Minnesota Grown Local Cookbook Reviews

Written by Susanne Novak & Margo Stich
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“The Minnesota Homegrown Cookbook: Local Food, Local Restaurants, Local Recipes,”
Voyageur Press, 2008,
$29.95 (hardcover), 160 pages
Reviewed by Susanne Novak

In this wonderful compilation of recipes, Renewing the Countryside treats readers to an array of scrumptious dishes using locally procured ingredients and tales from the local cooks who prepare them.

Irresistible recipes such as Spirited Baked Apples and Roasted Pumpkin Hand Pie are sure to become fall favorites. An abundance of breakfast foods, including Maple Pecan French Toast and Puff Pancakes with Strawberry-Almond Butter, pair perfectly with a cup of coffee and the morning paper, and you’ll never buy bottled salad dressing again after concocting Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette or Black River Blue Cheese Dressing.

Most of the ingredients are easily found at the farmer’s market, translating into quick, affordable meals. Additional highlights of this well-thought out, full color book are the stories of local proprietors and recipe contributors explaining how they work diligently to preserve a way of not just eating, but existing.


“The Spoonriver Cookbook,”
University of Minnesota Press, 2012,
$34.95 (hardcover), 257 pages
Reviewed by Margo Stich

Brenda Langton is passionate about a diet which relies on local and organic ingredients. A prominent figure in the Twin Cities dining scene, she has had a pervasive history of restaurants including Cafe Kardamena, Cafe Brenda and Spoonriver.

Langton’s penchant toward plant-based protein and her zest for flavor experimentation result in an uncommon collection filled with unique dishes like Sunflower Pesto (with tofu), Shrimp Quesadillas with Coconut Cilantro Salsa, Mushroom Tempeh Stroganoff and Salmon with Wasabi Glaze and Asian Pesto.

While there are few recipes for meat lovers to bite into, foodies will delight in the Lamb Spoonburger with Moroccan Spices and Herbed Pork Tenderloin with homemade applesauce, especially great for fall when apples are abundant at area orchards. The “Commonplace” Veggie Burger will delight even the non-vegetarian palate.

With alluring photography, Langton’s cookbook is sure to become a favorite in your kitchen.

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