By this time of winter, most of us are starting to get bored of heavy cold-weather dishes and ready for some spring greens! Luckily, the best farmers and makers from around the state bring locally grown vegetables, award-winning cheeses, sauces and more one-of-a-kind handcrafted foods to indoor farmers markets for us locavores and foodies to get our spring fix.
Shopping local year-round not only provides fresher flavor, but it also supports small, sustainable businesses in our community. At the Mill City Farmers Market, you can find Minnesota greenhouse-grown salad greens, radishes and carrots along with some more unique flavors for a non-traditional spring salad.
While lettuce and spinach will always be dear to our hearts for their classic flavors, the farmers market is all about trying new things! You can find alternative greens like watercress, flavor-packed microgreens, spicy Asian greens and lemony chickweed to mix into your salad from farmers at the Mill City Farmers Market.
Adding a few dollops of jelly to a salad may seem like a Midwestern Jell-O “salad” seen in a Lutheran Church basement, but I promise you will not be disappointed by anything from Minneapolis maker Serious Jam. Owner Heidi Skoog works with local fruit and old-school techniques for her interesting flavor combinations of small-batch jams, jellies and marmalades. I would argue her rhubarb anise and blood orange whiskey jams are even better than fresh fruit.
Looking for some for some spice? Oromo-style Shahiya chutney is made by local urban farmer Ibrahim Mohamed, with help mastering the family recipe from his mother, Zahra. Capture the fresh flavors in this hot sauce by combining olive oil and Shahiya chutney for a flavorful salad dressing. Don’t worry — Mohamed always brings a mild green sauce for those of us who can’t handle the heat.
Mill City salad platter
Sometimes the easiest way to make dinner is to prep a bunch of veggies, buy some high-quality prepared foods and put together a big platter of everything for your family to build their own plates. Serves 4-6.
For the vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons Shahiya chutney, or less to taste
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the salad
- 4-6 slices bread
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 5 cups assorted mixed greens, washed and spun dry
Additional toppings to mix and match
- Chopped radishes, salad turnips or carrots
- Roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes
- Cooked chicken, bacon, salami or hard-boiled eggs
- Pickled vegetables
- Serious Jam’s seasonal jelly
Put all the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar, cover and shake well. The jar can be refrigerated up to one week. Shake again before using.
Preheat the broiler to high. Add the garlic, salt and pepper to the olive oil and brush onto both sides of the bread. Broil for two minutes on each side. Set aside.
Mix the lettuce with any reserved radish and turnip greens you may have. Place on a large platter or serving tray. Arrange the additional toppings on a tray. Allow your guests to help themselves and build their own salad from the platter and dress with
the vinaigrette and pesto.
The Mill City Farmers Market’s indoor winter market runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, March 5, inside the Mill City Museum (704 S. 2nd St.).