LINCOLN PARK — For those lacking a green thumb or chef's coat, a trip to the farmers market to browse the February root vegetables usually leaves one at a loss for recipe ideas.
The Green City Market is trying to change that by asking its vendors from local farms, its customers and volunteers to submit seasonal recipes for a cookbook that can be made with ingredients found at the market.
"I always get constant questions, especially about funny vegetables, unfamiliar vegetables," said Erin Riley-Strong, communications director for the market. "How do you cook them?"
Already, the market has received a handful of original recipes that showcase seasonal, local ingredients from two of its farmers and a number of customers.
Green City Market hopes the cookbook, which is in the early stages of production, will not only have the step-by-step instructions for each recipe, but will come with a background story about the creator's relationship with the market.
"Something like, 'My mom used to make something like this, and now I buy all of the ingredients at the market,'" Riley-Strong said. "I would love to see something for January, when you only have some root vegetables available to you."
The idea for the cookbook came from a few of the market's board members, and Green City is accepting submissions through an online form for the next few months.
"We are year round, so when we are inside, that's really when we notice the regulars, the people who come every Saturday," Riley-Strong said. "Those are the kind of people we want to reach out to. 'Why are you shopping here? What kinds of recipes do you cook with the food you buy here?'"
The market moves inside the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N Cannon Drive, through mid-April.
The one disclaimer the market is putting on submissions is to focus on local as much as possible and stay away from seafood, chocolate and other foods ground outside the Midwest.
The market has obtained a publisher for the book, and plans to release it in the summer of 2014.