Farmers Market Wisdom in a Cookbook
Shop at your friendly neighborhood farmers market and cook up a storm. A little technique and a good cookbook in hand make mastering a new menu of vegetables and fruits more fun.
The last Kingfield and Fulton Winter Farmers Market was an event in itself but also included a cookbook signing and lecture. As a dedicated cookbook collector of 30 years, I had to skip shopping and hear more about the new Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook.
The rewards were many: an informative discussion on food, three fresh-made vegetable dish samples and a chance to purchase a beautifully illustrated Minnesota-focused cookbook from the author’s very hands.
Cooking with Local Foods
Tricia Cornell signed books and talked about preparing Minnesota produce. Wholesome, true to the earth, seasonal foods are her passion. As a longtime Consumer Supported Agriculture (CSA) supporter, Cornell cooked local and farm-fresh before it was fashionable.
Name any Minnesota Grown vegetable; Cornell knows how to cook it. While you’re cooking up those veggies, embark on a different taste palate. Challenge your kitchen sensibility. Go raw instead of cooked. Roast rather than boil. Try a new vegetable like Jerusalem artichokes. Dare to cook on the wild side.
Cornell encouraged audience participation and just about everyone chimed in the discussion at some point. Proof that the only thing better than eating well-prepared local food is talking about it.
Bring on the samples! After the food talk, we queued up for recipe samples. As the line scattered, I confess to going back and filling a second Dixie cup with yellow beet salad. Others did the same.
Simple Foods with Big Flavors
What a wonder, how good simply prepared foods can be. All samples were vegetarian friendly and refreshingly summery tasting on a bleak “Marchuary” morn.
Cornell’s yellow beet salad full of earthy sweet beet crunchiness shined with sweet-acidic flavor. Surprise, the beets were actually from last fall’s harvest. A simple vinaigrette mellowed the sharp snap of raw beet shreds.
A thick as porridge spring pea dip livened up plain whole wheat crackers. With a few additions, raw whirled peas make a vegetable dish as lively in color as in flavor.
Cauliflower tabouli resembled vegetable confetti. A melody of other vegetables glistened with bright flecks of feathery parsley and deep cherry red tomato. Cauliflower chopped to the right consistency makes the ideal rice substitute – lots of white fluff with virtually no carbs.
Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook
Cornell knows how to prepare Minnesota vegetables just right for the season. With recipes from Twin City food celebrities and local farmer’s market staff, her Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook guides the way. Now I’m ready. The summer market season can’t come soon enough.