Hello, chefs. It's a busy time now with the growing season upon us. I spent the morning planting six fetal apple trees with a little help from a friend. Our longtime former Chicago neighbor Bruce is row crop/small grain farming in northwestern WI. He's certified USDA Organic and is building soil and protecting water. You can follow his progress here.
Bruce checks in today with a recipe from the farm: I was mowing the grass last evening and thought “I should try eating some of this before I cut it.” Glad I did. Another experiment, inspired by Covid Cafe and your hosta post.
I’d never eaten dandelion flowers before. These were tasty, basically fried in oil. The only recipe I found online was for dandelion fritters. This was easier.
1 onion, sliced
Dandelion heads/flowers, about 20
Dandelion greens, relatively young/small, 4 to 6 cups
Toasted walnuts pieces, 1/2 cup
1 can quartered artichokes
1 lb bag frozen peas
1 lb pasta
white wine vinegar
A two-pan recipe.
Pan 1 cook the pasta.
Pan 2 caramelize the onion w/salt in olive oil. Take out and set aside.
Do the same for the flower heads, being sure to salt them. I thought of them like croutons, frying until crispy. Take out and set aside.
Add greens, peas, artichokes, and a bit of water to pan. Scrape up the browned bits in the bottom of the pan and cook five minutes, until peas are heated.
Add chili, vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste.
I made this last night and I feel just fine this morning. As I’d never eaten the flowers before I wondered how my stomach would do.
(I'm guessing that's because there's no Roundup on those dandelions to bother your belly, Bruce. Roundup wrecks your microbiome. Kudos to you for sticking with the lengthy process to become organic.)
Nancy's Chicago Japanese peony
The following selection of Japanese poems, or haiku all date from the Edo period (1603-1868). During this period, painters and poets were held in high regard and enjoyed the patronage of the wealthy elite. Tree peonies had an important role in classical Japanese art and aesthetics. As in China, when depicted in art, they often represented wealth and status. They could also be cast in a more sensual way, standing in paintings and poetry for female beauty and allure. However, peonies are not always used as metaphors, in some of these poems the flower itself is the muse.
About to bloom,
And exhale a rainbow,
And exhale a rainbow,
Rudy and Karin want you to know
spring brings quail babies in AZ