Maple Fig Shortbread Bars

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

There is a definite seasonal urgency to cooking, especially this time of year. One minute you’re on top of the game, the next Mother Nature snatches away your favorite ingredients without warning. Removing her wrench from my plans is where you will currently find me.

Originally conceived to capture the final harvest of fresh figs, our tree took an early holiday, and has since been put to bed. But I’m a sucker for fig cookies, and darned if this setback was going to impede my weekly baking therapy — dried, it is!

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Salt-Baking a Whole Fish

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

As with many topics of culinary history, the origin of cooking foods encased in salt is up for debate. Several cultures lay claim to the invention — from the Iberian Spaniards and Portuguese, to the Mediterranean Italians and Greeks, and further east to the ancient Persians and Chinese.

Whatever the truth, salt-baking, or salt-roasting, has stood the test of time. Similar to tagines and clay pots, this centuries-old method traps steam heat to infuse moisture, amplify flavor and retain nutrients. So remarkably tender and succulent are the foods cooked inside these paradoxical salt igloos, that this otherwise humble technique has even been likened to the light-years-more-high-tech magic of sous vide.

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Yogurt Cloud Cake

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

Showstopping desserts don’t have to mean fancy techniques or expensive ingredients or even butter and chocolate. Sometimes it’s more about a willingness to change the way we think about every-day food items we keep. Sometimes favoring simplicity + ingenuity wins the day.

A small mountain of fresh figs doesn’t hurt either.

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Blistered Tomatillo Jalapeño Salsa Verde

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

A salsa is only as good as its components, and our favorite green salsa is as good — and simple — as it gets.

Broiler (or grill) blistered tomatillos, jalapeño and garlic are blended with fresh cilantro. Then, minced raw onion gets stirred in just before serving to add texture. The result is bold, vibrant and almost fruity; not too spicy; perfect consistency to dunk into or spoon over.

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Gingered Blueberry-Mulberry Crisp (GF)

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

Come summertime, blueberries are royalty in North Carolina. Deep navy berries weigh down nearly every branch of these bountiful high-bush varietals. Cup your hand up and around a ripened bunch to gently, effortlessly dislodge 10 or more berries in one grab, letting them tumble down into one of your waiting baskets.

Mulberry trees, though more prevalent in our home state of Wisconsin than here, are equally as prolific. If not more so. Foraging, conversely, is very tedious. A ladder is needed, and given the limited range of which one can safely stretch atop this lofty perch, re-positioning multiple times is also required. It’s no simple task. Painstaking, even, but if you ask me, worth every minute and bead of sweat as you pluck individual berries in the early summer heat.

Turning from white to fuchsia to the darkest purple when fully ripe, mulberries resemble blackberries in both appearance and seedy texture. If you’ve never tasted one, the flavor is similar to their fig cousins, with subtle floral notes of pear and citrus in the background.

There’s also a touch of bitterness behind the layers of sweet mulberry flavor. Here, beneath a crunchy oat-nut blanket, juicy blueberries and spice notes of cinnamon + fresh and dried ginger offer balance.

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