Winter Market Update

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March 21, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Melissa Graham

It looks like Spring is on its way. The Chicago Botanic Garden was at the Ebeneezer Lutheran Church winter market with a whole host of greens: spinach, lettuce, Swiss chard, a braising mix of collards and kale. I bought them all.

The elusive Plapp family was there with an assortment of flours. I picked up a bag of corn and buckwheat, which we used to make our soon to be world famous, Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes. Soon to be famous as it is going to appear in an upcoming cookbook about the White House garden. I’m really looking forward to using the corn flour – one of my favorite summer recipes uses it for corn cakes, which I top with Zucchini-Thyme Compote and fresh goat cheese. I think I may make some with the corn we froze from one of the last Bucktown Farmers’ Markets.

Living Waters farm brought some basil, greens, and cucumbers – the little locavores favorite vegetable.

We only made it downstairs for a little while, but I saw the Equal Exchange folks as well as several pastry vendors – the coffee cake samples from Three Tarts were delicious.

All in all, it was a terrific market despite the snow which poured down on my poor black beans before they became salsa, a recipe that seemed to be a hit with kids and adults alike.

Black Bean Salsa
Serves 4

2 cups of cooked black beans
2 tablespoons chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 red pepper, chopped into squares
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Combine the lime juice, cumin, and salt in a large bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking to combine. Add black beans, onions, cilantro, and peppers and mix to combine.

Black Beans

2 cups dried black beans, rinsed and picked over
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Cover the beans by a few inches of water in a large pot with a tight fitting lid. Bring the water to a boil and boil rapidly for 2 minutes. Turn the heat off and cover. Let sit for an hour. Remove the cover and test by biting into a bean. If you can bite into it with not too much resistance, the beans are ready to cook (if not, recover and soak for an hour or two longer). Return the water to a boil and add salt. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for about an hour or until the beans are tender. Drain and then the beans are ready to use. Once cooled, the beans can be frozen.

Whole Wheat Tortilla Spikes
Serves 4

1 bag whole wheat flour tortillas
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400º F. Slice the whole wheat tortillas into ½ inch slices. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and place the tortilla spikes on top. Spray the spikes lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy.

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One Comment

  1. Rob Gardner says:

    Great proof that there is good local food to be found in the Chicago area on a day verging between winter and spring. Thanks for the update!

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