My Blog on WCCO-TV: Bite of Minnesota

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Market Talk Recipes

Last weekend I had the privilege of doing a Market Talk at the Minneapolis Farmers Market. When I first accepted the task, I was really excited. Then as the date got closer, I got more and more nervous – could I really talk and cook for an entire hour??

Turns out, I have no problem talking for an hour straight. I think I get that from my dad (cough, cough, table tennis). But seriously, I had a blast and would absolutely do it again. I really love teaching and inspiring others, especially when it comes to food, so this was a perfect opportunity for me.

Since I had an hour on stage, I decided to make two things that would be great for summertime: Lavender Strawberry Lemonade and Green Bean Salad with Lemon Chive Vinaigrette. The majority of ingredients came straight from the market. I used fresh strawberries, green and yellow beans, mixed salad greens, chives, and lemons.

Both recipes would be wonderful for the 4th of July weekend. I’m making the lemonade to mix up a vodka drink as I did last year. The recipe demoed used pre-packaged lemonade, but you can also make it from scratch using freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Green beans are one of my favorite vegetables and are quite kid friendly too. My niece took my advice of eating them with your hands like you would French fries.

Big thanks to everyone who came out to learn something new and support me in my cooking endeavors. It was great to be surrounded by friends and family and to make new friends. As I was leaving the market, I ran into two ladies who had been inspired by the Market Talk. They had just picked up all the ingredients for the recipes and were so excited to cook something new at home. Awesome!

In case you didn't get a copy, here are the recipes I made at the Market Talk.

Lavender Strawberry Lemonade

1 64 oz. container prepared lemonade
1 tbsp dried lavender flowers
10 fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 lemon, juiced
Fresh strawberries, for garnish

Place lemonade, lavender, and sliced strawberries in a saucepan. Bring to gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Cover and remove from heat. Let steep for 10 minutes.

Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a 2-quart container. Stir in lemon juice.

Chill and serve garnished with fresh strawberries.

Green Bean Salad with Lemon-Chive Vinaigrette
(4 dinner servings)

1 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
Extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt
8 c. loosely packed mixed greens, washed and dried

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 small clove garlic, minced
½ tsp sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp snipped chives

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Toss the green beans with enough oil to coat and sprinkle with a little salt. (Or if desired, blanch the green beans for 4 minutes instead of using oil.) Place the green beans in the skillet and cook, rolling frequently to avoid burning, until tender, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove. Arrange mixed greens on chilled plates or a large serving platter.

To prepare the vinaigrette: Place all ingredients in a clean mason jar. Shake until combined.

When ready to assemble the salad, toss the green beans with enough vinaigrette to coat. Arrange on top of the mixed greens. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and the snipped chives. Pass any additional vinaigrette alongside.

*Add tofu, chicken, or shrimp to make a more robust meal.


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