Archive | Spring 2013

Dandelion Greens in Cream with Bacon



Dandelion Greens in Cream with Bacon


Photo by D. Lucas Landis


Serves 4 to 6 as a side. This dish pairs well with simple roast chicken and some crusty bread.


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 onion, halved and thinly sliced

¾ teaspoon salt

1 bunch dandelion greens (about 7 cups) washed and chopped*

1½ cups heavy cream

4 slices bacon, cooked and sliced into small pieces

⅛ teaspoon curry powder

Lemon juice


In a heavy pan with a lid, melt butter. Add onions and salt; cover. Cook the onions on low heat for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring regularly. The onions should not be overly brown and will become soft and sweet.

Prepare an ice bath for the dandelion greens. Fill a medium-sized bowl with water and ice. In a saucepan, boil water and add the dandelion greens. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until dark green. Take the greens out of the water and place them in the ice water. Drain the greens with a colander, squeeze out the excess water and set them aside.

Remove the onions from the pan. Add the heavy cream and reduce by a third over medium heat. … Read More

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Mint and Cilantro Chutney

in season


Mint and Cilantro Chutney


Photo by D. Lucas Landis


This fresh chutney works well with a hearty fish like swordfish or cobia. You can also toss it with grilled shrimp or serve it over the Couscous and Mint salad. Look for the first local tomatoes at your farmers market in mid to late May.

1 cup packed roughly chopped fresh cilantro

½ cup packed roughly chopped fresh mint

¼ cup chopped red onion

¼ cup diced tomato (no skins)

1 tablespoon coconut milk

½ tablespoon lemon juice

1 small hot chili

1 medium clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

½ teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon curry powder

⅛ cup water

Kosher salt, to taste


Place all ingredients except the salt into a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped. Add additional water as needed (1 tablespoon at a time, to form a thick but pourable sauce). Salt to taste. Use the sauce immediately or transfer to an airtight container and store in refrigerator for up to a week.

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Couscous and Mint Salad

in season


Couscous and Mint Salad


Photo by D. Lucas Landis

Serves 4 to 6 as a side.

¾ cup couscous

1 cup chicken stock

6 to 7 radishes, thinly sliced

8 spears asparagus, blanched & sliced

¼ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup fresh mint, roughly chopped

½ teaspoon grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon good olive oil

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Place the couscous in a large bowl. Add hot chicken stock, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Add the radishes, asparagus, cranberries, mint, lemon zest and juice, olive oil. Toss to combine.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Roasted Rhubarb Pavlova

in season


Roasted Rhubarb Pavlova


Photo by D. Lucas Landis


This recipe makes a delicious and showy dessert that is a fun addition to any spring meal. This decadent dessert can come together much more easily than you might imagine. The roasted rhubarb and whipped cream can be made a day ahead and making the meringue is as easy as whipping egg whites with sugar. See the hints below for Pavlova success.

Roasted Rhubarb

5 cups rhubarb, chopped

½ cup white sugar

5 cardamom pods

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon lemon zest

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

¼ cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400°. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place all ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl and mix with a spoon. Spoon the rhubarb mixture onto the baking sheet. Put in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the rhubarb is tender. Stir several times during baking.

Remove from the oven and cool. Remove the cardamom pods before serving.

Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled

⅓ cup powdered sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

Place a small mixing bowl in the freezer until chilled. Place the cream, sugar and … Read More

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Fresh Rhubarb Salsa

in season

Fresh Rhubarb Salsa

Recipe courtesy of Loren Shaum

Photo by D. Lucas Landis


Use only tender, thin stalks of rhubarb for this salsa. It pairs well with grilled chicken or pork.


1 cup diced rhubarb stems

¾ cup diced English or Lemon Globe cucumbers

½ cup diced yellow bell pepper

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon honey

½ teaspoon salt

Fresh ground pepper

1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

Juice from half a lime


Place the rhubarb, cucumber, bell pepper and cilantro in a medium-sized bowl. Mix thoroughly with a spoon. In a separate bowl, whisk the honey, salt, pepper, oil and lime juice. Add this to the vegetable mixture. Stir to coat. Adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper and honey, if desired.


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Prairie Winds Nature Farm

from the good earth


Prairie Winds Nature Farm

Sustainability strategy pays off in Lakeville




Charlotte Wolfe owns and operates Prairie Winds Nature Farm, a working educational and demonstration farm in Lakeville, Indiana. She and her husband purchased their 85 acres in 1992 from a corn and soybean farmer who claimed that the wet fields “were giving him trouble.” What one farmer considered a burden, another saw as a diamond in the rough.

“We ended up with a prairie and restored a wetland with a small portion of woods, so there are different biomes,” she said. (Biomes are geographic areas defined by the plants and animals that live there.) For Wolfe, the farm was an opportunity to cultivate a place where the community could connect with the land, be fed and benefit from a healthier environment.

                                                                                                    Resilience of Sustainable Landscapes

At Prairie Winds, vegetables, fruit and livestock are raised on 20 acres. Half of those acres are native prairie for livestock grazing and the other half have been intensively grazed to replenish organic matter and rebuild healthy soils. The remaining 65 acres are dedicated to restoring wetland, prairie and woodland habitats.

This ecological … Read More

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Good Food from Good Ingredients

farm to table

 Chef Brad Hindsley presents his half chicken with parsnip purée, dark chicken reduction and rosemary butter at Spire Farm-to-Fork Cuisine in LaPorte, IN (Photo by Kevin Romeo, Rhino Media Productions).


Local chefs make the most of local farms’ fare


Karen Kennedy and chef Kelly Graff (Photo by David Johnson)

A strong regard for local food, high standards and the ability to skillfully adjust menus in accordance with what nature and farmers provide. These are the qualities that define the farm-to-table dining movement—and make local food pioneer Kelly Graff, executive chef of Kelly Jae’s Café in Goshen, Indiana, so respected and admired by her customers, staff and the farmers who supply her restaurant with their produce.

The Alice Waters of Indiana

Farm-to-table dining was first popularized in the 1970s by Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. In Michiana, Kelly Graff has been working with local farmers to bring the freshest and the best to her customers since 1999, first at Citrus in the Checkerberry Inn (now closed) and since 2008 at Kelly Jae’s Café. Karen Kennedy, her partner and collaborator, says that from the beginning, Graff “wanted to … Read More

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Rabbit Moon On The Rise



Local bakers bring a taste of Paris to Michiana



Rabbit Moon Bakery co-owner Jackie von der Mehden and children with their macarons at the Purple Porch Co-op, South Bend, IN

With their vibrant colors and small round shape, macarons—French almond-meringue cookies sandwiched around a layer of buttercream or ganache filling—taste good just looking at them. And when you actually do eat them, it’s as if you’re finally fulfilling the cruelly denied promise made by the colors of the eggs in your Easter basket when you were a kid.

It’s not hard to find macarons in the cafés, bakeries and restaurants around Paris. In River Park, a neighborhood in South Bend, IN, they’re trickier to find. But not as tricky as it used to be, thanks to Chris and Jackie von der Mehden.

Chris discovered macarons on a trip to Paris. He ate them everywhere. But when he came back to the United States, he couldn’t find them.

“That’s because they’re a pain to make,” Jackie says, with a laugh. “They’re a really difficult cookie.”

Difficult, maybe, but also delicious. So delicious that Chris taught himself to make … Read More

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