Tag Archives: Southwest Minnesota

Without a Recipe: A FarmerChef Cooks

19 Jun

By Deanne

Hey there FarmerChefs!  Have you noticed that once you know what goes together you can look at what is coming out of the garden or available at the farmers market, combine it with  what you have on hand in your kitchen and create some sensational combinations?  Whenever we want a little inspiration about what foods and flavors go together we consult a book Steve picked up when he was in cooking school called:  The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. 

Photo of The Flavor BibleToday we combined fresh asparagus with a little garlic and lemon and chicken to make a Lemon Garlic Asparagus rice plate.  Our restaurant’s rice plates are growing in popularity as people are discovering that they are a great way to eat their veggies and whole grains.  Because we combine everything at the last minute this dish can be served without meat or Parmesan cheese for a vegan entree. Photo of asparagus garlic rice plate

According to what we have been learning, asparagus is best cooked in a way the retains all its super powers.  Stir frying or grilling will do the trick.  Loaded with nutrients and unique qualities, Asparagus can help aid our bodies in fighting disease and give a boost to cognitive  function (for old people like me. :)

Photo of asparagusDo you prefer cooking with a recipe?  We have a few asparagus recipes to choose from:

Asparagus Pasta Salad

Asparagus Soup: FarmerChef Style

Italian Sausage Carbonara with Springtime Asparagus

Asparagus Spear Photo credit:  Amanda Petersen Photography

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Asparagus Salad: First Taste of the Growing Season

24 May

By Deanne

Photo of Asparagus SaladSnow was the norm for April this year so we have been eagerly waiting for asparagus to do its duty and signal the start of the growing season.  Asparagus season was already over by this time last year.  We made our first post on April 5th in 2013.

This year, we are excited to have guest FarmerChefs again. For this recipe we are fortunate to learn and share a family favorite of Ellen’s.  She works with me at our restaurant

Ellen says:

We first got the recipe after my Aunt made the salad for my brother’s baptism.  After we tasted it, not surprisingly, we asked her for the recipe and have received rave reviews every time we’ve made it.  As soon as we take the first bite after making it you can almost hear the sigh of contentment around the dinner table as everyone in their own turn remarks:  “I love this salad, I could eat this everyday”, or simply, “wow!”

I feel honored to have been given permission to share this family treat. I like the picture Ellen painted in our minds in how she described their family table.  Join us on our FarmerChef journey and cook with local and seasonal food. You can suggest ideas and we will feature your recipe.

Asparagus Pasta Salad

  • 1 lb pasta cooked and drained  (we used gluten free pasta)
  • 1/2 med red onion chopped
  • 1/2 oz. fresh basil  (we used 1 teaspoon dried basil)
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 can baby artichoke hearts drained and chopped
  • 6 oz grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley chopped  (we used 1 tablespoon dried parsley)
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus hand chopped
  • 2 1/2 oz black olives sliced

Dressing

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 4 tsp fresh minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 and 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Getting to Know our Neighbors: Part I

15 Mar

Ever notice how once you set your mind to something, you see opportunity all around?   We decided to look around and see what other like-minded local farmer/foodies live in this part of Southwest Minnesota.  Look what we found…

Just south of us in Mt. Lake, Minnesota  is a kind and conscious family who is growing food for their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) customers.  We went to have a chat on a cold winter Monday and learned about the many good things Jubliee Fruits and Vegetables is up to in our neck of the prairie. This wagon shows what their customers can expect during the summer.A photo of the CSA harvest

A photo of Camelina oilJust west of us and south of the town of Lamberton, we met Kathleen and her one year old daughter Amana.  Their family farm grows camelina, the seeds of which are harvested and turned into a tasty oil, rich in omega-3’s, that can be used for cooking and baking.  They even use camelina oil as a wood finish on their handmade wooden toys. Visit their toyshop.A photo of the toys

Kathleen introduced us to her sister who grows wheat south of Mankato in Good Thunder, MN; the whole wheat is used at River Rock Coffee in St. Peter. We  made a tasty granola treat using camelina oil and whole wheat flour from Good Earth Mill and Grains.

We look forward to getting to know our neighbors and meeting new neighbors in Southwest MN!