Posts by Jackie Varriano


Wondering what to do with the latest seasonal foods? Here’s a partial record of what we’ve been eating ourselves.

Fig fandom

The perfect fresh fig will make you swoon

By
August 23, 2013

Growing up in North Dakota, my only interaction with figs was at my grandmother’s house. She made amazing fig pinwheels, a silver dollar-sized treat with a layer of fig compote swirled up tight. They were immensely better than the Fig Newton cookies passed out at school or friends’ houses. I ate my grandmother’s fig pinwheels by the fistful; buttery and sweet, the seeds crunched in my teeth softly with each bite.

I still love those pinwheel cookies, made with dried figs. But the world of fresh figs is just too seductive to ignore. Early this summer, I found myself at Full Belly Farm in Northern California’s Capay Valley aboard a Kubota tractor whizzing through the fields.

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The great scape

Curls of green

By
May 29, 2012

In the first few months of the season, the thing I love most about the farmers market is that with each week, the list of available produce grows longer. Every Saturday morning holds new surprises as well as old favorites I’ve waited for since last season.

One of these old favorites is the garlic scape. A tender green shoot sent up from the root of hardneck garlic, a scape stalk looks like a curling, twisting green onion. (It’s similar to but not the same as green garlic, which is just immature garlic shoots.) The taste isn’t as strong as that of mature garlic; I call it “garlic lite.”

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Morels

Pleasure in the hunt

By
April 30, 2012

We’re smack in the middle of spring, the perfect time to grab a mesh bag and a walking stick and go hunting — mushroom hunting, that is.

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