RECYCLED – The Many Ways to Put Away Tomatoes

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Posted: September 1, 2015 at 1:07 am

Editor’s Note: Last week we recycled Damien Casten’s thoughts on canning tomatoes. Canning is just one way to put away the tomato harvest. In this post from last year, we cover various methods to provide the taste of summer later in the year.

Eat Local Tomatoes Later

caputo - tomatoes - august 2013

When I tell people I’m a locavore now, it hardly gets a response.  When I tell them I’m eating local six months from now, I’m asked how.  I say it can be done with a combination of put-up food, winter markets and a timely CSA delivery.  We do not have to think about winter markets for a good time.  We should be thinking about putting away food now. We’ll soon re-post our popular guide to Making the Most of the Seasonal Bounty to assist you in your preservation efforts.   Still, we know you need to get moving putting away probably the most common, and almost for sure the best food of summer.  We’re talking tomatoes.   With a little effort now, you can have the taste of summer all year.

We believe there is no one way for tomatoes.  Tomatoes take to many ways, and the way you choose to preserve your tomatoes depends on your time and your resources.  You can also preserve tomatoes many ways.  We describe below the many ways to put up tomatoes.

There’s something primal, classic about putting up tomatoes.  Every time I think of putting up tomatoes I am drawn to the image of David “Hat” Hammond, swigging red wine from the jug, making sauce: Sinatra on the turntable, striped down to his strap shoulder t-shirt and boxer shorts, black socks (with garters) showing, black wingtips of course, crucifix proudly against the chest hair, yet still wearing his trade mark black hat–a true story, now apparently washed away from the archives of Chowhound.  Making buckets of sauce for storage is cool, very cool.  Without such panache, it can also be a well-remembered family activity.  Turning a bushel or two into several jars of red certainly leaves a well-deserved sense of accomplishment.

There’s also many good reasons for putting away your tomatoes.  I can think of four.  Foremost, as displayed below, tomatoes take to many forms of preservation; you can find one that works for your needs and situation.  Second and related, tomatoes do not lose much in the process.  Sure, you cannot replace that sensation of a sensational seasonal fruit, but this is no canned pea.  So, the third reason, preserved tomatoes fit nicely into your kitchen.  You will use what you put away.  From the simple pasta sauces to classic French sauces, tomato products are your kitchen friend.  In fact, I’ve come to believe that the best time for canned tomatoes is in the summer, where they partner so well to slow cooked zucchini or a mess of green beans. Finally, at this time of year, we find ourselves, hopefully, in a surplus of tomatoes.  If you grow your own, you cannot eat them all.  If you have a friend that grows her own, she cannot eat them all and has given some to you.  If you have neither, you still find tomato deals. Fly me to the moon, do-b-do-b-doo and get a-workin’ with or with out the socks and garters.

The many ways to put away tomatoes include

  • Canning
  • Freezing
  • Drying
  • Cold storage/root cellaring
  • Fermentation

Canning

When people think putting away tomatoes, they tend to think first of canning.  There are those who will tell you that canning best captures the essence of tomatoes.  We’re not willing to make that unqualified assessment, but we know we have canned tomatoes with great success.  We’ve also had success getting a real tomato expert, Damien Casten, to write about canning tomatoes in the past for the Local Beet.

When we use the term canning, we mean putting a tomato product in glass jars, sealed with a metal lid and stored for later use in a non-refrigerated environment.  When we use the term canning we also mean a two step process that makes food safe for long term keeping and keeps food safe during that long term keeping.   The heat of the water kills bacteria, yeasts, molds and fungus that would harm food as well as deactivate enzymes that can cause food to deteriorate.  Then, the heat and the design of the can form a vacuum seal that prevents any new bad stuff from entering.  The action of letting the can and lid do its thing is called “processing.”

Many foods are canned with boiling water alone (“hot water canner”).  Hot water canning can be done when there is enough acid present, in the food, the syrup or the brine to inhibit the growth of micro-organisms.  Without this acid, water must be heated to higher temperatures to keep things safe.  Boiling water under pressure (“pressure canning”) creates water that boils hotter than 212 degrees, and this hotter temperature is necessary when there is no acid around to help.  Most tomato recipes can be canned using a hot water canner.  Some salsas, for instance because they includes low acid vegetables need to be canned with a pressure canner.  Still, the USDA states, “Use of a pressure canner will result in higher quality and more nutritious canned tomato products.”  Follow directions.  If you do not have a pressure canner, you cannot pressure can.  Period.  In these situations, you usually need to add some form of acid, like lemon juice, when non-pressure canning.

Canning can seem seem scary.  There is no safety of a refrigerator, and sometimes no good way of knowing if the process worked.  Thing is, just give in.  Canning is about mindlessly following directions.  In fact, with canning you have to follow directions.  You cannot “wing it” when it comes to canning.  Recipes matter.  Processing times matter.  The Ball Jar people is the best place to start for canning recipes.  The USDA’s Center for Home Food Preservation is the other place to go.

Canning often requires a good amount of time.  It also requires the investment in equipment including a canning pot (“canner”), jars and lids as well as funnel, lifters and other paraphernalia.  Canning is an excellent option for people without access to big freezers such as people living in apartments.

And there’s more!  Not only can canning get your summer tomatoes put away very well, it can allow you to do all sorts of interesting things with your tomatoes for later use.  For instance, Melissa Graham has posted on making a tomato marmalade.   Our friends (and sponsor) Tomato Mountain use their supply of summer tomatoes as base for most of their salsas, but the product that always stops market samplers in their tracks is their sungold tomato jam.

Freezing

Like canning, freezing keeps food safe two ways.  The action of freezing food, making it frozen, makes food last.  Reducing food to zero degrees, or colder, does not kill bacteria, molds, etc., but it stops the growth of such organisms.  Then, the freezer keeps those little guys from getting going again by keeping the food frozen.  Once food thaws, it is able to spoil again.

Freezing is said to dull certain flavors and make other flavors, including garlic and some herbs, bitter or harsh.  Think about this with your tomato recipes.  As noted above, there are plenty of people that think canned tomatoes taste better.   Where the freezer comes in especially handy is for items that you can’t or don’t want to can.  Remember those warnings about pressure canning?  If you want to put away green beans in a thick tomato sauce or caponata cooked with local tomato paste, you would probably need to pressure can, if canning.  So, use your freezer.

Freezing, obviously, requires freezer capacity.  The use of vacuum sealers and related products can make freezing easier and provide for fresher products, but such equipment is not necessary.

 

Drying

Micro-organisms need water to thrive.  Reduce water in food and you reduce the chance microorganisms will thrive and spoil your food.  Drying reduces that water.  Drying can be done in a dehydrator, an oven or in the open (depending on where you live and what you are drying).  Drying will only get you so far in food preservation; rather dried food will only last so long unless other actions are not also taken.  Dried tomatoes are often kept in oil to extend their life–the oil acts as a barrier for many microorganisms.  Dried tomatoes can also be kept in the freezer.  Wendy had great success oven drying tomatoes.

Even if you plan on putting the dried tomatoes in your freezer, the act of drying greatly reduces the space the tomatoes take in your world.

Speaking of your world, remember when there was no such thing as sun-dried tomatoes?  Methinks it was some time in the early 1980′s when Nouvelle Cuisine had us putting the sauce underneath the meat and splaying green and pink peppercorns across our plates that “sun-dried tomatoes” became a hot food item.  They were nearly always used as a condiment or accent, something akin to a roasted pepper; for instance as a garnish on sub sandwiches.  You can use your dried tomatoes this way, but you can also use them the way they were intended, re-hydrated, as an actual tomato in dishes.

Cold Storage/Root Cellaring

In general, the easiest way to store and preserve produce is to just put them in some place where they won’t rot.  A “root cellar” works because it is cold enough to slow down mold and other bad items and moist enough to keep food palatable.  You do not need an actual cellar, you just need a space that reproduces those two conditions, nor do you just need to use it solely for roots.  The two most common items for cold storage are probably not roots but a fruit (apples) and a tuber (potatoes).  Did you know that you can also store tomatoes for future use?  This can be done by letting unripe fruits slowly come to color inside, and it can happen by procuring special “keeper” tomatoes that are meant to last for extended periods.

There are two facets involved in cellaring tomatoes.  Most important, you cannot expect a tomato too green to ever ripen.  Only tomatoes that have nudged their way forward will continue in your house or apartment.  Second, you may want to consider the varieties of tomatoes bred for storage.

For the tomatoes that never turn red, we have a few recipes here and here.

Fermenting

Fermenting creates lasting food by replacing harmful bacteria with good bacteria.  Good bacteria is allowed to grow in foods through the application of salt, sugar or other “starters”.   Before the invention OF canning, fermentation was the primary way to extend the life of fruits and vegetables. 

Green tomatoes are commonly fermented “deli style”, but red tomatoes can be fermented too.  In Russia and other Eastern European countries, it is common to ferment cherry tomatoes. Here’s a couple of other ideas for fermented tomatoes.

From sweet jam to sour pickles, you can see there’s much you can do with your local tomatoes.  As we’ve shown, there’s no one way or best way to put away tomatoes.  Rather, you decide what you want to do, or least what you are able to do.  It may be nothing more than an excuse to get Sinatra on the speakers, but there’s a lot more to putting away tomatoes that making the season last.


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Cochon 555 Heritage Breed BBQ is Back! Sunday 9/27 Morgan Manufacturing

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Posted: August 31, 2015 at 3:57 pm

image001

It’s back the 2nd annual Cochon Heritage Breed BBQ celebrating family farms and heritage breed pigs at Morgan Manufacturing 9/27.  If you are a Beet-ster you probably have some kind of knowledge of what a heritage breed is. But there really isn’t any specific definition. The Livestock Conservancy describes heritage breeding as more an art than a science. But heritage breed is to meat, the way heirloom is to vegetables and fruits. The heritage breeds are historic and retain essential attributes for survival: self sufficiency, fertility, foraging ability, longevity, maternal instincts, ability to mate naturally and resistance to disease, all of which have been mostly lost in factory farm breeds. Heritage breeds are known for their juiciness, flavor and tenderness and just taste better! They are basically, the opposite to CAFO (confined animal feeding operations). Heritage promotes breed diversity and the local family farmer. Most are raised with minimum to none antibiotics and given organic feed. The more people are aware of what a heritage breed is and like the taste of the meat, the demand will then help to put pressure on grocers to supply it.

Last year the farmers lineup (I will update this post with the current farmer lineup closer to the event) included Catalpa Grove Farm with a Hereford. Originating from the U.S. during the 1920’s, the Hereford is a rare, but well-known breed. Resembling Hereford cows, these hogs have a distinguished reddish-brown coat and white face. The Hereford is known for its calm disposition and ability to thrive on pastures. It is a slower-growing breed, yielding rich colored, marbled meat. (Thanks to Blackberry Farm’s Field Guide to Heritage Breed pigs for the descriptions on all the heritage breeds).

Friend of the Beet, Slagel Family Farms is providing a duroc. Durocs are known for its sweet meat, marbling, amazing shoulders and spareribs. Slagel supplied a chester white as well. Chester White’s are revered for the cutability .

La Pryor Farms provided a duroc and hampshire. The English breed, Hampshire is known for its amazing carcass, hardy vigor and superior fat to meat ratio in the belly and loin.

Finally, Triple S Farms provided a large black. Originating from Chinese breeds brought to England, the Large Black is a critically rare breed known for its taste, pasture foraging skills and overall hardiness. Large Blacks have short black hair, wide shoulders and a long body. When harvested, even at 200 pounds, the micro-marbling, short muscle fibers and excellent bellies produce exceptional bacon and moist meat with old world flavor.

You will be able to do a tasting to determine which heritage breed is your favorite and vote on your favorite dish.  Although the local farmers and pigs are the main focus of the event there is a lot more going on.

The event is setup as a friendly competition to celebrate global grilling cultures as well. The culinary competition challenges [5] chefs to cook one whole, family farm-raised, heritage pig for a group of 20 notable judges. Chefs have seven days to prepare one whole pig and present a “Judge’s Plate” consisting of 6 dishes scored on utilization, global influences, cooking techniques and overall flavor. The winner in Chicago will be crowned the “BBQ King or Queen” and takes home more than $3,000 in prizes. In addition to sampling the competitor’s dishes, the all-inclusive ticket includes “BBQ Traditions”, a tasting inside the event where 10 notable chefs prepare one dish from their favorite BBQ culture in non-competitive spirit. If you love global flavors and star-studded culinary events, this educational event is like a top chef classroom including grilling-styles like Hibachi, Korean BBQ, Asador, Braai from Africa, Char Siu, Caja China, Churrasco, Barbacoa, as well as regional American BBQ styles from Texas to Kansas City.

Sunday, September 27, is the main event, Heritage BBQ, hosted at Morgan Manufacturing. This year’s competing chefs include Alfredo Nogueira of Analogue, Ed Sura of Perennial Virant, Scott Manley of Table, Donkey & Stick, Chris Curren of Seven Lions and Jonathan Meyer of Freehand Chicago – Official Hotel of the Heritage BBQ weekend. Each chef will be given a 180 pound heritage breed pig to create six dishes for a crowd of pork-loving enthusiasts. Non-competing chefs cooking BBQ Traditions include Chrissy Camba of Maddy’s Dumpling House, Dave Ochs of Maple & Ash, John Manion of La Sirena Clandestina, Mitch Cavanah of GT Fish and Oyster, Phil Whingo of Pork Mafia, and Dylan Lipe of Blackwood BBQ.

The weekend kicks-off on Friday, September 25 at 10:00PM with Chef Abe Conlon hosting a Late Night Asian Speakeasy Dinner at Fat Rice. This priceless experience is an all-inclusive guest chef dinner that pays homage to the best Chinese, Sichuan, Korean, Thai and Japanese establishments that have inspired some of the best menus across the country. On Saturday, September 26, Cochon555 teamed up with Chicago Gourmet to host the inaugural Punch Kings, Pigs n’ Tiki on the Harris Theater Rooftop from 8 to 11 p.m.

The whole purpose of these events is to raise the consumer’s awareness about meat. To quote Brady Lowe, the founder of Cochon 555, “This event returns the BBQ conversation to the original context of local meats, cooked with native spices, over fires and shared with a community. Therefore, the event will tilt the scales back towards creating long-term relationships for family farms and big protein buyers like BBQ restaurants. It’s only a matter of time until people demand better food choices when standing at the counter. We are standing right there with them, promoting honest food and a choice to buy safe food.”


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Pining for Peppers on Menu Monday

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Posted: August 31, 2015 at 9:37 am

Stove Top Cooking

 

 

This is some but not all of what came in our Tomato Mountain CSA box last week.*  What you don’t see is more kale, more lettuce, and many more peppers.  My pepper pinings are finally being addressed.  Before getting to the peppers pined, let me update you on what else entered the bungalow this week.  From the Condiment Queen’s next door neighbor at Andersonville, Big Head Farm, we got some okra. At the Oak Park Farmer’s market on Saturday, our purchases included grapes, pears, cukes, and even more peppers.    To the stove Robin.

I told you last week that this week’s post would be about using the stove, but not using it to flame broil peppers.  Rather, I would flame broil eggplants, as Onur over at LTHForum said I can.  When I hit the kitchen on Saturday for my weekly Tamar-ing, I stuck to the stove top.  I did peppers.  I did eggplant.  I did not flame broil anything.

Eat local peppernata.

As much as I love roasted peppers, I don’t so much love roasting peppers. I’ve blogged and tweeted about this for years. I cannot find a way to master roasting peppers. Yes, via knife, I have found a good way, but not an easy way. So, a few years ago, when I found you could just slice up your peppers and cooked them, no peeling necessary. I was like, that’s my dish. Making peppernata is about like making anything else I make these days. I make a sofrito of cooked onions, some loosely chopped garlic–remember to put the garlic in after the onions had a head start, and a hot pepper sliced. Add to this base, several peppers julienned. Use an array of colors and throw in a few hot peppers too. After you get these in the pan, add one or two ripe tomatoes, skinned if you’re of that sort. Now, to make it taste like peppernata and not just stewed peppers, you must finally add a healthy dose of smoked paprika. Also, let me add, so you don’t forget, to season at each stage.  Salt after the onions go in the pan.  A little salt on the sliced peppers; a little salt after you add the tomatoes.  Of course, see if you you need any more salt when you’r done, but you need to season as you cook.  Let it come to a quick boil, and then turn down to a slower simmer. Cook until the peppers reach your desired state of tenderness, about 30-45 minutes. Once you have peppernata, you can use it with eggs or on a sandwich; it’s versatile.

I did make eggplant. We have some from a previous CSA box, the longer, skinnier kind (but not an Asian variety). I cut them in half, used my cast iron grill pan, and got good grill marks. Once grilled, I tossed them with honey, locally made raspberry vinegar, and ras al hanout. Finally, on the stove, I did about my same basic recipe but with the kale pictured above and the okra.

Here’s a mish-mash of some of the stuff I cooked up over the last week or so.  It’s what the Cook Book Addict packed for lunch today.  There’s fresh shelly beans we got last week, the kale, some green beans also from last week, and some baked veg that’s barely hanging in there in the fridge.  What will be on your menu this week?

august lunch for CQ

*The Condiment Queen works for Tomato Mountain


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Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links

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Posted: August 30, 2015 at 9:19 am

Where Else May You go to Eat Local & Other Things to Know

Which is more shark-jumpy for local foods, this article about Wal-Mart and local food or the fact that the article is in Fortune?

Let’s get rid of the silver tray and embrace the dirt; is farm to table just a trend?

Eat local goat cheese.

Should we eat less local salads?

When did something become a local food?

No one eats more local than Vancouver (area).

Eat local Iowa.

Is Martha Vineyards a local foods paradise?

Not purely an eat local trend, but most of these food halls are locavore focused.

Eat local Ipswich (UK).

Eat local   Richmond, Virginia

Eat local Charlotte, North Carolina


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It’s Busy Season – What’s in Season and Where to Find it Sponsored by Vera

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Posted: August 28, 2015 at 8:13 am

Eat Local Frezzele

 

frezzelle

For a lot of locavores, it’s a busy time of year.   For instance, many of you are reaping the harvests of your backyard farms.  You may also be working to put away your home grown tomatoes.  Putting dinner on a plate may be a hassle with all that’s going on in your kitchen.  So, skip the plate, put it on a frezzelle.  Frezzelle?  It looks a bit like a bagel or shall I say a half of a bagel.  A very hard bagel, the point of frezzelle is that they’re baked and dried to a crisp.  The reason for frezzelle was to have bread after the wheat ran.  With an everlasting supply of grain these days, why do we need frezzelle.  Because it’s summer.  See, you take your frezzelle, which by the way, can be found in any grocery  or store that stocks Italian type stuff, D’Amato’s makes frezzelle for instance, wet it just a bit, you need to give it a head start, but mostly it will be refreshed by the liquid from your tomatoes, and you top it with stuff you have around.  Believe me, there is something about the interplay of this just off bread with tomatoes, cheese, herbs, etc.  Like I say, the only reason to eat frezzelle is that it tastes good.  And it’s easy to prepare.  Busy in the kitchen, there’s always frezzelle.

Vera-LOGO-Fpattern (1) (1)

 

Now, if you have some time in the kitchen, what about tackling something else in season now, fresh beans.  Do like Chef Mendez at our sponsor, Vera, and make fabada.   Fresh peas like black eye peas and crowder peas are also in season now.  We love combining fresh peas with other seasonal items like hot peppers and summer onions.  Some of the summer fruit, apricots and some colors of plums are running their course, but there’s still peaches and more types of apples and pears.  We would not be surprised if you saw some hard squashes in the market this week.

What’s In Season Now

From the Ground

  • Finally some peppers that aren’t green?
  • Sweet corn
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Field peas a/k/a black eye peas, crowder peas, etc.
  • Shelling beans eg, pinto, shelly, etc.
  • Okra
  • Celery
  • Melons
  • Some of the more “fall” herbs like sage

From the Trees and Bushes

  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Plums
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Asian pears

Year round

  • Meats, poultry, lake fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk, cheese and other dairy
  • Mushrooms
  • Grains and breads
  • Preserved and jarred products

Where to Find Local Food

Almost all markets are running now.  We’ve highlighted some of our favorites.  For some adventures look at this post.  In addition to markets, there are several stores in the Chicago area that focus on selling local foods.  Also, as we noted this week, it’s the time of year when local food is everywhere.  You can also go to Jeannie’s Local Calendar for resources, events and other happenings.

Chicago

It may not be the biggest market in the Chicago area, but it is the only market with a free breakfast of Eli’s Cheesecake Cafe (and the only market where you can gorge on cheesecake samples).  We maintain a special place in our heart for this market, Thursdays – 7 AM – 1 PM - 6701 West Forest Preserve Drive

Green City Market  is overflowing right now.   Saturday  from 7 AM to 1  PM –  Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive (approximately 1817 N. Clark) 

It it’s Thursday and we’re in the Loop, you cannot do wrong with Daley Plaza, which is filled with vendors including produce, breads and prepared foods.   7 AM – 2 PM - This market accepts the LINK card. - 50 W. Washington

We’ve always been impressed by what they’re doing at the Glenwood Market.  Sundays from 9AM to 2 PM - Southbound Glenwood Avenue between Morse & Lunt

Oak Park

Have we mentioned donuts.  Family ties?  Well, what about one of the few area markets with locally tapped maple syrup?  Jim the Vinegar Guy?  Sadly, no Hazzard Free grains this year.  Saturdays from 8 AM to 1 PM - 460 Lake

Evanston

There are often times, when we think about these things, quantify these things, we say this is the best there is in the Chicago area.  There’s the heirlooms, the regular, meats, cheeses, breads, the unique and the mundane, about all you could want in one market.  Saturdays from 730 AM to 1 PM - University Street & Oak Avenue

Morton Grove

Very close Beet ties to this one, so get there on Saturday and shop, shop, shop.  Saturdays 8 AM to Noon - 6210 Dempster

Geneva

Do you think we’re not gonna include something way far away?  The Geneva Green Market has been focusing on organic and sustainable farmers for a while and is worth the visit if you are anywhere close (or not as it’s a great drive or a great train ride).  Thursdays 9 AM to 1 PM - 327 Hamilton Street

Northbrook

In memory of Mom.  She was a volunteer here - Wednesdays from 7 AM to 1 Pm –  Cherry Lane and Meadow Road

 

What's In Season and Where to Find It - Sponsored by Vera 1023 W. Lake, Chicago

What’s In Season and Where to Find It – Sponsored by Vera 1023 W. Lake, Chicago


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What’s In Season Now – Local Food – (Hey John B)

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Posted: August 27, 2015 at 2:24 pm

The Season of Accessible and Affordable Local Food

 

treasure island

 

A commentator, John B, wrote:

These posts about what local goods are in season barely scratch the surface of where to find them around town. Your self-imposed requirement to only mention farmers markets (which are littered with non-local goods) provides a huge disservice to your readers, particularly those with logistical or scheduling challenges as these markets are significantly fewer in numbers and with small operating windows compared to traditional retail and grocery banners. But hey, let’s keep this whole local thing to just those with means and free time. If everyone can eat local, we’ll have to find something new to care about to differentiate “us” from “them.”

I replied to his comment basically saying, I agreed with him and was doing something about it.  This post has been in the works for ages, showing that local food is not just for the farmer’s markets.  See, I am forever doing two things. I am always looking where ever I shop for food, for local food, and I scan the ads for local food. My pal Monica Eng may be examining the seafood at dollar stores, I’ve bought local onions at such. I’ve scoured places as diverse as Costco, Whole Food, Jewel, and Aldi for evidence that they had local food in their stock, and by local I don’t mean Kraft cheese. I mean either produce grown in Illinois or neighboring states or small-scale food manufacturing–from Tomato Mountain on one end to Eli’s on the other. And there’s always something local I can find, if nothing else, russet potatoes from Wisconsin–always too at low-low prices. Like, for instance, I was pleasantly surprised at the selection and value of Coop Hot Sauces on a recent trip to Mariano’s. I got locally made salami at Eataly.  And no time can I find local food better than this time, harvest time.

Since I cannot be every where, nor do I that much week-to-week shopping at groceries, what with the CSA and ample Oak Park market, I review ads. I like to think of it as analogous to Tommy Lee Jones/K reading the supermarket scandal papers for alien intel. In other words, there’s more to these ads than meets the eye. To me, they reveal a locavore paradise lurking under our jaded eyes. In past years, I’ve worked hard to specifically address John’s comment. For instance, look what I did here. This year, I worked almost as hard. Over several weeks, I documented what local food different places were carrying, for instance, the pic above is from last week’s Treasure Island ad in the Chicago Tribune. Then, each week rolls around, and I don’t have the time to post (against my other things to post and other things to do, non-Beet). John shammed me.

Except this week, I did not take any pictures of the ads. Instead, we’ll have to go the source. Here’s Angelo Caputo’s current flyer. Look at all that local produce: tomatoes, onions, peppers, potatoes and more. Here’s the Treasure Island ad, showing locally grown peppers and eggplant for sale. A & G International Fresh Market has Michigan apples at a very good price. Even better, look at the price of Michigan peaches from Ultra Foods. Maybe no other supermarket chain makes a bigger deal of their locally sourced produce than Meijer, and look at what they are advertising this week. So, John, who do you trust, my defensive comments or my links?

You can find local food anywhere, and we’ll help you do it on the Beet.

Please share with us any local food you are finding at your neighborhood supermarket.


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What’s in Season Now – Preserving the Seasonal Bounty – Learn How Aug 29 with Angelic Organics Learning Center

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Posted: August 26, 2015 at 9:04 am

How Do You Eat Local Year Round

food preserving

The Local Beet advocates eating local, and we say all the time, the reasons we advocate for eating local do not end when the farmer’s markets pack up.  How do we (and you!) do it.  We put away the seasonal bounty!  Over the years, we’ve put away on the site many articles and references about canning, preserving, root cellaring and such.   This is the time to focus on putting away, and we will be re-posting several of our pieces in the coming weeks–just today, we re-posted this piece on canning tomatoes from long time Friend of the Beet, Damien Casten.  We also would love to hear from you about your efforts.   As much as we feel we can guide you, we know there is only so much you can read.  You have to do, and it helps to have a good teacher.  We have one for you.

Food Preserving 101

This Saturday, August 29, the Angelic Organics Learning Center will be offering a hands-on class on food preservation.  The class will cover freezing, dehydrating, and canning, using tomatoes as an example.  Attendees will bring home a jar of canned organic tomatoes.  The class is from 1 PM to 4 PM at their center in Caledonia, Illinois.  The cost of the class is $45.

Location:
1547 Rockton Rd
Caledonia, IL 61011
United States

Additional information and registration here.


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RECYCLED – Damien Casten’s Thoughts on Canning Garden Tomatoes

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Posted: August 26, 2015 at 8:30 am

Editor’s Note: Between the ample harvest and the strong whiff of cool air around, it’s time to start canning (if you have not already).  Probably the best thing to can, something that takes to canning so well, is tomatoes.  Once put away, you can use your taste of summer year-round for pasta sauces, braises, and anywhere else the warm red flavors will take you back.  Enjoy this re-post on the basics of canning tomatoes. Canning is process.  Enjoy the process and you’ll enjoy canning.  I’m Damien Casten, tomato evangelizer.  With my friend Mo Ferris, we are happy to share the process of putting your tomatoes up for later enjoyment.

Yes, that does say "Hotsie Totsie"

Yes, that does say “Hotsie Totsie”

As we prefer to focus on what is enjoyable as a general rule, we are going to do just that.  Still, there are some critically important details to think about when putting anything into a can today that you hope to eat in good health months from now.  For those details, we encourage you to explore the University of Minnesota’s detailed page on how to can tomatoes safely.  Read it twice. Let’s talk processes. Each stage of the canning process offers a chance to enjoy the right here and now of life. For some, canning begins with a seed catalogue in February and thoughts of warmer days.  In an ideal world, the leisurely perusal of Seed Savers or Heirloom Seeds takes place over a bowl of pasta dressed with last year’s harvest.  The fact is though that few of us have the space to plant so many tomatoes that we have enough to eat in season and can as well, so let’s fast forward to the harvest when growers from across Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan are looking forward to greeting you at your local farmers’ market. A week ahead of time: You’ll need quite a few tomatoes, 23 lbs for 7 quarts as you read on the U of M’s extension page, so plan ahead for your budget.  It is true that farmers’ will often offer a discounted deal at the end of a market day, but they will offer you a deal on what they have left, and not necessarily what you want.  Better to go to the market a week ahead of your canning day and talk to your farmer about your needs.  They are likely to offer suggestions on which varieties are fun, which they prefer, and they may offer a discount due to the volume you are purchasing.   With this one small act, you have accomplished many things: You know who is growing your tomatoes, you have committed to a day of canning next week, and you have learned about this season’s growing conditions.  We told you the process is fun. Fight the urge to overbuy and plan reasonably.  You will not can four bushels of tomatoes on your first attempt, or even on your fortieth, no matter how badly we (we mean you) want to have a cupboard full of summer goodness the day after you’ve canned. During the week: Browse the web for specific instructions on materials needed.  Here is a site that does a nice job of presenting the details.   During the week ahead of your canning day, double check that you have all the required materials including the canning pot.  Make a list, check it twice.  Read this forum for a comprehensive overview.  Personal experience indicates that running out for additional jars, rings, pots, pans, salt or anything else when you are up to your elbows in prepped tomatoes is a part of the process that is better avoided.  Avoid it with a good plan. Canning Day! Gather a group of folks who share your enthusiasm.  It’s possible to can alone, but working with friends is a guarantee that you’ll have a group that wants to come together this winter to share in the next part of the process. Think through the process that you have detailed.  Again, once you have jars warm and clean, tomatoes peeled and juiced and herbs prepared, it’s a real pain in the arse to have to stop because you are missing something.  The French must do a lot of canning because their term “mis en place” is the first term you should learn.  Roughly translated, “mis en place” means “everything in its place and a place for everything”.  The precise translation is “line up your ducks”, or maybe that’s what Confit de Canard means.  Our suggested mis en place includes: Jars - sterilized and kept warm either in the closed hot dishwasher or in a 200 degree oven.  Consider the size of your canner and the amount of jars you’ll need.  Have enough ready to go before you start. Canner – whether you will be using a pressure canner or a water canner, have the pot ready to go with as much warm water as needed.  Take fifteen minutes before you start to read the instructions carefully. Lids – have a pot of water on the stove and the lids you’ll need submerged and ready. Clean towels – The rim of each jar needs to be wiped clean to ensure a proper seal.  One paper towel will be used quickly.  Have a few ready to go.

Jar lifter

Tools – Oven mits for hot cans.  A laddle for the tomatoes you will transfer into the can.  A glass of wine paired with the appropriate music.  A pitcher or something like a pitcher to pour the tomato juice and or water into the cans.  A few essential tools that might not be obvious include a jar lifter which serves to remove the cans from the hot water when cooking is complete and a canning funnel that allows you to pour the tomatoes into the jar cleanly.

Funnel

Flavors -

Flavors so simple a child will love them.

  Your mis en place will inlcude whatever you might want to add to the jars, but we advise you to think simple, bright, and clean. Happiness is the smell of summer tomatoes on a cold day in February. We suggest being as pure as possible in your flavors. Garlic, herbs and spices can all be added to the sauce that you will make months from now and a clean jar of tomatoes will allow you to follow whatever mood you are in when the time comes. A jar full of tomatoes flavored with other things might be wonderful, but do you want 8-12 jars of the same? The only times we recommend tomatoes and lots of other flavors is in case of a family recipe that one knows to be delicious and in case of a cupboard already full of simply canned tomatoes. The picture at the top of this post shows “Tomatoes with Hotsie Totsie” that we made last weekend. Note that its a small jar as compared to the others. This was an experiment that we did after canning more than a bushel of tomato and basil. We’ll see how it tastes this winter. As the picture at right shows, a bit of basil fresh from the garden is more than acceptable in our book.

Tomatoes -
Last but not least we have to talk about your choice of tomatoes!  “Canning tomatoes” likes Amish Paste and Romas have a lot of flesh and not too much liquid.  They are not quite as tasty fresh as a Cheorkee Purple or a Paul Robeson, but they will be fantastic in February.  Whichever type of large tomato you select, you will want to peel each before canning.  We encourage you to can a mixed selection of cherries as well.  The colors and flavors are great fun to look at for the next few months and even more fun to eat.  Most of these choices should be made during the planning stage, and the always critical “talking to the farmer” stage.  Listen to what the folks at the market have to say and you’ll be on your way to canned happiness.
 
Time to eat!
 
We suspect you won’t need much help here, but we do suggest that you see the eating as a critical part of the process and one that should be shared with old and new friends.  You might use the opening of a can as an excuse to call some of the people who helped grow and can the fruit.  You might also take a can to a group of new friends – nothing says hello like summer in February.  Finally, we end with the suggestion that you should also be ready to simply open a can on a Tuesday night with nothing special going on.  Even if you pour it over some pasta while reading the newspaper, the fruit of your labors will be a wonderful reminder of the process, the flavors, and the people worth celebrating in your life.
Enjoy,
Damien and Mo

Mo Ferris has been canning on her days off from the restaurant she manages in Chicago and is a graduate of Johnson and Wales.  Damien Casten is the guy whose inability to stop ordering heirloom seeds led to the birth of Chicago TomatoFest.


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On the Menu This Monday, Peppers That Taste More Serbian?

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Posted: August 24, 2015 at 1:48 pm

Elusive Balkan Flavors

Serbian pepper

No Serbian peppers

Not Serbian peppers

For years, I’ve a thing for Serbian food or at least what I perceive of as Serbian food, that would mostly be Serbian food by way of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and as I’m sure I’ve written about before, the motivating taste, my Serbian madeline, so to speak, were some roasted and marinated peppers about ten years ago at Old Town Serbian in Milwaukee. I’ve had peppers about as good at various other Serbian restaurants, but never have I made any at home that have come close. And I make very good roasted peppers.

They just never taste Serbian enough. I did another batch recently. Was so busy cooking and doing other stuff on Saturday that I never got around to taking pictures of what I made. Trust me, the peppers tasted very good, but when I asked my older daughter for a taste test, she said, “Not Serbian.” Why.  ”Not spicy enough…” she thought some more, “not enough, you know…” What.  I was doing the best I could.

Let’s draw back a few days. I had a delicious Bulgarian lunch with a Romanian and Serb. The conversation, well it’s me, I moved the conversation invariably to roasted peppers, which got the Romanian a bit perturbed. See in their country, they take as much pride in roasting peppers as the Serbs. With both claiming bona fides, I asked then, what was I doing wrong. First, the Serb said I was not using the right peppers. She clicked on her iPhone to show me what she meant. They were longer, thinner red peppers, sold at Caputo’s at least, as “ancient”. They were not, she said, either wax or banana. So, right off the bat, I was behind. Then the Romanian added, you have to use the juice. Yes, I never use the juice. After our long lunch of Bulgarian specialities–that would be with much yogurt and much feta or another way to describe Bulgarian food: Turkish food with more pickles–we needed to go our separate ways. Use the juice was the last words I remember as I headed back to the Bungalow.

I took all these wrong peppers to flame on Saturday. I burnt. I sealed in plastic. I scraped. How do you save the juice? Does anyone know how to save the juice when you roast peppers, and by juice I mean the liquid inside the peppers after roasting. I’m flummoxed how to discard the hard seeds yet save the succulent (and necessary) juice. The best I managed was what accumulated in the bowl of the cooling peppers, that is after I charred the peppers, I put them in a wide bowl to sweat, making peeling easier. With only so much juice, I thought I could make it up in garlic.

Look at the “real” Serbian pepper, from a meal at Dunav, a Serbian restaurant in Brookfield.  You see lots of garlic.  When Hannah said my peppers did not taste Serbian enough, she pointed to the lack of vampire reducing tendencies of what I did.  I added a lot of garlic.  I guess for the taste of Serbia, you need another pepper, more juice, and twenty percent more garlic after you think you’ve used too much garlic–it’s like the axiom of packing, after you think you’ve got the bare minimum, take half; here it’s after you added the maximum, add more.  Maybe on another Monday, they will taste more Serbian.

Perhaps for next Monday, a Turk says I can roast eggplants on my stove’s flame the same way I do peppers.  True?


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We’re up to 148 top breweries in Chicagoland!

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Posted: August 24, 2015 at 10:48 am

We owe a huge apology to our friends in Northwest Indiana. Although we originally included a few Northwest Indiana sites in our list of Chicago’s Top Breweries, we overlooked a lot more. So, we’ve corrected that. (Thanks, guys at Burn ‘Em Brewery, for pointing out our oversight. And, no, that’s not a sarcastic statement.) Eleven more Indiana breweries have been added to our list: 95ate5, Back Road, Burn ‘Em, Crown, Figure 8, Four Fathers,  Ironwood, Route 2, Shoreline, St. John Malt Bros., and Twisted K-8 Brewing. And, we’ve added Cahoots Brewing in Forest Park, IL.

So, we’ve now arbitrarily defined “Chicagoland” as within approximately 100 miles of my house. (Sorry, our apologies go out to South Bend, Elkhart, Culver, Mishawaka, Plymouth, Granger and Lafayette, Indiana — all of which have breweries worth checking out if you’re up for a road trip — but you’re a little too far for us to consider you as a part of “Chicagoland”.)

Also, the update reflects the decision of Chicago Brewing and 18th Street Brewing to start offering their suds in cans.

Check out the newly-revised list here.


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The Harvest is in Season and Where You Can Find it – Sponsored by Vera

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Posted: August 21, 2015 at 8:01 am

Eat Local Now!

tomatoes

Photo Jeannie Boutelle

 

It continues to be the most wonderful time of the year with the full bounty of locally grown tomatoes and all the other wonderful things summer has to offer. And did you find a really tasty, odd shaped tomato last weeK? The great thing about shopping local, hitting the markets, taking in the harvest, is that each week something new sprouts. New colors, new shapes. Enjoy..

Vera-LOGO-Fpattern (1) (1)

 

We told you that Chef Mendez at our sponsor,Vera, knows that you can do no worse than rubbing some of these local tomatoes across country bread, a/k/a tomato bread a/k/a pa amb tomàquet, but he’s also found other ways to use his tomatoes right now including  in a spicy “brava” sauce for potatoes and as a garnish for ceviche.  He’s also putting seasonal bounty to use in the roasted vegetable dish escalivada.  It’s a great dish to try at Vera and a great dish to try making at home once you’ve shopped the markets.

 

 

What’s In Season Now

Like we told you the other day, what’s in season now is the benefit for our friends at Purple Asparagus.  Do join the festivities this Sunday, August 23.  For additional farm dinners and other good things to do, don’t forget to keep an eye on Jeannie’s Local Calendar.

It aint all tomatoes right now.  In fact we hear that local grapes may be showing up this week.

From the Ground

  • Eggplant
  • Bell peppers – still mostly green!
  • Other shaped sweeter peppers – carmes, melrose, shishito, banana
  • Hot peppers – jalapenos, serranos, cayenne, etc.
  • Sweet corn
  • Truly *new* potatoes (how do you know they’re new?)
  • Tomatoes
  • Summer squashes
  • Shelling beans
  • Fresh “peas” a/k/a black eye peas, crowder peas, etc.
  • Herbs, especially basil

From the Trees and Bushes

  • Blackberries
  • Apricots
  • Peaches
  • Melons – and nearly all those orange ones around here are muskmelons, not canteloupe!
  • Grapes
  • Plums
  • Pears
  • Apples

Year round

  • Meats, poultry, lake fish
  • Eggs
  • Milk, cheese and other dairy
  • Mushrooms
  • Grains and breads
  • Preserved and jarred products

Where to Find Local Food

Almost all markets are running now.  We’ve highlighted some of our favorites.  If you want to roam, go back to this post for some interesting markets within a short drive.  What about the Sugar Beet Coop?  They got lots of local food as do these other stores.

Chicago

There’s a good chance the Condiment Queen will have the justly famous Tomato Mountain sun golds this Sunday at Independence Park – 9 AM – 1 PM – Springfield and Irving Park

It may not be the biggest market in the Chicago area, but it is the only market with a free breakfast of Eli’s Cheesecake Cafe (and the only market where you can gorge on cheesecake samples).  We maintain a special place in our heart for this market, Thursdays – 7 AM – 1 PM - 6701 West Forest Preserve Drive

Good salumi at a farmer’s market is just one of the reasons we love the Logan Square Farmer’s Market.  Sundays 10 AM – 3 PM (yes!) – Logan Boulevard, just east of Milwaukee

What did you forget?  Well, there’s a Monday market by Loyola in the afternoon – 3 PM – 7 PM - This market accepts the LINK card. - 1200 W. Loyola Ave

Looking for the Condiment Queen and her sun golds and you cannot make it to Oak Park because you live in the Big City.  Well, Tomato Mountain and some of the other Oak Park Farmer’s Market faves like Geneva Lakes produce and Hardin Farms Michigan fruit are at the Andersonville Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays from 3 PM to 8 PM.  This market accepts the LINK card – 1500 Berwyn

Oak Park

Have we mentioned donuts.  Family ties?  Well, what about one of the few area markets with locally tapped maple syrup?  Jim the Vinegar Guy?  Sadly, no Hazzard Free grains this year.  Saturdays from 8 AM to 1 PM - 460 Lake

Evanston

There are often times, when we think about these things, quantify these things, we say this is the best there is in the Chicago area.  There’s the heirlooms, the regular, meats, cheeses, breads, the unique and the mundane, about all you could want in one market.  Saturdays from 730 AM to 1 PM - University Street & Oak Avenue

Morton Grove

Very close Beet ties to this one, so get there on Saturday and shop, shop, shop.  Saturdays 8 AM to Noon - 6210 Dempster

Geneva

Do you think we’re not gonna include something way far away?  The Geneva Green Market has been focusing on organic and sustainable farmers for a while and is worth the visit if you are anywhere close (or not as it’s a great drive or a great train ride).  Thursdays 9 AM to 1 PM - 327 Hamilton Street

Northbrook

In memory of Mom.  She was a volunteer hereWednesdays from 7 AM to 1 Pm –  Cherry Lane and Meadow Road

Schaumburg

Did you want to get a head start on the weekend by hitting a Friday market?  How about this one which runs from 930 AM to 1130 AM - 190 S. Roselle Road

 Glenview

Why not a farmer’s market by a farm?  Glenview lets you do that on Saturdays from 9 AM – 12 PM - This market accepts the LINK card. - 1510 Wagner Road

 

What's In Season and Where to Find It - Sponsored by Vera 1023 W. Lake, Chicago

What’s In Season and Where to Find It – Sponsored by Vera 1023 W. Lake, Chicago


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The Little Over a Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links

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Posted: August 19, 2015 at 4:21 pm

They Use the Real Food Calculator in Maine and Other Things to Check Out

 

Eat stinky local cheese from former Beet Reporter Eric May.

Some very refreshing words to the various cheap shots our movement endures (the price of appearing too holy for sure).

Will you see any of these stories in the Local Beet (well maybe Chefs have tattoos!!)

Speaking of chefs with tattoos, Beet sponsor and incredible locavore, Iliana Regan has this to say about kitchen culture, “I create pressure by emphasizing to the staff that only a fool would dine at Elizabeth and only give me the credit.”  The whole thing is a reat read.

Men grill their beets.

Critical need for friend of Beet Janet Fuller and us.

Eat local from the Sugar Beet and other coops.

Eat local Colorado.

Eat local Maine (University thereof, and if you do crosswords, you know wherein thereof)

Eat the local “Chestnut Provisions” tasting.

Myth or reality.

Low carb or low fat.

Not good news.

 

 


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What’s In Season Now – Corks & Crayons – Sunday August 23

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Posted: August 19, 2015 at 9:21 am

Support Purple Asparagus

 

 

 

Melissa Graham was one of the first Beet Reporters. We knew her from way back in the Chowhound days when she was MAG and hosting bread tasting parties. In those far away days, Melissa worked as an accomplished attorney. She soon gave up that career for her passion of cooking. She formed a catering firm, but that enterprise only showed her that her passion was not just in cooking but in spreading the word of a sustainable lifestyle. The logical progression was to leave catering and form an organization, Purple Asparagus, where she could educate children, families, and the community about eating that’s good for the body and the planet.  Through thei flagship program, Delicious Nutritious Adventures, they teach food literacy to children in Chicago Public Schools.  Purple Asparagus emphasizes real foods, especially of fruits and veggies.

Now on their 11th year, Corks & Crayons is Purple Asparagus’s annual fundraiser. Corks & Crayons will be held this year on August 23 from 3 PM to 6 PM at the Greenhouse Loft (located in the Green Exchange), 2545 W. Diversey Avenue, 2nd floor Chicago.

As with each year, Corks & Crayons provides food, drink and entertainment for the whole family. Mom and Dad get  craft cocktails, local beer, wines from our friend Damien Casten/Candid Wines, and tastings from top restaurants like Big Jones, Trencherman, and White Oak Gourmet. For the kids, there will be a photo booth, singing and dancing with Miss Jamie, balloon twisting with Miss Jamie’s Farmhand Scott, and an art experience. For additional information and tickets, go here.


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Chicago Food Trucks: Who’s Locally sourcing?

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Posted: August 18, 2015 at 10:06 pm

Fish tacos from Real Food Street Bistro in Bend, Ore.

Fish tacos from Real Food Street Bistro in Bend, Ore.

Locally-sourced food is utilized by some Chicago-area restaurants – but how (if at all) is it being used in our city’s popular food truck scene?

(more…)


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Menu Monday has Pepper Possiblitities

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Posted: August 17, 2015 at 3:20 pm

Can and Can’t This Time of Year

 

pepper possibilities

On this Menu Monday, I am very much thinking about how I will cook some peppers this week. I am also, though, thinking about the peppers I will not be cooking this week. Remember all those cool days of June and July. Remember when the August heat did hit and it was like, where’s summer been. The good news, our electric bills are down. The bad news, all those cool, rainy days delayed greatly, the arrival of ripe peppers. Peppers come to the market in two colors: green and everything else. Leaving aside certain “chocolate” peppers and pale “gypsy” peppers, the color in peppers indicates ripening and sweetness; for many like my beloved Cook Book addict, peppers are at their most enjoyable when colored not green. In fact, in this Local Family at least, we are forbidden from making too many dishes without not green peppers. It means the pepperonata, the peppers grilled or baked as parts of assortments, these are off the menu this Monday. Our stock barely includes enough, not green, peppers to makes these dishes worth the effort. Instead, the not green peppers are reserved for salads and similar use.

You cannot pretty much tell from that picture above, but I have three kinds of peppers in the Bungalow. First is a few of the aforementioned ripe ones, for salad. Then, there are a bunch of jalapenos I got the other day and some serranos I had not finished from the week before. They will go anywhere and everywhere. For instance, I made a tuna-bean salad this am, and I included about a half a jalapeno in it. Finally, the bulk of the long peppers are various “banana” or “wax” or “hungarian”–to be non-technical. They will be roasted on an open flame, peeled taking up way more time than I expect, and marinated with olive oil, a dash of red wine vinegar and tons of garlic.

It’ll look like that but with more color.

I talked about prepping the CSA box the other day. Now that it’s Menu Monday, let’s discuss what to do with what’s been prepped.

Eat it.

It’s a great box this week from Tomato Mountain*, but not a box that lends itself well to menu musings. There’s salad, salad, and salad on the menu, plus probably some salsa verde if I get around to it. The onions, shallots and garlic go for menus any week not just this week. Besides supplementing this stuff with peppers, I picked up a few more eggplants, some green beans and some zukes. I’m thinking eggplant salad with tahini, a/k/a baba ganoush; maybe some eggplant and zukes grilled, and probably a Greek style baked veg, a/k/a briami. It is also the time of year to make a good salade Nicoise, and I plan on boiling some green beans just for that.

What’s on your menu this week?

*Cook Book Addict works for Tomato Mountain


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Prepping the CSA Box Friday, August 14th, 2015
Many Local Tomatoes in Season and Where to Find Them – Sponsored by Vera Chicago Thursday, August 13th, 2015
It’s Grand! – Official Opening of Sugar Beet Coop Thursday, August 13th, 2015
RECYCLED: Eat Local Heirloom Tomatoes Wednesday, August 12th, 2015
Eat Local Cheese and Call It Turkish Breakfast Tuesday, August 11th, 2015
All is Not Gorgeous on Menu Monday Monday, August 10th, 2015
From Mercado to Market Saturday, August 8th, 2015
The Local Calendar 8/7/15 Runoff The Movie, Veggie Fest 8/15-16, Purple Asparagus 8/23, Food & Wine Festival 8/28-29 Friday, August 7th, 2015
We Harvest Jeannie and More in this Week’s Summer Bounty of Links Friday, August 7th, 2015
The 2015 Garden Wednesday, August 5th, 2015
Accelerate the Good Food Movement – Are You a Good Food Business Who Wants to Launch or Expand Wednesday, August 5th, 2015
We’re Number 2 – Eat Local Cheese Tuesday, August 4th, 2015
Smilin’ with the Bros at Smylie Bros. Tuesday, August 4th, 2015
The Best Place to Start Monday, August 3rd, 2015
Celebrate 16th Annual National Farmers Market Week! Monday, August 3rd, 2015
Neat Things in Boston; David Hammond, Visionary; Good Work Stewarts, and More – Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links Friday, July 31st, 2015
HB2486 Cottage Food Expansion Bill – Signed into Law by Governor Rauner Friday, July 31st, 2015
Rain of Ruin Downstate Thursday, July 30th, 2015
Sugar Beet’s In Season, What Else and Where to Find It – Sponsored by Vera Thursday, July 30th, 2015
The Best Way to Eat Your Vegetables Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
NCR-SARE Announces 2016 Farmer Rancher Grant Call for Proposals Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Eat Local Cheesecake – July 30, August 1 & 2 Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Menu Monday Writes Itself Monday, July 27th, 2015
What Do You Know in this Week’s Harvest of Eat Local Links Friday, July 24th, 2015
What’s In Season and You Can Find It at the Regulars or Not – Sponsored by Vera Thursday, July 23rd, 2015
On Menu Monday It’s Apple Season Monday, July 20th, 2015
But Now We Have a Bigger Tent – Additional Tickets Available for Angelic Organics Peak Harvest Farm – July 25 Monday, July 20th, 2015
The Great Tomato You Won’t Have and Other Eat Local Links Friday, July 17th, 2015
What’s In Season Now, Other Markets – Sponsored by Vera Chicago Thursday, July 16th, 2015
How to Tell If You Have a New Potato – RECYCLED Thursday, July 16th, 2015
Proudly Proud to Announce Another Sponsor – Chicago Market – Join Their Proud Independent Owners Wednesday, July 15th, 2015
A Lot of Fruit and Beet Greens Cooked Monday, July 13th, 2015
It Can Grow in Chicago and It Can Use Your Support Friday, July 10th, 2015
The Insidious Japanese Beetle Thursday, July 9th, 2015
Not all the Local News Comes from Here in This Week’s Harvest of Eat Local Links Thursday, July 9th, 2015
The Prophecies of the Local Beet – Using Recycled Freezer Materials Thursday, July 9th, 2015
The Local Calendar 7/9/15 LOCAL FOODS Open For Business, GCM BBQ 7/16, AUA Summer Soiree 7/23, Sugar Beet Opens 7/31 Thursday, July 9th, 2015
Everything I Knew About Storing Herbs Was Wrong!! Tuesday, July 7th, 2015
Did Not Dress the Beets and Other Things Done in the Kitchen Last Week Monday, July 6th, 2015
What’s In Season and You Can Find it on the 4th of July – Sponsored by Vera Chicago Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
It’s Not all Good News in Our Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
What’s In Season Now – Greek Salad (Kinda Recycled) Tuesday, June 30th, 2015
Don’t Dress the Beets and Other Notes for the Week Monday, June 29th, 2015
What’s In Season Now, Summer – Sponsored by Vera Chicago Thursday, June 25th, 2015
This Book Cooks by Kerry Dunnington Nostalgic, Farm Sourced, Practical Recipes Keeping the Earth In Mind Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
The Weekly (ish) Harvest of Eat Local Links Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
Shared Interests Monday, June 22nd, 2015
The Local Calendar 6/11/15 Its Berry Season, GCM Soho House, Pizza at SBK 6/14, Spence Farm 6/19, West Loop Craft Beer Fest Thursday, June 11th, 2015
Is Your Market in Season Now (But With Strawberries) – Sponsored by Vera Chicago Friday, June 5th, 2015
We Find Ourselves Elsewhere in This Week’s Harvest of Eat Local Links Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015
The Local Family Pantry Makes Things Easy Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015
Is Your Market in Season This Week and What You May Find – Sponsored by Vera Chicago Thursday, May 28th, 2015
Illinois General Assembly Votes to Expand Cottage Food Law Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
Holiday Weekend Edition of the Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links Friday, May 22nd, 2015
Home Town Markets in Season – Sponsored by Vera Chicago Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
It’s a Matter of Timing Tuesday, May 19th, 2015
Curious About Veganism? The Good Karma Diet by Victoria Moran is for You! Tuesday, May 19th, 2015
The Local Calendar 5/14/15 Daley Plaza Market Opens Today, 61st Street Saturday, Craft Beer Week, Seedling Sales at Kilbourn Park Greenhouse, PGP Learning Center Edgewater and at the Howard Street Farm in Skokie Thursday, May 14th, 2015
Some of This Week’s Harvest of Eat Local Links Have Insider Appeal Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
What Do You Do With Radishes Friday, May 8th, 2015
More Markets in Season Now – Sponsored by Vera Chicago Thursday, May 7th, 2015
This Week’s Crop of Eat Local Links is Due for Harvest Wednesday, May 6th, 2015
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, All For You in One Turkish Breakfast for Lunch Thursday, April 30th, 2015
We Give You More What’s In Season and More Where to Find It – Sponsored by Vera Chicago Thursday, April 30th, 2015
Chicago Chicken Enthusiasts These Books Are For You Thursday, April 30th, 2015
Revised and Updated! – Local Beet Guide to Getting the Most Out of Your Farmer’s Market Trip Thursday, April 30th, 2015
Grow Rhubarb! Thursday, April 30th, 2015
Heritage Breed Pigs and Farmers Ruled at Cochon 555 Sunday Tuesday, April 28th, 2015
We Get Some Pretty Cool Sponsors – Welcome Aboard Elizabeth Restaurant Monday, April 27th, 2015
We Look to Our Friends for This Week’s Harvest of Eat Local Links Friday, April 24th, 2015
UPDATED! What’s In Season Is Newer, Where to Find It May Not Be in Chicago – Sponsored by Vera Chicago Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015
With Earth Day A-Comin’, Why Not Commit to Eating Local Monday, April 20th, 2015
Less Than a Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links Friday, April 17th, 2015
It’s Only in Season if Its Local Thursday, April 16th, 2015
Old and New – What’s In Season Now and Where to Find It – Sponsored by Vera Chicago Wednesday, April 15th, 2015
Welcome Back – A Long Standing Relationship with Our Sponsor Paul Virant and His Restaurants Monday, April 13th, 2015
The Not Quite Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links Monday, April 13th, 2015
The Local Calendar 4/10/15 AUA Spring Gathering, 100Watts!, Pastoral Producer Festival, Cochon 555, GCM Outdoor 5/2, Morel Mania Friday, April 10th, 2015
Feeling Fruity Friday, April 10th, 2015
Carosello Barese – The Italian Cucumber/Melon Story Thursday, April 9th, 2015
UPDATED! – We Won’t Be Having This Conversation Next Spring – Local Foods Coming Soon Thursday, April 9th, 2015
You Can Find What’s In Season Now Wednesday, April 8th, 2015
“A loss for the whole community” Wednesday, April 8th, 2015
This is Not Your Parent’s Spring Season Tuesday, April 7th, 2015
Irv and Shelly Have What’s In Season Now Monday, April 6th, 2015