Yes, it’s April 2nd, and typically I have my Feast article out at the crack of the new month, but “better late than never” is my new “on time,” at least for right now. This month, I’m pretty stoked about the recipes inside the April issue: so joyously springy, which at least for me was no small feat considering those of us who create recipes had to have our contributions in by mid-February. In case you’ve blocked it out, at that point we were snow-covered and frozen. Some recipes I think you’ll love (besides my humble contribution):
These vanilla bean + lemon curd macarons which i plan on making like, this minute because how completely beautiful.
Pâte à choux, because it’s pâte à choux, enough said. Also, it’s a wonderful building-block thing to really know how to do correctly.
This whole new thing, called “Seed to Table,” with these vibrant, crazy-delicious looking rice nests with roasted spicy greens that I want someone to make me. Read this one, those of you who dig healthy, wholesome foods (as most of us do): I really think a lot of you will enjoy it. And this whole rice-meets-salad thing? I love that. So into foods that are both fun to eat and nutritious right now.
Remember the black walnuts article? Well, this month there’s a food-centric feature about white asparagus, which is photographed beautifully and also contains superb recipes for them by one of St. Louis’s most well-respected chefs, Josh Galliano of The Libertine. The offerings look amazing, and as someone who hasn’t worked with white asparagus that much, I’m eager to try some of them. And by the way, those of us (me included) who bemoan photographing white food? Take a peek at these photos, and feel really stupid for a moment, because I’ve never seen a bunch of white artichokes look so soulful and pensive.
And finally, morels! All the morels, foraged, with recipes, just for you.
And then there’s my thing.
Sunchokes! Adorably knobby, sometimes hard to find, but fun to play with when you see them in stores. Also called the Jerusalem artichoke (a derivation of the Italian girasole, which means “sunflower”), the are, indeed, the root of a species of sunflower. Very springy, right? You’re literally eating something which brings forth impossibly large yellow flowers with this one, which is entirely appropriate and welcome right now.
The best thing about sunchokes? They come in shapes. It’s like they don’t even know they’re cute, but they totally are. Where other roots grow in oblong spheres, or long, pointy-at-the-ends cylinders, sunchokes grow into all sorts of things.
Like bears. How awesome is that? Next time you see sunchokes at the market, just root through them (ooh, puns, sorry), because chances are, you’ll find other animal shapes in the bin just waiting for you. It’s less like “buying veggies” and more like “adoption.”
For example, you could totally find a sunchoke Scottish terrier puppy looking over its shoulder at you, and you could “adopt” it from the market. You never know what’s in there.
In this month’s article, I talk about the variety of ways in which you can use them; raw, cooked, fried, whatever. This is one of my favorite ways to use them, because it combines the toasty nuttiness of the roasted sunchokes with oven dried tomatoes and a bit of lemon to form a really nice spread or dip for bread or pitas similar in texture to hummus, and full of flavor. I use my own oven-dried tomatoes for this, but you can certainly use store-bought dried tomatoes as well. If it were me serving it, I’d throw it on a tray with some grilled breads and pita chips, cauliflower, snow or snap peas, olives perhaps, maybe some fresh green beans, and so on. And since eating sunchokes in large quantities is not recommended, shall we say (Google it), it’s worth mentioning that this is an excellent way to enjoy them in moderation.
Listen, I’m gearing up to start blogging (regularly!) again. I think. See you soon.
Until then, scoot over here for my article on Jerusalem artichokes, and the recipe for Jerusalem artichoke + sundried tomato spread. And if you’re ready for spring like I am, flip through the April 2014 digital issue of Feast Magazine: it’s filled with all sorts of wonderful things to get you warm-weather ready.