Elsa M. Jacobson, Recipe Tester

A list of all the recipes Elsa M. Jacobson has tested.

Elsa Jacobson

Elsa M. Jacobson is the child of a Swede and an Eagle Scout, which, as her pal Breadman has said, “explains everything.” Her father, the Eagle Scout, was also Jewish, so she had the pleasures of a dual-dining culture growing up. She has been vegetarian since the age of nine, and has never looked back.

After graduating valedictorian with a BFA in Fiber, she worked for the National Endowment for the Arts, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Merce Cunningham Dance Company, followed by Event Managing AIDS Walks nationwide, and subsequently serving as Regional Director for Chicago’s Green Festival. She loves to study and has taken Swedish classes wherever she can find them, including both Columbia and Harvard. She currently manages three neighborhood farmers markets in Chicago, and vends arguably the nation’s finest tofu at three others, while also providing tofu education to customers and staff trainees. She has a deep interest in cheese of all types, has taught cheese and cheese making, and assisted chefs at cooking schools, among them Sur La Table, as well as testing recipes for other publications.

Elsa is an avid environmentalist, a Chicago Conservation Corps leader, has worked for the Chicago Park District, serves for an organization that upcycles plastic grocery bags into sleeping mats for the homeless, as well as on the operating committee of the Chicago Volunteer Expo. She has a passion for seniors, and has served on the board of multiple senior homes for the past two decades. Elsa additionally has a strong passion for community, and lives in an intentional community dedicated to greening and sustainability. She is curious, nerdy, enjoys process and details, has a quirky sense of humor, loves being of service, and is, at her core, 100% an introvert. She was accepted into the ranks of LC testers on December 7, 2006, after taking a food journalism class with the fat daddy himself, David Leite.

A couple slices of plum-blueberry upside-down cake on a white plate with a knife resting on the edge of the plate.

Plum-Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

This purple-stained cake—er, what’s left of it—calls for just old-fashioned goodness and the season’s most compelling fruits. Got milk?

Two glasses of peach iced tea with mint leaves and peach slices for garnish.

Peach Iced Tea with Mint

One taste and you’ll understand why this refreshing, lightly sweetened peach iced tea is our new go-to summer sipper.

A person using a kitchen towel to hold the sides of a large skillet filled with strawberries that are tossed with butter and sugar.

Caramelized Strawberries with Ricotta

If you’ve never experienced caramelized strawberries, grab a carton and get cooking. This easy 15-minute dessert features sweet cooked strawberries piled atop creamy ricotta cheese, and topped with fresh mint.

A white oval serving platter filled with carrot ribbon salad and garnished with cilantro leaves.

Carrot Ribbon Salad

We’re declaring this easy, healthy salad of carrots, cilantro, and toasted cumin vinaigrette your summer go-to salad.

A pale blue bowl filled with white bean hummus, topped with parsley, olives, seeds, and oil

White Bean Hummus

Change up your hummus game with this white bean version that’s served with a fresh herb, olive, and seed topping.

A platter of Mediterranean nachos topped with yogurt, hummus, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, feta, and chickpeas on a wooden platter

Mediterranean Nachos

We bet you never thought you’d hear the words healthy and nachos in the same sentence. But these Greek-style nachos, topped with yogurt, hummus, and veggies are exactly that.

Four fried polenta sticks on a plate topped with Parmesan and a lemon wedge on the side.

Fried Polenta Sticks

Just when we thought polenta couldn’t get any better we discovered these irresistible fried polenta sticks.

A pile of ribbon fries on a white surface.

Homemade Ribbon Fries

These shatteringly crisp, undeniably sophisticated potato ruffles—chips, if you will—have no ridges. Nor do they need them. They’re intoxicatingly lovely just as they are.