The growing season is still in its early stages here in the midwest so, with limited options at the farmer’s market, I became intrigued when I stumbled across some nice-looking and inexpensive rhubarb from Mick Klug’s Farm last week (3 stalks for $1). Rhubarb is not an ingredient I often buy as I’m not much of a baker, but I decided to give it a try and see if I could find a way to use it in a savory dish.Having been extremely busy testing other peoples’ recipes this past week, I let the rhubarb sit in the refrigerator but didn’t forget about it. This gave me time to think about how I wanted to use this extremely tart ingredient. Read more of this >>
I just can’t seem to give up on the dream of having an Herban Garden, an herb garden in my outdoorless high-rise apartment (see Herban Adventure, Week 4). So, here I am trying it again, this time with plants purchased last week at the Green City Farmer’s Market.
I bought four plants (got a deal of four for $10) and replanted them in four pots I already own. The herbs are: basil, cinnamon basil, flat-leaf parsley and thyme.
Cross your fingers for me – hopefully this time the plants will make it!
The Green City Market opened this morning at 7 a.m., and I was there at that painful hour to check out the offerings. I had hoped to find some wild mushrooms, maybe a few morels, and ramps, which have been starting to show up in restaurants. Unfortunately, there was only one stand with morels and they were going for something like $48/pound, and there were no other mushrooms at all. Also no ramps.
However, I did walk away with a few items, including snow pea shoots from an amazing display of microgreens, and purple asparagus which I oven-roasted then pureed into a delicious soup. I also bought four herb plants in hopes of reviving my dream of an indoor herb garden.
Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it to the market Saturday but should get there again next Wednesday. Maybe I’ll be able to get my mushrooms then.
Old Town Brasserie is the newest and probably most exciting restaurant (culinarily speaking) in Old Town. I finally dined at this much-reviewed French restaurant this evening. With no reservation and rain about to come cascading down any minute, I decided to take a chance and see if OTB had any free tables. It being a Tuesday night, they were able to accommodate our party of two with a table in the bar.
It was actually a great table next to the window looking out on Wells Street. The bar was doing steady business with only a few vacant seats at any given time, but not overflowing to the point where the crowd would bother our table. Plus, from our table we could see the Cubs game playing on the four plasma TVs scattered above the bar.
We started the meal with the soup du jour, a roasted squash puree which I was pleasantly surprised to learn was not cream-based. The puree was magnificent – velvety-smooth it started off sweet and finished slightly salty. There was a small garnish with a bite to it, which provided a nice contrast to the smooth texture of the soup. Read more of this >>
The date May 14th has been highlighted on my calendar since I got it in the middle of December. The notation: “Opening of Green City.” Green City is the local farmer’s market and is basically my summer addiction. The thought of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables grown by midwestern farmers and picked that very morning is what gets me through Chicago’s long, cold winter months (especially this year which was no picnic).
So, it is there you will find me at 7 a.m. on Wednesday. Unfortunately, I have an early appointment that day so I’ll have to get to the market when it opens, but it’s okay. Because for me, the market means the beginning of summer.