No. 1: Asian Pesto
This is a double-duty recipe; with the addition of the nuts, and a squeeze of lime, toss it with hot noodles, and serve with grilled shrimp, chicken, or pork (or solo). The basic pesto makes a great marinade for those proteins, and freezes exceptionally well. (Leave the fish sauce out, and it’s even vegan-friendly!)
4-5 cloves garlic
2 cups basil leaves
2 cups cilantro leaves (stems OK - great flavor!)
1/2 to 1 cup mint leaves (depending on strength, to taste)
1-2 chiles, either serrano or Thai
Combine above ingredients in food processor; chop finely. Add:
1-2 tbsp fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tsp turbinado (or palm) sugar
Pulse to combine. With machine running, add through feed tube:
1 tbsp sesame oil
3/4 - 1 cup peanut oil
Process until smooth. Use as is for a marinade for chicken, pork, or shrimp; as there is nothing acidic in this concoction, feel free to marinate chicken or pork overnight under refridgeration. If freezing, stop here, and portion in 1/3 to 1/2 cup increments in either small freezer bags or containers.
To complete for immediate use, add:
1/2 - 3/4 cup honey roasted peanuts
Sea or Kosher salt to taste (1/2 to 1 tsp)
A squeeze of fresh lime juice
Toss with hot rice or wheat noodles; add shredded green onions if desired. Very tasty at room temperature, too.
Roger Williams Dr., East of Green Bay Road
Adjacent to Jens Jensen Park
Highland Park (Ravinia), IL
Hours: 7:00 AM – 1:00 PM Wednesdays, June 16th through October 20th
This long-standing farmers market, second in seniority only to Evanston of North Shore markets, features a small but select group of vendors, with a concentration on artisan bakers and food purveyors in addition to primarily Illinois-based produce sellers. The market is easy to access, either by car or via Metra’s Union Pacific North Line, as Jens Jensen Park is at the Ravinia train stop; there is also abundant street parking available.
Here the vendors as of this week’s market, 6/30/2010:
- Dennis Acres, Barrington Hills
- KAP Farms, Fox River Grove (also herb plants, some fruit)
- Red Barn Farms, Woodstock (also herb plants)
- Klug Orchards, Berrien Center, MI (Berries, stone fruit, honey, nut brittle, bedding plants; organic certification pending. Fun Fact: Kevin Klug, the proprietor, is a cousin of Mick Klug of Mick Klug Farms, another prominent Michigan fruit farmer/seller)
- K&K Farms, MI (berries, stone fruit)
- Fraternite Notre Dame, St. Roger Abbey, Algonquin, IL (French pastries, tarts, breads; http://www.strogerabbey.org/)
- Necessity Baking Co. Highland Park, IL (high-end artisan breads; http://necbaking.com/ )
- Rugela-licious, Bensenville, IL (hand-made pastries, especially delicate rugelah; http://rugela-licious.com/)
- High-Rise Baking Company, Chicago (artisan breads, scones, & rolls; http://www.highrisebakingcompany.com/)
- Darina’s cookies, Chicago (extravagantly decorated cookies; http://www.darinascookies.com/Darinas_Cookies/Home.html)
- Oosterhoff & Sons, Momence, IL (cut flowers, perennials, bedding plants)
- Knife Sharpening by Dave (custom knife sharpening, by a knowledgeable, personable expert; http://sharpeningbydave.com/ )
- Diamond Fresh, Lake Zurich, IL (fish, spice/herb rubs, cedar planks; http://diamondfreshseafood.com )
- Cheese People, Quincy, IL (cheeses of all kinds; http://thecheesepeople.com/ )
- Olives 4 You, Wheaton, IL (olives, hummus, olive salads, pita; http://www.olives-4-you.com/ )
- River Valley Mushrooms, Burlington, WI (mushrooms and mushroom products, pasta sauces, soups, salsas; https://www.rivervalleykitchens.com/)
- Stivers Coffee, Chicago (locally roasted and flavored coffees)
Highlights the 6/30 market included a sale on Michigan red raspberries at Klug Orchard, $2.00 for a heaping half-pint; pints of blueberries and raspberries were available for $4.00. Also, the first sour cherries of 2010 were available at both K&K and Klug, in addition to sweet cherries – buy soon, as the season is short, and there is no autumn season.
High Rise Baking Co. touted tender, flavorful ciabatta for $3.00 a loaf. Rugela-licious featured packages of hand-made raspberry and apricot rugalah, four of each flavor for $5.75. Oosterhoff & Sons displayed Heliopsis, AKA False Sunflowers, at $6 for a large bouquet of these long-lasting golden yellow charmers, as well as Asiatic (unscented) and Oriental (very scented!) lilies.
Red Barn Farms offered the first green and yellow wax beans of the season, as well as field-grown tomatoes; KAP Farms benefitted from their downstate farm operation by offering sweet corn and jalapeno peppers. They also were selling a bargain bunch of mixed knob onions, a combo of white, yellow, and red striplings for a modest 75 cents. KAP also had on hand the first IL peaches I’ve seen this year.
Typical summer day. Visited two North Shore midweek farmers markets, one of which I have to recap and submit to thelocalbeet.com. Prepared dinner for the next two days; tonight’s fare (chicken, in a hair-raising brine, based on a Rick Bayless recipe from Xoco that includes 10 (!) habaneros) is already in the fridge, marinating, and waiting to be grilled over mesquite. Weeded just a little; put off transplanting - a Monarda seedling in the front bee & butterfly garden, and two “Mexico Midget” tomato starts in the back courtyard container farm - until morning. Jawed with a couple of passing neighbors; gave advice about growing Asiatic lilies, grumbled about how dumb and destructive squirrels are. Was rendered slack-jawed about the perfection of the weather - 70, cloudless, no rain in sight for days.
A very good day in Pegville.