Seeing Red This Menu Monday

June 1, 2009 at 11:05 am

Rob Gardner

Am I seeing red from strawberries or because of strawberries?  Or let me put it this way.  If I wrote this yesterday, I’d be reveling in the gobs of red-red strawberries now in the Bungalow.  How nice to have a red local fruit besides rhubarb and keeper apples, and my wife was thinking maybe she’d whip up a zambione to celebrate.  But no, wait a day, and the two kids ransacked the berries.  That’s what’s making me see red.

If we have only a few red berries to enjoy for Menu Monday, we do see much red rhubarb in the house.  My wife made a good compote last week, but she insists this week’s compote will be even better because she now has some rosewater “like Allie”.  And red apples, red delicious apples.  It is not just a locavore thing, really, but I was quite happy buying red delicious apples from Walt Skibbe at Saturday’s Oak Park Farmer’s Market.   Iowa Slow Fooder, Kurt Friese has a great story about the red delicious apples, why they once earned their name, and these Skibbes apples also do delicious justice.

Really, I should say we are seeing green this Menu Monday.  Green is the dominant color of spring food, although our asparagus from our CSA box arrives purple, it will be green by the time we cook it.   Green is the color of lettuce, which thrives in cool spring.  We have two big heads from our CSA box.  Another green, rather cool weather thriver is kohlrabi, and our first kohlrabi came last week.  Kohlrabi’s a double dipper, use both the greens and the bulbs (which are an enlarged stem not a root, by the way).  I’m partially to using the bottoms raw in salads.

Wait, more red to see.  It seems we never get tired of seeing a red radish.  The CSA box did not come with red radishes this week, but we got red radishes to use for our Shavuot dinner we cooked last Thursday.  All the extra red now lie safely in our fridge, mostly for lunches.  And if that was not enough red, our CSA box included something red and old, some fine old red Norland potatoes. 

Eat local fish I always say.  Last week I cooked eight large Lake Superior beauties for the Temple dinner from Robert’s on Devon.  I have been kicking myself ever since that I did not get an equally beautiful whole lake trout to poach as a quasi-local salmon.  If all goes well this week, I’ll pick one up.  The red norlands, boiled, will go along side well.  We do have smoked lake trout and smoked whitefish in the house from a place on West Addison that’s worth it’s own blog post (soon).  We train Molly the eat local dog tonight, and the smoked fish will make an easy dinner when we get home.

Eat local eggs.  From the Wettstein’s at the Oak Park Market, we picked up two dozen hen eggs and another dozen duck eggs.  The duck eggs, at least some, will be fried and served with asparagus for tomorrow’s dinner.

What color is on your menu this week?