Shhh….. come close…. I have a secret to tell. There is some good food happening in the Upper Midwest. Minnesota and Wisconsin have been developing a substantial food scene right under our noses and most of the country has barely thought to notice.
I say most because those of us that live here have sat up and taken notice and are ready to spread the word. Heavy Table is publishing a beautifully illustrated book to help you navigate the waters… er, lakes of the North Coast food scene.
The working title is The Secret Atlas of North Coast Food. The book will explore, map, illustrate, and chart the local food scene throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin with pieces written by the areas greatest food minds and illustrated by local cartographers and designers.
If you want in on a piece of the action contribute to their Kickstarter campaign and you will be in line to receive your own copy when the book is published at the end of the year. For a sneak peak into this incredible project check out some of the entries here on the Heavy Table website.
While the restaurants, markets, and purveyors are heating up here I still think the best food in the region is made by some stellar home cooks. I myself might have dished out a couple of delicious things the past week or so. Thank goodness I’m modest, right? This warm green bean salad in particular was pretty fabulous.
The verdant green beans act as a base for sweet tangerine bits, chewy dates, crunchy pistachios, and delicate slices of shallot. More than just a side of green beans this dish ends up being the star of the plate so serve it alongside a simple roast chicken or grilled fish.
Tossing the green beans in the warm dressing adds a level of complexity but keep this recipe in mind for all those upcoming warm summer nights of alfresco dinners. This salad works just as well cold or at room temperature.
Warm Green Bean Salad with Tangerines, Pistachios, and Dates
Adapted from O Magazine
- Yield: 8 1x
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
- 3 shallots, divided (1 finely chopped, 2 thinly sliced)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed
- 3 tangerines, peel, pith, and seeds removed, segmented
- 1 cup pitted dates (preferable Medjool), sliced
- 1/2 cup roasted, salted pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Combine vinegar, thyme, honey, mustard, and chopped shallot together in a small bowl. Whisk to dissolve the honey. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and whisk again. Slowly add the olive oil while whisking until all the oil has been incorporated.
- Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add green beans and cook until just tender to the bite, about 4-5 minutes. Drain and run cold water over them until cool to the touch. Pat dry.
- Add vinaigrette to the saucepan and heat over medium heat until warm. Add green beans and toss in the dressing until warmed through. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle tangerines, dates, pistachios, sliced shallots, and parsley over the top. Serve immediately.