A staple of many a tailgating gathering, jalapeño poppers are pretty much as ubiquitous as queso this time of year. A bad thing? Not in the least. These bites are sure to shake up the usual equation, injecting some irresistible Southern flair into your festivities in practically no time at all.
Sweet and sour Swiss chard should definitely be considered for your Thanksgiving table — especially if you channel Jennie’s4th Annual Thanksgiving and choose to serve a prosciutto-wrapped pork loin with roasted apples in lieu of turkey. Ohhh, do these apple cider vinegar-laced greens play ever so nicely with pork. While it isn’t the most gorgeous vegetable dish ever — I try to focus on how the prosciutto brings out the crimson-hued veining in the chard, it helps — this sweet-sour-salty side is certainly a pretty darn tasty, lighter change of pace from creamed greens.
As a kid, I knew mom was making this salad when her order at the West Side Market deli counter contained small amounts of pepperoni, dry salami and ham. Once the salad was assembled, the slices would be carefully rolled and slipped down the outside edges of a clear glass serving bowl, alternating each slice of meat to create a mouthwatering pattern. (I think it’s safe to say my lifelong love of salumi can be traced back to this antipasti-meets-green-salad salad.)
Since this was one of those dishes usually reserved for family get togethers, what else went into the bowl depended on who was coming to dinner. Celery was added for Grandpa Doyle, raw sliced mushrooms (aka mad dogs, really not sure where that came from) were left off and served on the side for Aunt Kathy, and a bowl of whole black olives was included for me (I’m pretty sure more olives ended up on my finger tips than in my salad bowl — either way, their eventual destination was my mouth, of course).
Before I really knew David, I was well aware of his dad’s (Bill) cooking skills. See, my best guy friend from college, Chris, is best friends with David’s younger brother, Jonathan. Chris and I bonded on many levels, but our love of good food was definitely the most enjoyable subject for both of us. He always spoke enthusiastically of his meals at the Sage’s.
So you whipped up some homemade pesto, now what? Well, you can pack it into a cute Weck jar, wrap it up with bakery twine and gift it. Or you can use it to make pesto-stuffed, prosciutto-wrapped chicken. Just this once I’m going to recommend being stingy.