For nearly forty years, Brenda Langton has been one of the most recognizable guiding lights of Twin Cities organic dining, from the earliest days at the Commonplace Cooperative Restaurant to her award-winning establishments Cafe Kardamena and the beloved Cafe Brenda. Always ahead of the curve when it comes to serving local, organic, and vegetarian cuisine, in 2006 she opened the acclaimed Spoonriver restaurant in downtown Minneapolis while at the same time founding the Mill City Farmers Market, a unique urban market offering local, sustainable, and organic produce along with pasture-raised meats, eggs, and farmstead cheeses.
Spoonriver and the Mill City Farmers Market have from the very beginning been entwined—Brenda and her restaurants have always relied on the finest, freshest local produce as the foundation for her seasonal menus. The Spoonriver Cookbook is a tribute to these two landmark institutions as well as a presentation of the vision and philosophy behind Spoonriver’s delicious creations and their remarkable chef. With her longtime friend and coauthor Margaret Stuart, Brenda has compiled a flavorful variety of Spoonriver’s offerings from quick-cooking one-pot dishes to simple and scrumptious vegetable sides, legume recipes, and whole-grain preparations. Spoonriver appeals to a broad palate, and its cookbook includes tantalizing recipes for grass-fed beef, lamb, and naturally raised pork from area farms along with fresh seafood and organic free-range chicken. Connecting the table back to the market and ultimately to the land itself, The Spoonriver Cookbook provides unique recipes and fascinating short stories and profiles from the market’s farmers and vendors.