Cooking the Season with the Linden Hills Market
Photo courtesy of Linden Hills Market
There’s a thrill in surrounding yourself with the stands upon stands of local produce at our area farmers markets. Most of us are still shaking off that winter PTSD and suddenly, there are all these corners in the cities, packed with greenery. There are fantastic markets all over Minneapolis and Saint Paul, but come Sunday, there is a relatively new market that is serving up all kinds of interesting raw ingredients begging to be plucked, with their glistening leaves and freshly-dug perfume.
Linden Hills market is a fantastic spot for home cooks who love to create dishes like the best chefs in town. (Chef Steven Brown of the highly acclaimed Linden Hills restaurant Tilia is just one of the chefs on the market’s board.) They also have a panel of experts assembled by Kitchen in the Market every week. You can march right up and have them answer any of your questions.
We spoke with Libby Wyrum the market manager and asked her to look into her crystal ball (or chat with her vendors) to tell us what they expect to be harvesting this weekend.
By next weekend, some of the artisanal and heirloom vegetables you can expect to find will be dark leafy greens like heirloom Toscano and green afro kale, rhubarb chard, plus, early members of the onion family like a Nebechan scallions, a Japanese variety or deep purple scallions. They also expect to call Rover radishes on over. Plus, there will be both winner and kolibri kohlrabi.
Now, you may wonder what to do with those leafy greens (they also have some gorgeous varieties of lettuce available) and a salad is never a bad idea.
Personally, I’m gunning for that Toscano kale. Say what you will about kale’s moment being over, I still can’t get enough of the stuff—especially when you get those edges crispy and they’re perfumed with smoke, spice, and just a bit of bright citrus. When it’s local, it’s all the lovelier.
Crispy Orange-scented Kale
1 small bunch Toscano kale (any long-leafed variety will work)
1 Tablespoon bacon grease
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon chili flake (optional)
1 teaspoon orange zest
In a large, wide cast iron skillet, melt bacon grease over medium high heat.
Slice cleaned, dried kale into thin 1/4 in” ribbons.
When fat has melted, drop in kale and stand back. It’s going to spit and sizzle.
After one minute, add salt and stir kale.
After another minute, stir again. You’re looking for the edges to begin to turn brown and slightly charred. Once you see the edges getting dark and a few brown spots, shut off the heat.
Add the chili flake if using and orange zest and stir until the zest is fragrant.
Serves two as a side dish.