Unearthing Spring Flavor
What’s Cooking with the Chefs at Good Earth
By Christine Williams
For the chefs at Good Earth, spring brings forth an array of fresh produce, flavors and variety that have been slumbering over the winter months. We talked to Garrett Hess and John Lachowitzer, chefs at Good Earth Edina and Good Earth Roseville, to discover what ingredients to expect for spring, how they cook with the seasons and how to rejuvenate and incorporate spring flavor in meals.
Good Earth is passionate about using local and organic ingredients to cook in harmony with the seasons. To do this, the chefs at Good Earth change their monthly specials based on three featured ingredients from organic and local growers. To pick the featured ingredients on the monthly menus, Hess says "we look for peak flavor and freshness. We have farmers we work with and have a master list of what is available and when we can get these items."
This month some of the featured ingredients on the menu are garbanzo beans, Jerusalem artichokes (also known as sunchokes, which are the root of sunflowers) and Belgian endive (a kind of lettuce). Lachowitzer says, "We are taking ancient greens that have been forgotten and incorporating them in a new way." One featured menu item is mango and curried chickpea salad with mango, curried chickpeas, roasted cauliflower, spinach, tomato, mint yogurt and cilantro. "We're trying to lighten menu items for spring after heavy meals during the winter months," says Hess.
To rejuvenate and bring spring flavor into meals, Hess and Lachowitzer recommend going to your local grocer to find fresh items you don't see year round. "Pick items that make you feel better about what you are eating, such as quinoa and lean protein," says Lachowitzer. Hess adds, "The less you do to the ingredients, such as season lightly, use good olive oil and use the best quality ingredients, the better it will taste."
Good Earth is onto something as they cook with the seasons and look to the earth for fresh and local produce. As Hess says, "Eating healthy from local farms has become a lifestyle for many people. It has gained momentum and I don't foresee that changing."