Recipes from a Northern Forager
By Brett Laidlaw
(Minnesota Historical Society Press, Hardcover, 9780873518192, 224pp.)
Publication Date: September 2011
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From flavorful artisanal cheeses to the year-round plenty of farmers markets to the first wild ramps of spring, options for eating well in Minnesota and Wisconsin abound. Brett Laidlaw has taken advantage of these local treasures for decades, and in Trout Caviar he shares tips and recipes to help you embrace the gifts our northern climate provides.
Laidlaw cultivates relationships with specialty stores and artisanal purveyors to gather food that comes with a toothsome sense of place—fresh Lake Superior fish, pastured lamb, plump duck for rich confit. He gardens and frequents farmers markets to savor seasonal produce, from the earliest lettuces through the flavorful peak of tomato season and on to winter’s store of apples, potatoes,
and squashes. But Laidlaw takes fresh a step further by foraging truly wild foods—chanterelles, nettles, berries, trout fresh from the stream. He combines the best of the best to create recipes such as Summer LakeTrout Chowder, Grouse in Cider Cream, and Grilled Dessert Pizza with Rhubarb-Honey-Thyme compote. Laidlaw also includes practical information about mushroom hunting, curing
bacon, laissez-faire gardening, and more.
Tapping considerable creativity in the kitchen and expanding the possibilities inherent in locally available foods, Laidlaw’s recipes showcase the distinctive flavor and products of our northern clime at every meal.
Brett Laidlaw writes the blog Trout Caviar and is the author of the novels Blue Bel Air and Three Nights in the Heart of the Earth. He divides his time between St. Paul and a rural Wisconsin cabin.