Publican welcoming spring with peas

April 26, 2013 (CHICAGO)

"We've been dying for the last four months; nothing but root vegetables, kale, sweet potatoes. First chance we get to get green we go for it," said Brian Huston, the Chef at The Publican.

That means the ham chop - a menu mainstay that's been brined, smoked and roasted to juicy luciousness, is, at least this time of year, showered in a salsa verde containing English peas and radishes.

"It's got capers and anchovies and herbs and shallots and chili. It's like a simple..we call it simple but there's really a lot of flavors going on there," Huston said.

In a skillet, Spring garlic and onions are sautéed, while fresh, green chickpeas are added to a pan of homemade tagliatelle.

"They're kind of hot right now, they look like the little wasabi peas. Just a different texture a different taste," said Huston.

A handful of salty pecorino-romano cheese and some black pepper finish it off.

One of Huston's most vibrantly green options is a savory starter; technically a sformato.

"I call it kind of a ghetto soufflé," he said.

The baked mold contains pea puree, bechamel sauce and some eggs. Crowned with pea shoots and even more fresh peas, it's a springtime green dream.

"It's light, it's rich, it's when we try to use up all the produce we can," he said.

The Publican
837 W. Fulton Market

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