Sunday while waiting for Rio’s closing ceremony to…

I packed a pint of pickled peppers

Yesterday’s sharebox included a bag of a dozen or so decent-sized jalapeños. That’s a lot. More than we can eat before they start to go hinky. So I skimmed off 4-5 larger peppers for a batch of roasted salsa this weekend, and the remaining half pound split perfectly into to two half-pint jars that’ll feed us over…

Swap-Box Hero: Hot Under the Collard

Despite offering free bundles with purchase for late-Wednesday wine customers, it seems we still end up with a swap box full of collards whenever they’re in the share. I don’t know why they’re so intimidating. I mean, I get they can be bitter, but a little bit of fat mellows the harsh tannins*, making those deep…

June-Swoon Salad

Here’s one from my mom, who’s been making this swoon-worthy bowl of green and red for years. I know, it seems like a lot of dressing. Trust me; you’ll want leftovers. Strawberry-Spinach Salad 1 lb fresh spinach, washed, dried, and chilled (and chopped, if the leaves are giant) 1 pint fresh strawberries, washed and halved or…

Microgreen Goddess

“What the heck is a microgreen, anyway?” That’s what a long-time Moore Brothers CSA participant asked me yesterday. “Um, I’m not sure. I’ve always assumed they’re just teensy radish greens, but I’ve never looked it up.” Well, now I have. Turns out, they’re pretty much any super-young salad green (arugula, chard, radish, mustard, beet, and…

Start the Clock: Asparagus Tarts

Since Sheila and I were away on vacation last week—missing both the season’s first farmer’s market and first CSA delivery—our Asparagus Clock started yesterday. Yes, the Asparagus Clock. For about seven glorious weeks each year, we binge on fresh, local asparagus. And when I say binge, I mean we probably eat it four times a week. And when…

Ketchup for What?

For fries. For burgers. For schnitzel. For brats. And, yes, for dogs. Three test batches and a couple dozen spoonfuls later, I’m ready to stop tinkering and send Curry Ketchup to the cloud for safe-keeping. I’m going to want to refer to this recipe again. Curry Ketchup So good it made me violate the Chicago Dog rule. Also…

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…

Squishy Squash: Spreadable Summer

Decades before Farm-to-Table was a nationwide THING, Madison’s L’Etoile (est. 1976), was championing small, local growers, constructing seasonal menus, and pushing vegetable-centric cooking beyond lentil cakes and baba ghanoush. A summer-squash compendium on the kitchn last week reminded me of a meal I’d had at L’Etoile close to 30 years ago—a meal that kicked off with a warm loaf of crusty bread and…

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…