I love having friends over for dinner, and the corresponding time spent in the kitchen preparing the dinner (along with shopping at the farmers’ market for the ingredients, hitting a few specialty shops for the perfect cheese, cut of meat, and/or bottle [or three] of wine). Interestingly, more often than not, the salad is what … Continue Reading

Got up early this past weekend to hit the farmers’ market before the storms rolled in (an earthquake last week; this week, Hurricane Irene).  Am now stocked up (duck eggs, various salad greens, peppers, onions, tomatoes, shallots, to name a few), well at least for a few days, and have a couple of bottles of … Continue Reading

 This dish just screams SPRING. Well, almost spring. I really wanted to use fresh peas, but due to the typically cold and rainy spring in Chicago, peas have yet to make an appearance at the farmer’s market. However, one of the farmers assured me that peas are on the way. Instead of fresh peas, I … Continue Reading

Is there anything better in the summer than a vine-ripened tomato, particularly the really ugly, misshapen ones that are loaded with flavor and vibrant in color (unlike those pale, tasteless, store-bought tomatoes that are available year round). Did you know that there are over 7,500 varieties of tomatoes? I’ve had my share of Greek salads … Continue Reading

Picked up some puntarelle and another variety of chicory from the Green City farmers’ market yesterday (thanks Green Acres Farm).  Puntarelle is a long, spiky Italian chicory related to radicchio and endive.  It has a mild, bitter flavor and is great for salads.  If you can’t puntarelle or chicory, substitute with dandelion greens or any … Continue Reading