Farmers Market

Embrace local farm bounty with giardiniera

giardiniera

All winter we dream of these months, when farmers market tables pile high with an array of vegetables, and CSA boxes get heavier and more diverse, boasting everything from kohlrabi to radishes.

 

It's no surprise, then, that I find that I'm eating a ton of vegetables lately, and not just boring, broccoli-as-a-side-dish vegetables. I love pickled vegetables, and giardiniera is one of my favorites.  

 

With its Italian roots, giardiniera is also known as "sottaceti," meaning "under vinegar," and is usually eaten along with antipasto selections like cured meats, various cheeses, and olives. The simple mix shows up on Italian beef sandwiches in some places, particularly in Chicago, and can be used in a muffuletta sandwich, a swoon-worthy creation that originated with Italian immigrants in New Orleans.

 

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Market Cooking with Beth Dooley and the Minnesota's Bounty Cookbook

I have enough trouble just remembering to write down a recipe after I create or adapt one for my tastes. Then, when I do, there is always the question of accuracy, as all too often I come back to it a month or year later and it just doesn't turn out. So, I find it more than just a little miraculous that barely a year has passed since I received and reviewed the Northern Heartland Kitchen cookbook by Dooley, and already, I am receiving emails asking me if I was interested in her newest piece of work, Minnesota's Bounty: The Farmer's Market Cookbook.

 

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Hail Hummus!

As we welcome summer into our lives with open arms, it's also a time to welcome wonderful, crisp and light foods into our bellies. Minnesota has so many delicious options to choose from. We are also a Minne-gold mine when it comes to hummus. Our farmer's markets, co-ops and gardens are full of tasty options for your own homemade hummus. I was shocked at how easy it is to make at home, and ever since that day, I have been hooked on the stuff. It was not time consuming or difficult and you can create enough variations to keep this go-to food fresh and fun for your palette.

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Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and How I Miss the Ranch

It’s strange to say that it was only six months ago that I ventured out from my beautiful ranch in Montana to the southern side of California and made a swap from rural to urban, country to city, ranch to condo and garden to supermarket. Super, emphasized. It feels like it’s been forever. It feels like I haven’t seen or felt real, solid dirt in too long. I miss driving along the dirt road and waving to farmers in their Carhartt bibs. I miss knowing that if I ever got a flat tire, the guy down the way would fix it. I miss walking a mile in any direction from my front yard without seeing anything but the great Big Sky.

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Channel Your Inner Parisian: Buy Local Food, Savor It, Drink Good Wine

Paris is a stunning city. The architecture is amazing, with such famous structures as the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe; the art is overwhelmingly beautiful, with more museums than a person could possibly desire; and the food is absolutely to die for, with patisseries and cheese shops scattering the city. It is a place that, in my opinion, everybody should have the pleasure of exploring at least once.

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Paneer and Other Magic Tricks You Can Do in North Dakota*

I’ve learned that when you have to go around a room and introduce yourself by name and an interesting fact about yourself, it helps to be able to say, very casually, “I make paneer.” If you go on to explain that paneer is an Indian cheese, and you make it to use in some of your favorite curries, you will quickly see the room divide into two camps. One camp thinks you are crazy. The other wants to come to dinner.

In summer of 2008, at our neighborhood farmers' market, a man was beginning a cooking demonstration to promote his new cookbook, and the scent of sautéing garlic, ginger, and onion filled the air. My daughter, Cora, then two-years-old, was done with the market, having exhausted the thrill of buying her own carrot and tasting the cabbage leaves. We left, but I noted the book’s title.

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Top 10 Things to Eat and Do Before Summer Ends

Back-to-school ads are blitzing televisions and newspapers, the Minnesota State Fair is a few weeks away and Vikings football is once again the talk of the town. It can only mean one thing: summer is almost over.

But don’t put away the sunscreen and picnic baskets yet; the best of the season has only just begun and there’s still plenty of time to enjoy them. To help you do just that, here is our list of the most delicious seasonal foods to eat and fun activities to do before our magnificent Minnesota summer comes to a close.

Top 10 Things to Eat and Do Before Summer Ends 

1. Sun-ripened tomatoes

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Midtown Farmers Market Leads the Way (Again) with EBT Program, "Market Bucks"

In 2006, the Midtown Farmers Market became the first Twin Cities market to accept the SNAP/EBT (supplemental nutrition benefit program via electronic benefit transfer) program (more commonly known as food stamps), thus ushering in a new wave of accessibility for more local food lovers. And earlier this summer, they partnered with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota to make local, healthful food more affordable with a program called Market Bucks. The first $5 of EBT dollars used at the market on any given day is matched – with another $5. And that means $5 more local, farm-direct summer goodies to savor. 

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The Season for Sweet, Sweet Corn

It’s corn time, people! Sweet, sweet corn time. A couple weeks ago when I spotted the Peter’s Pumpkins and Carmen’s Corn stand at the Kingfield Farmers Market, I gasped and shimmied over as quickly as my flip flops would carry me. I snatched up six ears and to my surprise, received a gentle admonition from the owner, Peter Marshall, as he handed it to me: “Now this is good and sweet, but it’s not as good and sweet as it will be in a few weeks.” I’m not sure why I was surprised. I ought to know by now that Mother Nature takes her own sweet time and does things her own sweet way, with little regard for urban corn fiends like me.

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Perennial Plate Video: From Farm to Market with Loon Organics

Earlier this week, Alicia Jabbar wrote an illuminating post about farmer's markets from the farmer's point of view. You get up at the crack of dawn, work in the dirt -- in the blistering sun and the pelting rain -- picking and cleaning vegetables, all to just pack it all up the next morning. Then you drive, unpack, sell, talk endlessly, offer samples, re-pack and drive again. This is the process that brings snap peas for $4 a quart to a farmer's market near you. This is fresh food grown by real people. I don't know about you, but I usually take it for granted.

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