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David Lissner
for restaurants

Friday food porn: Ripe and luscious

The final days of fresh, local, summer fruits are upon us — make the most of them. Chef Mark Grosz’s luscious salad of ripe Michigan peaches layers them with prosciutto, thinly sliced Manchego cheese, red onion, fennel, arugula, toasted almonds and a drizzle of sherry vinaigrette, $15 at French restaurant Oceanique in Evanston.

Slow Food, Uncommon Ground celebrate harvest

The end of August brings with it the bittersweet sense that summer is ending. On one hand, we’ll soon say good-bye to warm, sunny days and summer fruits and vegetables, on the other, we’re starting into the height of the harvest season, when local produce is at its peak. Slow Food Chicago and Uncommon Ground […]

Really local lettuce from kids’ farm on the menu

When they say “local” at Prairie Grass Cafe in Northbrook, they mean it. The North Shore restaurant is now featuring lettuce hydroponically grown by students at nearby Ravinia School. The members of the elementary school’s Green Growers Club and third-grade teacher Dennis Brosseau deliver a weekly harvest of green butter lettuce to Prairie Grass Cafe […]

To meat or not to meat?

Burger maven Tim Canning, chef/owner of Zest Bistro and Lemon Tree Grocer in Downers Grove and raw food/vegan doyenne Karyn Calabrese of Karyn’s Fresh Corner in Lincoln Park face off Sunday, Oct. 21, in “Meat vs. Beet,” a cooking challenge to celebrate the grocery’s introduction of Karyn’s food products. The two chefs will showcase various […]

Eat this! Artichokes, the armored vegetable

What it is: Round and spiky, the globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) is a savory relative of the thistle and the sunflower. The edible parts are at base of its thorny leaves, which eaters scrape through their teeth, and its soft heart. Where it comes from: Nobody knows who first figured out how to eat this […]

Friday food porn: Middle Eastern delight

A lovely cool meal for hot nights, the vegetarian combination plate at Pita Inn in Glenview, Skokie and Wheeling features hummus, baba ghannouj, tabbouleh, falafel, stuffed grape leaves and Jerusalem salad, served with house-made pita bread, $6.99. After sunset during Ramadan, which began last night and continues through Aug. 18, expect to see many Muslim […]

Eat this! Six hot recipes for summer in Chicago

Try some of our favorite hot-weather recipes for food and libations from local chefs and mixologists. LaSalle Power, River North, Cucumber watermelon salad, a great combination of sweet and savory flavors, with feta, paprika, cucumbers and watermelon. Texas de Brazil, River North and Schaumburg, Grape salad, a salad of fruit and gorgonzola that goes especially […]

Eat this! Red bell pepper, ripe and mellow

What it is: Fresh red bell peppers (and the whole gamut of colors from yellow and orange to purple) are the ripe form of Capsicum annuum. The hollow bell-shaped peppers are green when immature. Where it comes from: Bell peppers originated in Mexico, Central America, and South America, where they’ve been cultivated for thousands of […]

Fashionable farro at Chicago restaurants

Have you tried farro? It’s the hottest thing since mashed potatoes. The new alternative to rice and spuds is finding its way onto menus all over town, as detailed in a recent article in the Chicago Sun-Times. “Farro” is the Italian word for an ancestor of wheat. This ancient grain, also known as “emmer” (Triticum […]

Friday food porn: Vegetable love

Kale is the new “super green.” One serving of kale contains 5 percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber and 2 grams of protein. Proponents tout its anti-inflammatory properties, and say it has more iron than beef, more calcium than milk, boosts immunity, and is rich in Vitamins A and C. So eat your […]