Recipes from the 2016 Blue Tent Collection, Part 1

At the time of this writing, there are two chef demos left in the 2016 market season. Pretty much every other week, we’ve had a dozen of Evanston’s best chefs visit and wow a couple of hundred hungry visitors with their delicious fare, much of it composed of products you can get right at the market. In this article, and a follow up in November, we’d like to share the recipes that those generous chefs shared with us. Here we go!


Roasted beets with buratta  and pesto oil

Roasted Beets (any type is ok)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C)

  1. Toss 2-3 lb of beets, in olive oil, and thyme or rosemary in a bowl until beets are coated, and arrange pieces of beet on baking sheet so that they don’t touch.
  2. Roast in the preheated oven until the beets are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Let beets cool down then peel the skin off ( you might want to wear plastic gloves so not to stain hands )
  4. Slice or chop and chill

Pesto Oil

  1. Take one 4oz jar of pesto or you can make your own, and mix with 1 cup of a very good quality olive oil .


Roasted Beets and Pesto Oil from above.

Store bought (hopefully local) 16 oz of Burrata

  1. Place 1/2 cup or couple of slices of beets in a bowl, desired quantity of Buratta cheese on top of the beets drizzle with pesto oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, then serve.


New York strip steak and arugula salad


  • One ten ounce thick cut strip steak from Heartland meats
  • 4 ounces of Marigold farms arugula lettuce
  • 1/2 ounce wedge of Elko farms white cheddar cheese per person
  • 1/4 cup Old Town Oil Tap Peach balsamic dressing
  • 1/3 cup Old Town Oil Tap lemon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijion mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper


Liberally salt and pepper each side of steak before grilling.

Grill strip steak over high heat for five minutes each side, rotating 90 degrees to get even sear on both sides. Let rest on cutting board for five minutes after removing from grill.

Combine Peach balsamic with dijon mustard with whisk in non reactive bowl, then slowly drizzle olive oil, while whisking vigorously until dressing becomes slightly thick. Add brown sugar, and pinch of salt and pepper, whisk until combined, then toss lightly with lettuce.

Slice steak cross wise into 1/4 inch strips. Add cheese wedge and four slices of steak to salad.

Serves four


Heirloom Tomato Panzanella


  • 1 each Shallot -minced
  • 2 cup Stale Ciabatta – cut into bite sizes pieces
  • 1 cup Cherry tomato (about 12) -cut into quarters
  • 1 each Medium heirloom tomato-medium dice
  • 2 cloves Garlic-minced
  • ¼ cup Red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 8 leaves Opal basil -torn into bite size pieces


  1. Mix all ingredients together and season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
  2. Let sit for at least an hour before serving.


Fresh Tomato Sauce


  • 8–10 pounds of fresh, ripe tomatoes (mixture of Early Girl and Roma)
  • 2 white onions
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh basil (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Prepare the tomatoes: Score the skin with a sharp knife. Drop in boiling
    water for one minute or until the skin starts to lift from the flesh. Transfer
    to a bowl of ice to cool. Peel, seed, and roughly chop the tomatoes.
  2. Mince the onions and the garlic. In a large saucepan, cook onions, garlic,
    bay leaves, and crushed red pepper in olive oil until onions are translucent.
    (About 5–10 minutes.)
  3. Add the tomatoes to the onion and garlic mixture. Cook uncovered until
    this forms a thick sauce. (About 20–30 minutes.) Add salt and pepper
    to taste.
  4. Remove the pan from heat and remove the bay leaves from the pan.
    If adding basil, now is the best time to do so.

A Simple, Steamed/Blanched Green & Yellow Bean Salad with a miso / honey /pickled mustard seed dressing


  • 1 pound Green and/or Yellow Beans, tips removed
  • 4 or so radishes, very thinly sliced (w/ a mandolin, if you can)

Miso dressing

  • 1 cup Saikyo miso paste
  • ½  cup mirin
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 3 purple shiso leaves
  • 1 tsp grated ginger

Pickled mustard seeds

  • 1 cup yellow mustard seeds
  • ¾ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup mirin
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water.


Blanch the beans, shock in cold water, set aside

Miso dressing

Fine chop shiso, add remaining ingredients and mix together.  Adjust seasonings and thickness to personal taste.  (sweeter, thinner)

Pickled mustard seeds

Put all ingredients in a non aluminum pan, simmer for 5 minutes, take off heat and let cool.  Stored in the fridge, they are good for a long time.

Assemble the dish

Plate green beans, drizzle with miso dressing.  top with radishes and some micro greens, spread pickled mustard seeds around. Finished

You can add other vegetables like cherry tomato, asparagus, etc.

For a more substantial dish, add a Japanese onsen style egg .