When Carolyn Denton goes to the Farmers Market, her plan is to not have a plan.
“I like to go and explore,” said Denton, who is a licensed nutritionist at the Penny George Institute – Abbott Northwestern Hospital. “We can take our cues on what we should be eating from what nature provides at each week’s market.”
“The foods we see in early spring, like salad greens, radishes, dandelion root and nettle are cleansing, and act as natural detoxifiers. Later in the summer, we have more cool and wet foods, like melon.”
Denton also enjoys the social atmosphere of the Farmers Market. “I like to talk to the people who grow the food. They will often have ideas on how to prepare an item and are happy to talk about their products.”
One of Denton’s favorite recipes using Farmers Market produce is pesto (see recipe below). While traditionally made with basil, it can also be made with almost any herb, as well as with spinach or other greens. It can be used with pasta, fish or chicken, spread on pizza crust, used as a vegetable dip or mixed with mayonnaise as a sandwich spread.
For more ideas on cooking with Farmers Market produce:
- Minnesota’s Bounty: The Farmers Market Cookbook by Beth Dooley
- Spoonriver Cookbook by Brenda Langton
From Spoonriver Cookbook by Brenda Langton and Margaret Stuart
2 cups slightly packed basil (or substitute arugula, spinach or parsley)
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons pine nuts (or pistachios, sunflower seeds, almonds)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
To make pesto: Place the basil, garlic, pine nuts, oil and salt in blender or food processor.
Process until the pesto is smooth. Stir in the cheese.
© University of Minnesota Press
Reprinted with permission.
The Penny George Institute will be at Mill City Farmers Market in downtown Minneapolis Saturday, Aug. 23. Stop by our booth and meet our practitioners.
Carolyn Denton, MA, LN, sees patients at the Penny George Institute – Abbott Northwestern Hospital. For appointments, call 612-863-3333.