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St. Paul Farmer's Market recipes rev up beans and blueberries


July in Minnesota--when the sky is abundant with pyrotechnics and the farmers' markets are overflowing with beans and blueberries. To celebrate the season, we turned to our trusty Saint Paul Farmers' Market Cookbook , a collection of recipes from growers and customers first published in 1999. The book is a steal at $10 (available for purchase at the downtown market) and deserves a spot alongside the likes of classics like the Joy of Cooking and The Art of Simple Food .

Arranged alphabetically first by vegetable (asparagus to zucchini) and then by fruit (apples to watermelon), it tells when each item is in-season and offers a plethora of easy and, for the most part, thrifty recipes from local producers such as Eichten's Cheese, as well as from chefs and food writers like Lynne Rossetto Kasper. In a sense, it also serves as a history book of local restaurants, preserving recipes from the now defunct Aquavit, D'Amico Cucina, and the Dakota . . . St. Paul.

When we heard that beans and blueberries were on the menu for July, we decided to test out the green bean and potato salad, from Kevin Cullen of the old Goodfellows, and the blueberry cream pie, presumably from a customer, Gwen Johnson. Both were winners--cheap, easy, and delicious. Bring either to your 4th of July picnic and prepare for fireworks of praise.

Forget the eggs and mayo. There's red wine in this potato salad.
Forget the eggs and mayo. There's red wine in this potato salad.

Green Bean and Potato Salad

1 large red onion
1 tbsp. olive oil
3/4 lb green beans, trimmed and blanched
5 medium sized potatoes, sliced and blanched
1 to 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 red bell pepper, roasted and sliced
2 tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Sauté sliced red onion in olive oil until transparent. Add garlic, sliced potatoes, green beans, and red pepper. Remove from heat and splash with balsamic vinaigrette. Season to taste. Makes 8 servings.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup red wine
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
3/4 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients in blender, pulsing only until garlic and shallots are finely chopped. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Be a hero--bring the pie.
Be a hero--bring the pie.

Blueberry Cream Pie

1 cup dairy sour cream
5 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
2 1/2 cups blueberries
1 unbaked pie shell

Topping

3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine sour cream, 2 tbsp. flour, sugar, vanilla, salt, and egg. Beat for five minutes, or until smooth and thoroughly combined. Fold in blueberries. Pour filling into pie shell. Bake in 400 degree oven for 25 minutes. Combine 3 tbsp. flour, 1 1/2 tbsp. butter and walnuts. Sprinkle over pie. Return to oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Makes 9-inch pie.

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Downtown St. Paul Farmers' Market

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