Welcome to the Dill Pickle
Your neighborhood grocery store, open to all!
Telling Our Story
>> Sharon Hoyer, General Manager.
Later this week, Board Director Gajus Miknaitis and I will visit Lombard to tell the Dill Pickle story to the energetic, fast-growing group organizing Prairie Food Co-op. The staff and board of the Dill Pickle are called on to tell our story quite a lot: to prospective owners in the store every day, to emerging co-ops in other parts of the city and suburbs, to schools and community groups (e.g. the outreach committee's recent visit to Ames school's Elev8 program), to leaders in the community helping us with expansion, and now to a whole new audience: institutional lenders.
To tell a story well, it helps to know your audience; what are they most interested in? What are their values? The lenders we're talking with--a community loan fund, a cooperative bank, business improvement funds--share our vision for what makes a healthy community, environment and economy. For that part of our story we have rapt attention. But there's another important part to tell, the part about our future success. We need to demonstrate that we run a financially sound business now and will do so on a much larger scale for a decade to come. I wish I had a couple bankers grocery shopping with me yesterday, when I had to wait in line to make my way through the produce section. It was our top sales day to date, the first time we broke 5-digit sales in a single day.
We need to tell this story in narrative and numbers to lenders and to our greater neighborhood. You'll soon see a call for Hands-On Owners to join the finance committee, ownership drive committee and owner loan committee. If you enjoy telling the story of the scrappy start up you own, the one that reintroduced Chicago to retail food co-ops, I hope you'll consider joining a team.
The Produce Corner is a collaborative column by farmer and Dill Pickle owner Rob Montalbano and Dill Pickle's Produce Lead Buyer, Kristen Martinek. Here Rob shares info on some of his favorite in-season veggies including history, cooking ideas and storage tips. Rob lives and works with his wife Christina on their farm in Sandwich, IL. Kristen provides additional information including nutritional value and recipes. In addition to working as Produce Lead at the Dill Pickle, Kristen shares her passion for nutrition and natural living on her website “Enjoy This Organic Life”.
This is a weird one. Celeriac. Even the name is kinda funny, reminding me of a Dan Ankroyd skit on Saturday Night Live. But don’t let the name, or the knobby, nutty shell fool you. A cool season crop in the carrot family, the white-fleshed Celeriac is delicious and hardy. What we eat is actually a bulb-like stem of the plant, although most other parts of the plant are edible too.
In the kitchen, celeriac is versatile. Use it raw, boiled or roasted. The only work that you absolutely have to do is to remove the peel (but even that can be added to soup stock!). Shred it raw on salads for a nutty, celery-like kick. Chop and boil 1-2” pieces alongside your favorite potatoes and then smash everything together to make the finest mashed potatoes your family ever had. To roast celeriac, peel and chop into bite-sized pieces. Bake with a little oil at 425°F for about 20 minutes. Then add some chopped carrots (or turnips or beets or potatoes), more olive oil, and an herb like rosemary or thyme. Bake for another 20-30 minutes, or until tender.
Choose a firm plant that looks in good shape. Celeriac stores very well in a cool, damp place like the crisper section of your refrigerator. It will last for several weeks. Low in fat, without any cholesterol, and lots of fiber make celeriac something you should try today. -Rob
I agree with Rob in that celeriac is a weird one - but I always equate weird with good - so fear not! As Rob mentioned, celeriac contains a lot of fiber which helps keep your digestive tract healthy and moving right along. Celeriac is also a great source of vitamins B6,C and K, as well as phosphorus and potassium. As the most prominent vitamin in celeriac, vitamin K plays an important role in keeping your blood and bones healthy, so eat up! And with celeriac's availablilty throughout the fall and winter, it's vitamin C can't hurt keeping your immune system kickin' and warding off winter illness.
Also referred to as celery root (although it is not the root of the celery stalk), celeriac is a great alternative for oven-baked fries! And who doesn't like fries!? Linked here (and pictured above) is a delicious recipe for celeriac fries with fresh herbs and a touch of peppery heat. Serve alongside your favorite ketchup, mustard, or curried tahini dip. Get ready to be wowed!
The Co-op currently has organic and local celeriac in stock from Genesis Growers and will continue until their storage runs out! Get 'em while they last! -Kristen
It's official: we've rolled out the red carpet for our Basic Needs Basket! We've highlighted a selection of staple food items and body care products that are kept at a low price every day. It's our way of making healthy, organic options within reach of everyone.
Wanna help spread the good word? We'll be distributing circulars to our neighbors this Saturday, 4/19.
The Produce Corner is a collaborative column by farmer and Dill Pickle owner Rob Montalbano and Dill Pickle's Produce Lead Buyer, Kristen Martinek. Here Rob shares info on some of his favorite in-season veggies including history, cooking ideas and storage tips. Rob lives and works with his wife Christina on their farm in Sandwich, IL. Kristen provides additional information including nutritional value & recipes. Outside her work as Produce Lead at the Dill Pickle, Kristen shares her passion for nutrition & natural living on her website “Enjoy This Organic Life”.
My favorite part of farming is growing all of the different colors and shapes of vegetables. At the farmers market, it always brings a smile to my face when someone sees something they’ve never seen before. Of all the colors I see, there is one that stands out. I’m talking about the Black Spanish radish. You should give this one a try.
It’s definitely a larger radish, growing almost 3” round. With a deep black skin and snowy white interior, this radish is built to please. A little spicy, the Spanish radish can be eaten raw or cooked. My favorite recipe is Black Slaw. Grate up some radish (leave the skins on for more nutrition and outstanding color!), carrots, cabbage, and some onions. Add one or two tablespoons of lemon juice and oil. Toss with chopped Italian parsley and put in a pinch of salt, sugar, and black pepper too.
Spanish radishes store very well. Wash them, remove the greens (also edible!), and store wrapped in a damp towel or plastic bag in the crisper. The best radishes are crisp and firm but you can continue to enjoy them after they get a little soft, too. -Rob
Radishes always made an appearance in my family’s kitchen growing up, whether it be in salads or as a vehicle for my grandma’s famous ranch dip. Until I signed up for my first CSA while in college almost eight years ago now, I never knew just how many varieties of fruits and vegetables exist in this region. I can remember receiving my first black radish and falling into veggie awe!
Radishes are a great source of vitamin C, iron, potassium & magnesium and provide some vitamin A and E as well. Black radishes have been used in traditional European and Chinese medicine to stimulate bile function, improve health of gallbladder and to promote pulmonary and respiratory health.
Because the black radish has a significantly stronger bite to it, there are a few tricks to reducing the heat for those who prefer less of a punch. One method is to simply peel away the skin; the other is to slice or chop and soak in ice water for 30-45 minutes.
Another great way to enjoy the black Spanish radish is simply by cutting it into ¼” slices and sautéing in butter, olive or coconut oil until tender and spotted with brown. This is great on its own or atop a fresh salad! -Kristen
Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things is widely acknowledged as one of the most important environmental manifestos of our time.
Join us as we collectively read and gather to discuss this work on Wednesday, March 12th at 6:30pm around the fireplace at City Lit Books, 2523 N. Kedzie.
BONUS! City Lit is offering Cradle to Cradle at a 10% discount for Dill Pickle Book Club participants.