BY RODNEY MARGISON
For more than eight years, WFIU-FM has provided locally sourced food ideas via its weekly Earth Eats radio show. A cookbook written by the program’s former host, Annie Corrigan, along with program contributor Chef Daniel Orr, allows foodies to keep Earth Eats at their fingertips.
Organized by season, Earth Eats (IU Press) presents recipes alongside tips and stories about food and gardening. The recipes are not only from Chef Orr, but also from a dozen bloggers who contribute to the Earth Eats website. Earth Eats is more than just a cookbook, Corrigan says, “because the show’s not just a cookbook. It’s gardening advice; it’s advice on raising chickens; it’s interviews with local people, interviews with national people who have written books. So, it’s a cookbook, but it’s also a coffee table book.”
Bloom selected three recipes to share from the Fall section of Earth Eats: Persimmon Jam, Spiced Apple Cider Granita, and Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Hummus.
For more information, visit eartheats.org.
by Chef Daniel Orr
• 5 cups puréed persimmon
• 3 cups sugar
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (or 1 1/2 lemons)
• 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
Pinch Chinese five-spice powder (a combination of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and peppercorns)
• 6 mason jars
Run the persimmons through a food mill to remove the seeds and create the purée.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine persimmon purée, sugar, lemon juice, orange zest, and spice blend. Boil for 30 minutes or until slightly thickened. (Your goal is not to reduce the mixture, just to thicken it.)
Pour into sterilized jars and seal. (Leave one inch of empty space at the top of the jar to allow room for expansion.) Store in freezer. Remove one hour before use to allow the jam to thaw.
Spiced Apple Cider Granita
by Chef Daniel Orr
Granita is an Italian shaved ice. I’ve heard the name comes from “granite,” because when the stone is smashed, it shatters into shards just like this flaky dessert.
This dish is essentially a mulled apple cider in dessert form. If you find the end result is too syrupy or not icy enough, mix in a healthy dash of water and refreeze.
• 3 cups apple cider
• 1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (a combination of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and peppercorns)
• 1/2 teaspoon allspice
• 1/2 teaspoon cloves
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 2 ounces spiced rum
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Combine first six ingredients and bring to a boil. Stir and allow the sugar to dissolve.
Pour the liquid through a strainer to remove the cloves and cinnamon sticks.
Stir in rum and vanilla.
Let the mixture freeze overnight (or for 3–4 hours minimum). During this time, periodically rake the just-formed ice crystals with a fork.
Serve ice shavings over slices of
local apples and garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Hummus
by Sarah Kaiser
As a recent college graduate, I’m always looking for ways to make a cheap, yet delicious, meal. And as a vegetarian, I find beans and legumes delicious, filling, and full of variation. Take chickpeas; they can be transformed into hummus, falafel, or chickpea curry.
My favorite recipe for chickpeas is hummus combined with sun-dried tomatoes and basil. I recommend buying your tomatoes preserved in olive oil. You’ll use some of that oil in the recipe, and it will help infuse your hummus with some
I think the reason this homemade hummus suits me is the decreased amount of lemon juice. Most store-bought hummus recipes taste very sour to me. If you like that lemony kick, feel free to adjust this recipe to your taste—more juice and fewer chickpeas.
• 1 7-ounce jar sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
• 6 tablespoons tahini
• Fresh basil
• 1/2 cup lemon juice
• 4 cloves garlic
• 4 cups cooked chickpeas (about 2 cans)
Water or olive oil as needed to get the right consistency. I used some of the cooking water from the chickpeas.
• Salt to taste
Blend all ingredients in food processor or blender. I used a small, handheld blender. It’s a bit messy, but it does the trick. *