Archive | Summer 2014


Pickled Swiss Chard Stems

Photo by D. Lucas Landis

Adapted from Bon Appétit

These tasty pickles are quick to make and a beautiful addition to your table. Our taste testers could not get enough of them!

Yield: 3 pints

3 cups Swiss chard stems (1–2 bunches), chopped

3 large shallots, thinly sliced

2-inch piece of ginger, cut into 9 slices

3 cloves garlic, sliced

1½ teaspoons coriander seeds

3 tablespoons Hobo Jim’s “Hair of the Dawg” hot sauce (available at many local food co-ops and farmers markets)

2½ cups distilled white vinegar

2 cups sugar

Divide the Swiss chard, shallot, ginger, garlic, coriander and hot sauce among 3 pint-size jars. In a separate bowl whisk the vinegar and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved, 1–2 minutes. Divide the vinegar mixture among the 3 jars, then use a chopstick or spoon to mix the contents. Put a lid on each jar and place them in the refrigerator for 2–5 days.

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Edible Flowers

By Tara Swartzendruber-Landis
Photography by D. Lucas Landis

Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers
feed also the soul.

—from the Koran

From peppery nasturtiums to delicate roses, edible flowers bring whimsy, color and great flavor to the table.

This unexpected panna cotta is topped with a clove and citrus glaze, then decorated with brightly colored bergamot and marigold blossoms.

We love edible flowers for the joy and whimsy—and fantastic flavors—they bring to our plates. If you don’t believe us, just try the Orange Panna Cotta with Marigold and Bergamot.

For more floral inspiration, try calendula in compound butters or chamomile in homemade ice cream; use nasturtiums or hibiscus to brighten cocktails; layer fragrance in jams or syrups with roses and violets; or keep it simple and just toss backyard blooms with greens for a gorgeous summer salad.

Selection: Flowers, like fruit, should be selected at their peak. Avoid flowers sprayed with chemicals or grown along the roadside. Some flowers are poisonous—only eat varieties that you know are safe. If you have asthma or allergies, eating flowers may trigger symptoms. We recommend purchasing edible flowers from a local vendor like Kate Lind of Sustainable Greens at the Goshen Farmers Market.… Read More

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panna cotta

Orange Panna Cotta with Marigold and Bergamot

Yield: 4 large ramekins

For panna cotta:
½ cup orange juice
2¼ teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1½ cups cream
1 cup whole milk
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup powdered sugar
Pinch salt
Coconut oil for coating ramekins

1 cup orange juice
½ cup sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 whole cloves
Handful of miniature marigold flowers and bergamot flower heads

Whisk the orange juice into the gelatin, set aside. In a medium pan over low heat put the cream, milk, sour cream, vanilla, powdered sugar and salt. Heat through but don’t allow to boil. Whisk in the gelatin/orange mixture. Heat through. Pour this mixture into the ramekins greased with the coconut oil. Chill for at least 3–4 hours.

To make the glaze, over medium heat place the orange juice, sugar, lemon juice, orange zest and cloves. Reduce this mixture to ⅓ cup. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

To serve, take the marigold flower petals and remove the white end that attaches to the flower (this tends to be bitter). Remove the petals of the bergamot flower. Pour a bit of the glaze over each ramekin. Decorate each one with both … Read More

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Radish Pesto

Radish Leaf Pesto

Photo by D. Lucas Landis
Adapted from

Yield: about 2 cups

2 ounces radish greens, washed and dried
4 ounces almonds, toasted and chopped
2 cloves garlic
8 ounces olive oil
4 ounces feta cheese
3 ounces grated Parmesan
Salt to taste

Finely chop the greens. Set them aside. Place the almonds and garlic in a food processor and blend until the almonds are finely chopped. Add the greens and then slowly add the olive oil. Add the cheeses at the end and blend again. Salt to taste. Serve over pasta or on bread.

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All Around the Mulberry Bush

Rediscovering a Forgotten Fruit

By Joshua Murray
Photography by David Johnson

For writer Joshua Murray, the sweet-tart flavor of mulberries brings back childhood memories. Today, his twin daughters, Peninah and Hannah Murray (age 9 in this photo but now 10), forage with him for mulberries in South Bend, Indiana.

A love story unfolds every summer as the trees and bushes of the genus Morus begin to bloom.

Innocuous green blossoms drop from the branches, and clusters of brightly colored mulberries begin to ripen. These multicolored gems will become like pendulous magnets, drawing the attention of innumerable bird, animal and insect species with their delicate scent, tantalizing sweetness and striking colors. To most people, however, they will go unnoticed, if not despised—mulberries have long been considered “undesirable” by urban homeowners. A few will seek them out, lured by a lust for large, easy harvests of free wild fruit.

The Roman poet Ovid recounted the story of Pyramus and Thisbe, a pre- Shakespearean tale of forbidden young love, from whence supposedly sprang the brilliant color of the mulberry that we know today. Pyramus (“the loveliest”) and Thisbe (“the most sought after”) were lovers whose feuding families forbade them contact; only through a … Read More

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Beyond Dumpster Diving

Opportunities for Waste Reduction Abound

By Greg Imbur
Illustrations by Katie Eberts

My first look in a dumpster in Goshen, Indiana, was behind a large grocery. There was no need to climb in. Several dozen boxes of fresh blueberries, visible and easily accessible, sat on top of that day’s discards.

The idea of dumpster diving might bring to mind a mash of spoiled foods—oozing, malodorous, inedible. But my experience finding blueberries is more typical. The 2009 food waste documentary Dive!, for example, contains vivid accounts of dumpster contents, including prepared and packaged foods, many still within their expiration dates.

Clean or dirty, locked secure or wide open, dumpsters in a way symbolize our relationship with waste. But our food waste is not limited to dumpsters.

An even fuller picture of food waste in this country includes examples from the entire food supply chain: fresh fruits and vegetables lying unclaimed in orchards and fields after the harvest; cafeterias and restaurants pitching perfectly edible food to comply with health department laws; consumers pouring food down the drain because of a “best before” or “sell by” date that has passed.

About one-third of all foods produced worldwide each year is wasted—1.3 billion … Read More

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Rustic tart

Rustic Mulberry Almond Tart

Serves 8–10 

For the crust:
1¼ cups flour
½ cup sugar
⅔ cup unroasted ground almonds
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and chilled
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons lemon juice

For the filling:
2½ cups mulberries, rinsed but the stems do not need to be removed
⅔ cup sugar
1½ tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon orange juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon sliced almonds

To finish:
Powdered sugar

For the crust, whisk together the flour, sugar, almonds, cinnamon and salt in a medium-size bowl. Place the butter in the bowl and, using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour mixture until it looks crumbly. Add the egg yolk and the lemon juice and mix with a fork until it is incorporated. The dough will be very crumbly at this point. Place the dough on a floured countertop. Push through the dougha couple of times until you can form a rough ball. Flatten into a disk. Place the disk in plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate for 15–20 minutes.

In another medium bowl place the mulberries, sugar, flour, zest, orange and lemon juices. Mix gently with … Read More

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Cheese Board

Cheese Board with Edible Flowers

Try edible flowers on your next cheese board. Select a variety of hard and soft cheeses to accompany flowers from your garden or the farmers market. Or try these suggestions from Oh Mamma’s on the Avenue Gourmet Cheese Shop & Deli in South Bend:

Blue Stilton, Stichelton or cherry Wensleydale with lavender, English daisies and yarrow.

Humboldt Fog with basil flowers, lilacs and fresh blueberries.

J2K Capraio Frosty Echo soft ripened goat cheese (made by Oh Mamma’s Cheese Shop) with peach or eggplant blossoms and purple coneflower or rose petals.

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Talking Trash

Family Effort Pares Down Waste by 99%

By Maureen Wijnen
Photography by Ashley Swartzendruber

The average American generates three pounds of garbage per day. Writer Maureen Wijnen’s family challenged themselves to see just how low they could go—and the results were astonishing. 

About two years ago our family decided to do something to reduce how much we were polluting the Earth. My son Carsten, 13, suggested trying to see how far we could reduce the trash that we produce. It was a fascinating challenge.

We are a mathy family, and this was something we could really measure and track. Carsten, being the computer man, found the data: In the United States the average person generates three pounds of garbage per day. How far could we reduce that?

We dove into the project. Of course it really helps when your teenager is the driving force. Teens don’t let adults get away with anything.

Our first step was to move the trashcan so that we wouldn’t unconsciously toss trash in it. We also placed a pen and paper and we wrote down everything that went into the can.

Food scraps were a large portion of our trash. We learned that even living … Read More

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Spiced Cupcakes with Milkweed Blossoms

The flowers of a common “weed” make for gorgeous edible toppers on these ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon cupcakes.

Yield: 12 cupcakes

½ cup butter
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon molasses
1 egg, beaten
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon soda
1 cup yogurt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
½ teaspoon vanilla
Pinch salt
2 milkweed flower heads

Preheat oven to 350˚. Cream the butter, sugar, honey and molasses. Add the egg and beat well. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients together. Alternate mixing the flour mixture and the yogurt to the butter mixture until just combined. Place 2 heaping tablespoons of the batter into muffin tins. Bake for 25–28 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, in a mixing bowl cream the butter, sugar, milk, vanilla and salt together. Pick only the flowers off of the milkweed flower heads. After frosting the cupcake, arrange the flowers on top of each cupcake. Serve.

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