WE MINNESOTANS are so quick to whip out the grill at the first signs of summer that we’re often burnt out on burgers come mid-June. Isaac Becker, owner and executive chef of 112 Eatery in Minneapolis, reinvigorates the usual barbecue repertoire with a bread-tomato salad enlivened with garlic, red onion, and fresh basil. “The garlic is prominent but not overwhelming,” Becker says. “And the grilled bread takes on an almost meaty texture and taste.” He loves the simplicity of this salad—it takes only 10 minutes to prepare. Becker and his wife, restaurant co-owner Nancy St. Pierre, often pair the dish with chicken or steak, but it can round out any picnic spread.
1/2 baguette, sliced lengthwise
1 garlic clove, cut in half
3 ripe beefsteak tomatoes, diced into large pieces
1/2 medium-sized red onion, thinly sliced
basil leaves (about a handful), torn into small pieces
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Grill baguette slices until golden brown and branded with grill marks. Remove bread from heat and rub with cut side of garlic clove. Break bread slices into large croutons. Toss bread with tomato, onion, basil, vinegar, and olive oil in a large bowl. Salt and pepper to taste.
Picked to Lick
Five fave flavors from Twin Cities ice-cream makers
Photo by Terry Brennan
Photo by Terry Brennan
» Birthday Cake
It’s the perfect gift: French vanilla cake-batter ice cream, rainbow sprinkles, and chunks of angel food cake. Grand Ole Creamery, 750 Grand Ave., St. Paul
» Surly Beer
This mix of sweet cream and Surly Bender beer is light and refreshing, with just a hint of hoppy bitterness in the finish. A bit like frozen Baileys. Pumphouse Creamery, 4754 Chicago Ave., Mpls.
» Key Lime Pie
What could be better than the Birchwood Cafe’s Key lime pie? Gooey-sweet hunks of it buried in tart Key lime ice cream. Izzy’s, 2034 Marshall Ave., St. Paul
» Olive Oil
Stop making that face: The oil—and a touch of fleur de sel—actually adds more to the texture than the taste, giving a subtle depth and richness to the creamy base. Crema Café, 3403 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls.
Sebastian Joe’s does a killer rendition of this classic, with a sky-high ratio of cookies to cream. Try it in the dark chocolate–dipped Brr Bar. Sebastian Joe’s, 1007 W. Franklin Ave., Mpls.