Tricia Cornell on how to shop Minnesota's farmers markets like a pro [RECIPE]

The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook by Tricia Cornell

It seems like a shopping no-brainer: instead of getting in your gas guzzler and motoring across town to a big box grocery store for your imported asparagus from Peru or heads of garlic from China, you spend your hard-earned food budget at your neighborhood farmers market, supporting the farmers who live and work near you, and getting the best quality produce you can. So why are so many people intimidated by the farmers market, and so few see it as a legitimate place to shop and feed their families?

Tricia Cornell tackles this question in her latest book, The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook. Brimming with easy to accomplish recipes, the book also includes a comprehensive directory of farmers markets throughout the region, and helpful notes on each type of produce covered, so you can shop and cook with confidence. She took the time to chat with us about kohlrabi, the lies we've been told about stir fries, and all of her best tips for shopping locally like a pro.

The Hot Dish: Describe your new cookbook. What should readers expect?

Tricia Cornell: The most exciting thing about The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook is that it's organized by product, so that you can experience it the same way you experience the farmers market. You can either start at the beginning of a row and walk all the way through, or you can drop in and see what you see in front of you, or you can go straight to the beets if you need beets. So the book is organized that same way.

HD: Why did you decide to write this book? Your previous book, Eat More Vegetables, tackles the questions of what to do with your seasonal produce. How does this book differ from or expand on the first?

Well, that book was also a lot of fun to write. That was 100% my recipes and the foods that my family eats at home. This book allowed me to talk to a lot of really dedicated farmers and chefs, some of them practically celebrities here in Minnesota and some them ordinary farmers market fellows. And the other thing is that this book allowed me to get really in depth and geeky on each vegetable in a way that I wasn't able to do so much in the first book. I take you through how to find a vegetable, when to buy it, what to when you get it home, how to store it...So, yeah, it's a little geekier on the vegetable front.

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"Our very own Eat Street" at Taste of Northeast

Rachelle Carlson
Brasa Premium Rotisserie at the Northeast Farmers Market
A number of Northeast's top eateries will pitch tents at the Northeast Farmers Market on Saturday, Oct. 5. for the third annual Taste of Northeast. Market-goers will be able to sample some of Northeast's tastiest bites for around $3 to $6 a plate.

"It's our very own Eat Street," says market manager Sarah Knoss. "We've seen a huge growth in more independent restaurants, sustainable, local spots. This is a foodie-type neighborhood."

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New Spyhouse Coffee in Northeast [PHOTOS]

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Chef Ian Gray at Minneapolis Farmers Market this weekend

E. Katie Holm
Get a lesson in lamb this weekend from chef Ian Gray
A good cut of lamb is a lovely thing, but if you don't have a lot of practice cooking it, it can be daunting. Should it be roasted, grilled, or seared in a pan? How done is too done? What goes best as a side dish? All your burning, lamb-related questions will be answered this Saturday at the Minneapolis Farmers Market. Chef Ian Gray of the Gray House is teaming up with the Minnesota Lamb Growers Association to demo some techniques and share some of his own recipes. 

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Top 10 farmers markets in the Twin Cities
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Kingfield Farmers Market Rhubarb bake off this Sunday

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Minnesota grown bounty at Kingfield Farmer's Market

We've got it on good authority (i.e. the Weather Channel) that the weather will shine this weekend. Now is the time to grab this season by the sprouts and revel in this first season's produce. This Sunday, June 8, Kingfield Farmers Market will kick-off their bake-off competition where fans can cook up favorites from their kitchen and bring them to the market to compete for serious bragging rights and a $50 gift certificate. Market attendees also have the chance to taste the entries and crown a winner. Here's what you need to know before you go:

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Black Walnut Bakery: A first look

Joy Summers
Dazzling downtown denizens, Sarah Botcher and Black Walnut Bakery

Sarah Botcher has been winning fans with her elegant take on homey desserts at Butcher & the Boar since they opened. She's recently decided to step out and start her own business. Every Thursday she sets up her stand, hangs out her card and shares her talents with downtown Minneapolis farmers market customers. We stopped by for a taste.

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Butcher & the Boar's pastry chef opens Black Walnut, a pop-up bakery

Courtesy Black Walnut Facebook page
A new venture from Sarah Botcher, popping up all around town

Though bourbon, big portions, and beer gardens may be the most talked-about attractions at Jack Riebel's Butcher & the Boar, a recent James Beard Award semi-finalist in the Best New Restaurant category, early on we also recognized there's something special going on in the pastry station. Southern-inspired desserts with retro flair -- like grasshopper pie, molten s'mores, and banana pie with gingersnap cookie crust, playfully presented -- are the sweet and simplistic finish diners so desire after a meal of big grilled meats.

The doyenne of desserts at Butcher & the Boar is chef Sarah Botcher, a transplant from San Francisco, California, where she spent time at Tartine, a celebrated organic-focused cafe and bakery. Now that she's settled in and Butcher & the Boar is a screaming success, the time seemed just right to launch her new venture, Black Walnut Bakery. 

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Twin Cities' farmers markets are ready for business

Categories: Farmers Markets

Green is on the horizon. The Minneapolis Farmers Market downtown opened today, with others to follow

It looks as if this is finally happening. Spring has fought through those epic snowbanks and is finally forcing its way back into our backyards. Farmers markets are making a comeback. One starts today, while others have had to push back their opening date for the first time ever. Here is a guide for you to find your nearest farmer's market.

See also:
2013 Best Farmer's Market
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The Wedge's Organic Field School hosts fundraiser for young farmers

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The Organic Field School is the nonprofit arm of the Wedge Co-op's Gardens of Eagan

Last weekend, the Organic Field School hosted its annual fundraiser at Kitchen in the Market, at Midtown Global Market. The organization is the nonprofit arm of the Wedge Co-op's organic farming program Gardens of Eagan. The Organic Field School offers educational programs and assistance to farmers while promoting the benefits of sustainable and organic farming methods to the public.

The event gave the public face time with several of the Twin Cities' premier organic farmers, including the ladies of Bossy Acres, Humble Pie, Fazenda Boa Terra, and Loon Organics. The fundraiser also featured a wide variety of local food products, including food from Foxy Falafel, Chow Girls Catering, and Froz Bros craft ice cream. Craft beers courtesy of local brewer Tallgrass Brewing were available, as were Joia Soda and wines from Stark Wines.

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Country Chef Challenge at the Minneapolis Farmers Market: Wadi vs. Riebel

Country Chef Challenge pits chefs from Saffron and Butcher & the Boar
This weekend, the knives come out at the Minneapolis Farmers Market. Local chefs Sameh Wadi and Jack Riebel will go head to head in a market cook-off using whatever is in season and available at the market. With both chefs well versed in competition, it should make for a food throw-down not to be missed.

The Country Chef Challenge is a national event sponsored by Country Financial. Minneapolis is one of four cities to host the event, along with Portland, Oregon, Chicago, and Olathe, Kansas.

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Minnesota Zoo Farmers Market features Fish Smart chefs

Categories: Farmers Markets
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Fish Smart promotes sustainable seafood at the Zoo

One of the newest farmers markets to pop up in the Cities is the one found in the Apple Valley parking lot outside the Minnesota Zoo. We stopped by to have a peek and a taste of the goodies available. We found the usual, beautiful Minnesota bounty, but then we spotted something unexpected.

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