Tuesday, July 5, 2011


It's easy to be a locavore come July in Minnesota. Between the garden, the St. Joseph Farmer's Market and our new Minnesota Street Market Co-op that carries Forest mushrooms grown right up the road and local, organic milk, I'm even making local pizzas! Friday night's was made with homemade mozzarella that was so buttery yellow and had such a real mozzarella texture, it was a revelation. It was topped with Forest criminis sauteed with garden spinach and farmer's market onions. The dough was made with the whey from the cheese and local flour from Freeport, Minnesota. I did use garlic that was no doubt imported from China, but hey, it's small! (wait until next year...) And, since I'm confessing, Trader Joe's pizza sauce.

I also made a batch of what's called in Ricki "the Cheese Queen" Carroll's Home Cheese Making book, lactic cheese. It's a pretty bad name for a really excellent soft cheese that you can make in 24 hours if you have rennet, thermophilic starter and salt. I've been making it all year, and nothing is better on a Triscuit than this cheese with some herbs de Provence mixed in. Except, perhaps, the "rosey dill radish dip" I made this weekend.

The last of the garden radishes and first of the garden dill were amazing in this dip, which calls for cream cheese, but I would imagine that cream cheese is too sweet and thus not as good as with lactic cheese. Again, it uses an exotic garlic clove and lemon, but there's no need to go crazy with this locavore stuff. After all, we Minnesotans are a practical people. And the food system has not yet collapsed.

Here's the recipe, which comes from the Common Ground Garden CSA web site.

Rosey-dilled Radish Dip

8 oz. lactic or cream cheese, at room temperature (so you can mix it)
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs fresh chopped dill 
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup finely chopped radishes

Combine all the ingredients well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to incorporate the flavors before serving. Serve with crackers, chips or vegetable strips.

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