The Minnesota Farmer’s Market Cookbook is a not just for Minnesotans. After all, we all like delicious fresh and healthy foods. It does Minnesotans the service of providing information on the state’s many farmer’s markets, but the real bonus is all the valuable information on the food. Each chapter details information on the best varieties, how to choose at the peak of flavor, and how to store. The good shopping and storage information is invaluable.

There are a few recipes for each of the forty plus chapters as well as several appendices. The first reorganizes the recipes by categories (soup, dessert, appetizer) instead of by main ingredients. The second organizes the food by month, this information is applicable to Minnesota, not all of the country. The third appendix details cooking techniques and the last has the addresses and hours of the many state farmer’s markets.

3-stars

This is a good cookbook for folks who love fresh, delicious, and health food. The pictures are beautiful. The information on selecting and storing foods is useful, though the seasonal timing will vary in other states. There is an unfortunate typo that made me giggle, adding some time rather than thyme to a recipe, but then we can always use more time.

 I made this Smoky Pea Soup from the cookbook, intrigued by its suggestion of using coffee beans to add flavor to the soup in place of bacon. It’s a vegan soup with as rich and deep a flavor as the more common bacon or ham and split pea soup.

The recipe could have used more detail. For example, I assumed that I needed to remove the bay leaves and coffee beans before pureeing the soup, but that step was left out of the recipe. Nonetheless, common sense guided me to take them out. The soup is delicious, smoky, with a deep base of heat from the dried red chili flakes.

For friends and family back in Minnesota, you need this book. For the rest outside the state,  the cookbook is still a great information resource and full of delicious recipes.

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