The Organic Gardener
“Parents will tell me, ‘I have wanted to plant a vegetable garden with my kids forever to teach them where food comes from, but it’s overwhelming,’ ” says Jeanne Pinsof Nolan, 39, of Chicago’s The Organic Gardener, which has installed or consulted on more than 100 gardens over the past three years. When Nolan plants a garden, she works side-by-side with children and parents and teaches as she goes. She knows what varieties go over well with kids, like Chioggia beets (“They look like peppermint candy”) and Bright Lights chard, with its red, orange and yellow stalks. In part, that’s because Nolan teaches school groups at the 5,000-square-foot Edible Garden at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo. She also maintains the kitchen garden at North Pond restaurant for F&W Best New Chef 2003 Bruce Sherman. 847-636-2720.
Chioggia Beets: Raw Beet Salad with MInt and Quick-Pickled Onions
Cover thinly sliced onions with white wine vinegar, season with salt and let stand. Toss frisée and mint with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Slice peeled Chioggia beets on a mandoline and arrange around the frisée on plates. Top with the onions; serve. —Kristin Donnelly