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 white plate topped with torn figs and burrata cheese and chopped pistachios with a knife on the side.

Figs and Burrata Cheese

This little moment of lusciousness takes nothing to toss together. Just tear the figs, rip the cheese, and drizzle with oil. Badda bing.

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A black bowl with a block of warm tofu with soy sauce, ginger, and scallion garnish.

Warm Tofu With Soy Sauce, Ginger, and Scallion

Warm, gently spiced, tofu that might make a believer out of you. If you already love tofu, then you know that it can actually be comfort food, when prepared the right way. If not, here’s your chance.

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A tall canning jar filled with pickled asparagus.

Pickled Asparagus

Ever bitten into a pickle and thought, “Could this be better?” Here’s your answer. Who would have thought asparagus is the veggie you’ve been needing to pickle all your life?

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Two people reaching for traditional molletes on a platter with a bowl of salsa in the middle.

Traditional Molletes

An insanely satiating comfort food fix that’s as quick and easy as it is inexpensive. Refried beans and cheese atop toast with pico de gallo. Wish we’d known about this a loooong time ago.

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A canning jar filled with quick pickled ramps and some fresh ramps lying beside the jar.

Quick Pickled Ramps

No waiting weeks for the pickling solution to work its magic. Not with these little lovelies, which are ready to munch within minutes of making.

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A person mashing avocado into a bowl of easy guacamole on a table with salt, avocado, cilantro, lime, and chiles.

Easy Guacamole

Easy as heck, this guacamole takes a minimalistic approach that keeps ingredients to the essentials yet doesn’t disappoint. Sorta tricky to come by that these days. And yet here we are.

A fancy Bundt Kentucky bourbon cake on a silver platter.

Kentucky Bourbon Cake

This Southern classic is like a pound cake given its decadent amount of butter and its tender crumb. But oh, baby, wait’ll you taste the bourbon glaze.

Three perfect baked potatoes coated in flaked salt and squeezed open with a pat of butter in the center.

Perfect Baked Potatoes

A frugal dinnertime staple that can be dressed up or down. And yes, you do need a recipe to get it just right. What results are fluffy, tender spuds.

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