Creating a better world starts at home—in the kitchen—and for twenty years the Birchwood Cafe has guided diners to live and eat sustainably and joyfully. Now you can sample Birchwood’s recipes—adapted for home cooks—and fill your own table with some of the irresistible fare that has made the cafe one of the region’s best-loved restaurants.
In these pages, find Birchwood’s light-hearted, innovative menu: hearty hand pies and multigrain salads, decadent pastries, and award-winning desserts. Organized by eight seasons, these dishes are inspired by the way weather affects our appetites and determines what comes from our land. With Spring, we celebrate beginnings, tossing up fragrant herbs, tender greens, and tart rhubarb. Come Summer, we fire up the grill and get outside; when Scorch hits and those dog days dampen appetites, we whip up cool soups and refreshing salads. Then Autumn, with its collision of apples, pears, pumpkins, and kale; and as Dusk falls, we get cozy with bowls of savory soup. Frost tempts us back to the stove with nourishing roots. Ready for Winter, we gather close with friends near the hearth, ladling up warming stews. Come Thaw, look to the first food of the season as the maple syrup runs and we anticipate a new year. The pantry chapter features Chef Marshall Paulsen’s condiments—chutney, jam, preserves, and vinaigrettes—which can transform the simplest dish into a spectacular plate.
Owner Tracy Singleton and Chef Marshall share Birchwood stories and memories, plus practical tips and insights. Just as Birchwood Cafe is more than a restaurant, this is more than a cookbook. The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook shows you what it takes to make a sustainable kitchen and a joyful table, to prepare “good real food” that really does more than a little good.
About the Author
Tracy Singleton is the founder and owner of the Birchwood Cafe, where Marshall Paulsen is chef. A longtime writer on local foods, Beth Dooley’s books include The Northern Heartland Kitchen and Minnesota’s Bounty: The Farmers Market Cookbook, a collaboration with photographer Mette Nielsen, whose work includes The Spoonriver Cookbook and The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper.
"If you have ever wondered what it would be like to have Birchwood Cafe's delectable 'good real food' at home, the answer is here in this book. It will rejuvenate our commitment to healthier cooking with the best of Minnesota!"—Lucia Watson
"Birchwood is more than a cafe—it is a community. For close to seventy-five years this little corner has become a vibrant gathering place where neighbors, farmers, families, and friends come together around food. The stories, recipes, and the people who make it all happen are embodied in this beautiful book, bringing the Birchwood experience into our homes and kitchens and onto our tables."—Michael Ableman, farmer and author of From the Good Earth, On Good Land, and Fields of Plenty*
"Fresh organic food with purpose and right tribe; the Birchwood Cafe is the Blue Zone of Minneapolis! This gracious and simple cafe has a big presence in our lives—Marshall’s tasty food and Tracy’s social activism have led the way for many healthy and sustainable initiatives and have us all thinking about where our food comes from. Now, you can bring this delicious, conscious, and healthful way of life into your own kitchen."—Dan Buettner, National Geographic Fellow and New York Times bestselling author of Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People
"I had no problem slotting the recipes into our lives. These were all foods that we wanted to eat together, as a family, after a busy day. They "—Heavy Table
"Clear and concise recipes for fresh and healthy foods paired with profiles of the farmers Paulsen and Singleton make this a great gift for the healthy eater or vegetarian."—St. Paul Pioneer Press
"Locavores will love The Birchwood Cafe Cookbook. . . The seasonal chapters of this new tome show home cooks how to use the freshest ingredients in their cooking."—Minnesota Monthly
"This is truly a cookbook for all seasons, including ones you didn’t even know we had."—City Pages