HEY, HEY! Rosé: And Everything Else Pink That We Love

You just have to stop and listen to really know what’s abuzz in the food world. What’s in season? What’s tickling the curiosity of chefs? And what’s delicious right now? I had the pleasure of being involved with a conversation like that with all of the brilliant directors here at DLM, whom I greatly admire and respect. They make DLM shine in so many ways, including forming valuable relationships with passionate food and drink purveyors near and far. They aren’t afraid to stop and smell the roses (or taste that latest French cheese, in some cases).

We were thinking about this time of year and the food, drink, and even flowers that are surrounding us. As we spoke about the local strawberry bounty, wild Copper River King Salmon (yes, it’s here), and brilliant blooms, our minds swirled with the color pink—also the color of rosé—and all its glory.

Local Strawberry Sensation
“There’s something about local strawberries that just makes me smile,” says Michelle Mayhew, Produce director at Dorothy Lane Market. We’re excited this year to feature the bounty of new Love Local friends, the VanMeter family. Their strawberry farm is located on 100 rolling acres in Clarkson, KY, and is a labor of love for the whole family. “Danny and Trish want to teach their children values of hard work, so they are all involved with collecting the fruit of their labor,” says Michelle, noting that Danny is a member of the Strawberry Grower’s Association of Kentucky and the Ohio Valley.

Alaska Copper River Wild King Salmon Makes its Splash
Alaska Copper River Wild King Salmon is one of the most sought-after salmons and it’s finally here, coming to us fresh from Alaska. ‘”I’m Coming Home’ is the tune played by Mother Nature beckoning the return of the fish to the headwaters of their birth,” says Jack Gridley, VP of Meat & Seafood. Its prized flavor is attributed to the high Omega-3 oil content as the fish builds up fat to give them energy to travel the long spawning journey up the Copper River.

Fleur to Adore
May started strong with Italian Heather, and with each week, even more splashy blooms have continued to fill our stores. And then, just when we thought it couldn’t get much better, our locally grown bouquet season really kicked into gear. It’s easy to see why there’s so much fleur to adore!

Rosé all May
“It’s like springtime in a bottle,” Todd Templin, VP of Beer, Wine, & The Cheese Shop, has been known to say of the sure as the sun arrival of rosé to our stores each spring. We look forward to its bright fruits, crisp acids, and generally dry finish. The mere mention of rosé, aka the pink wine, elicits many smiles.

Cinco de Salsa y Guacamole!

Cinco de Mayo is a salsa party at DLM. Here’s why—back for the season are two of my favorites that we make right here, Salsa Verde and Salsa Roja. If you haven’t tried them, stop by this week and get a taste.

The Salsa Verde is made with fresh tomatillos that we roast over high heat. We add lots of organic lime juice to ramp up the bright, citrusy flavor of this salsa. Although it is pretty darn good with tortilla chips, I love it as sauce that I put over things like grilled fish (think Mahi Mahi or tilapia) or a simple grilled DLM Natural Chicken Breast garnished with a couple slices of ripe avocado.  Try it over some soft scrambled eggs this weekend, you won’t’ regret it!

The Salsa Roja has a slightly sweet, smoky flavor because we roast the fresh Roma tomatoes, onions, and Poblano peppers together over high heat until they get blistered and charred. Then we pulse them all together in a food processor until slightly puréed. So of course it’s great with the regular line up chips, quesadillas, and tacos. Personally, I like this one spooned over a grilled DLM Natural Beef Skirt Steak with some warmed tortillas on the side.

Of course you can’t forget the guacamole! You can always pick up a tub of DLM Guacamole from Produce, or if you make it yourself, be sure to check out a couple of our nifty tools to help. The Ultimate 3-in-1 Tool Kit from Cookut helps you make perfect guacamole in 3 minutes, plus helps you prepare, serve, and store all in one kit! You can also help keep your guacamole fresher longer with the Guac-Lock that seals without losing flavor or color by creating an airtight seal. Olé!

Aspire to Asparagus with These 5 Recipes

Nothing says spring like asparagus displayed at our stores! What we love most is that it’s incredibly versatile as its spears can be enjoyed raw, steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, or mixed with vegetables, beans, poultry, or seafood. Another way to devour these delicious stalks is to steam and serve with citrus hollandaise sauce, melted butter, Pecorino Romano, or shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano. From crunchy and satisfying Asparagus Fries to a Hot Asparagus Crab Dip and Spring Asparagus Sauté, DLM’s Chef Carrie has you covered with these 5 recipes to help you Aspire to Asparagus in your kitchen!

1. Asparagus Fries + Garlic Aioli

2. Spring Asparagus Sauté

3. Spring Pea, Asparagus, & Pecorino Salad

4. Shaved Asparagus Salad

5. Cold Asparagus with Hot Crab Dip

Hydroponically Awesome Masterplan Strawberries

When it comes to strawberries, I want it all. I want sweet, juicy flavor with red flesh to the middle of the berry. I want to clearly see every strawberry in the package before I decide to purchase. I want freshness that will last for days. I want my berry grower to understand what real sustainability means, not only with availability of product, but also with preserving water, growing more fruit per acre of land, eliminating the need for pesticides, and creating a great work environment.

David Akahoshi and Ibrahim Elnashar have all this and more with their hydroponically grown berries. David’s father was in the produce business and saw how hard it was on the farmers. He knew there had to be a better way, so they started Masterplan Berries to show just that. I had the privilege of seeing this state-of-the-art facility in Santa Maria, California, where there’s row after row of perfect strawberries. Some just blooming while others were bountiful and red throughout.

DLM’s Dennis Chrisman (right), VP of Produce and DLM Springboro store director, recently visited Masterplan. Masterplan co-founder David Akahoshi’s father was in the produce business and David was determined to explore a different way to enhance the working conditions.

GROWING A BETTER BERRY

Berries in Ohio have always been a challenge as they need cool nights and warm, sunny days—a rare formula here limiting our local season to a few weeks. Santa Maria has the perfect temperatures.

However, when it’s too cold at night, David simply raises the temperature of the water being fed to his plants. The root system is grown in shaved coconut husk, known to be disease resistant and water retentive. With year-round hydroponic growing methods, the berries are protected from pest, wind, disease, drought, flash flooding, and freezing temps, all while using 75% less water in a state that’s water challenged. The berries are field packed in a single layer to protect them from bruising, with each berry seen clearly in the recyclable package.

GOOD PICKINGS

I’ve visited many strawberry fields and can attest to how difficult picking can be. Harvesters bend over for hours 12-18 inches from the ground. The Masterplan system makes it easier and less back-breaking because the system is four feet above the ground. They’re able to pick faster, thus earning a better wage. Typically, berry fields have less than a 25% retention rate. Masterplan is close to 100%, thanks to these improved working conditions.

These stats are wonderful, however you must try them for yourself as they’re full of flavor and beauty. In a world where popular labels are owned by huge corporations, we are buying from David the farmer, and I love that!

Aspire to Asparagus

Nothing says spring like sweet, local asparagus displayed outside our stores.

These stalks, delicious and nutritious, are grown locally for us by two treasure Ohio-based farming friends.

Meet the Growers
Jon Branstrator is one of our excellent local farmers who brings us luscious asparagus this time of year with a slightly purple tint on the tips. It’s absolutely stunning! We wouldn’t blame you if you left it displayed in a bowl on your kitchen table until you were ready to enjoy.

Jon’s farm is located in Clarksville, Ohio, and for many years he has been providing us with this gorgeous asparagus. While in season, it’s picked daily in John’s field and then delivered to our Produce departments every day (yep, you read that correctly).

This farm-fresh asparagus has become so popular that we now source it from two local farmers. The second farmer being Rich Eshleman who is located in Clyde, Ohio, near the Great Lakes. Rich has a very large, beautiful farm that is loaded with fields of wonderful green stalks of asparagus. We are grateful to enjoy this nutrient-rich vegetable locally from both Rich and Jon.

Why Aspire to Asparagus?
Asparagus is a very low-calorie vegetable that contains moderate levels of dietary fiber. Fresh asparagus stalks can be a good source of antioxidants, and there is no asparagus fresher than what we receive from our farmers on a daily basis.

Beyond that, asparagus is incredibly versatile as its spears can be enjoyed raw, steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, or mixed with vegetables, beans, poultry or seafood. Another way to devour these delicious stalks is to steam and serve with citrus hollandaise sauce, melted butter, Pecorino Romano, or shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano. There’s also nothing better than the simple pleasure of throwing a handful of stalks on the grill with some local shiitake mushrooms—it’s a must-eat local spring treat.
So as you look to transition your plate to local offerings, come Aspire to Asparagus with DLM.

Ray Brentlinger: A Sweet Corn Sensation

The local food movement is a powerful, beautiful thing. So much that it has elevated New Carlisle, Ohio-based farmer Ray Brentlinger and his non-GMO sweet corn to star status here in Dayton. We barely have to whisper the name “Brentlinger” and mouths start to water as it’s synonymous with the summer staple that Ray brings to our stores. So what makes Brentlinger sweet corn so good?

Continue reading “Ray Brentlinger: A Sweet Corn Sensation”