Eating Local- Part Two

Also when going local, don’t forget about your favorite locally minded restaurants. It’s a real challenge to source local produce in our area in quantity. Meats have to pass vigorous USDA inspections to be sold in restaurants so the chef really has to be dedicated to local foods and will pay sometimes 25% – 50% more in price for the products. These diligent buyers and cooks offer our local bounty as a mission for a better world So I always encourage the community to patronize these establishments and recognize their efforts to provide the best tasting foods available.

Once the vetting process is done with sourcing local foods, you’ve taken the time to seek out the best, stocked your freezer with reserves, you will be able to enjoy local foods year around. In the dead of winter, your friends will be so glad you shared those raspberries and lamb chops that you carefully procured and saved just for them.

Finding local treasures on the web

www.mda.state.mn.us/food/minnesotagrown/ -It has access to a directory that has over 675 farms, markets and garden centers. It’s broken down by regions and lets you search for a farm or market by product, name or area. It has a handy peak season availability chart. Each farm listed tells what they sell, where they sell it and if it’s open year around or just seasonal. You can request a catalog to be sent to you on the website.

www.lakesuperiorfarming.org -Website for finding the nearest farmer’s market or information about the annual Harvest Festival. Also has a listing of local farms in the Arrowhead region including North WestWisconsin.

www.eatwisconsincheese.com – request a cheese farm location map from the website of all the cheese makers in Wisconsin. There are four cheese makers within 115 miles of the Twin Ports in Wisconsin that give tours and offer tastings.

www.mnbison.org – Minnesota Buffalo Association has a list of producers that sell direct and information about each farm.

Vegetable Caponata

To print recipe, click here

Almost every culture has some sort of an eggplant relish.

This is a Sicilian version that’s easy to assemble and tastes better the second day.

Serve with crusty sliced Italian bread toasted and drizzled with olive oil as an appetizer or side dish. Be sure to serve Caponata room temperature for optimum flavor. Large Italian or Globe eggplants need to be salted to take potential bitterness out before cooking. Peel, slice and sprinkle with table salt. After sprinkled, let them stand for 10 minutes to sweat (beads of water will form on the top) rinse and then proceed with the recipe.

Photo credit, Italian Food Forever

Ingredients:

2 Large Italian or Globe Eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds) peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
5 Cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
2 Tomatoes, diced
2 Ribs celery, washed and diced in small pieces
1 Red Onion, peeled and chopped small
1 Green bell pepper, diced into small pieces
1 ½ cup roasted red peppers, diced small
2 Tablespoons Olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons drained nonpareil capers
8 Pitted black Kalamata olives, chopped
1 Tablespoon toasted pine nuts
2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
½ Teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 450F. Place  diced eggplant on a baking sheet. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil over eggplant. On a separate baking sheet, Mix garlic, tomatoes, celery, onion and green pepper and toss with one tablespoon of the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

2.  Roast until eggplant is soft and vegetable mix browned about 30 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes to keep from browning too much during cooking. Transfer to a platter to cool.

3.  In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well..

4.  Makes 3-4 cups.

This entry was posted in Appetizers, Local Food Producers, Vegetable Dishes and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Eating Local- Part Two

  1. Heidi F says:

    LOVE this article. Thank you for posting it. We moved here from Arizona last year and I love the Duluth Farmers Market and all the local choices here. We were members of a CSA in Arizona – but here we just started our very first garden of our own!!

  2. Lauren says:

    Interested in eating local? Come to Minwanjige cafe by Strawberry Lake in Ogema. Our organic flour comes from Natural Way Mills just 110 miles north of us. Almost all the produce was grown within 50 miles and frozen last fall. We source buffalo meat locally as well. We’re open Weds-Sunday 9-3pm. http://www.minwanjige.com or 983-3834.

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