Taste of the Season 8

Recipes from Chef Mark Hardin’s Spring Table

Mark Hardin believes that our food should not have to travel around the world to get to our plates. So, he founded catering service Field 2 Fork Kitchen to help connect locals with foods grown in our own valley by people we actually know. Here, Hardin offers two delicious spring recipes made with some of his favorite regional products.

Local Greens with Beet-Pickled Egg, Farmhouse Ricotta, and Charred Spring Onion Vin

Beet Pickled Egg

+ Dozen farm eggs (such as those from Emma’s Mountain Primal Meat Co.)

+ 2 red beets, peeled and sliced

+ 1 small sweet white onion, sliced thin

+ 3-4 cloves peeled fresh garlic

+ 6 dill sprigs

+ 1 cup sugar

+ ¾ cup cider vinegar (preferably Big B’s)

+ 1 tsp salt

+ 12 whole peppercorns

+ 2 bay leaves


Hard boil, cool, and peel the eggs. Layer in a two-quart wide mouth jar with the beets, onion, garlic, and dill. For the brine, combine remaining ingredients with one cup water and bring to a boil. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved, then pour over the eggs. Allow mixture to cool before securing lid. These can be eaten immediately, but are best after a day or two in the refrigerator.


Charred Spring Onion Vinaigrette

+ 6-8 spring onions

¼ cup cider vinegar

+ 2 tbsp local honey

+ 1 tbsp whole grain mustard

+ 1 cup sunflower oil

Char the onions (greens and bulbs), over a flame. Place in blender with next three ingredients and pulse to combine. Slowly add the oil while blending on low. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Salad Assembly

Pick up some tender mixed greens from any local farm (or Skip’s in Basalt) and arrange on plate. Top with eggs and pickled veggies, vinaigrette, farmhouse ricotta from Sustainable Settings, and thin-sliced radish.


Hardin: This is a great salad for early spring. The brilliant colors and tangy flavor of the pickled egg contrast with the smooth, creamy ricotta and tender greens. Fresh radish adds a sharp peppery bite while the vinaigrette gets us thinking about summer BBQs to come.


Fennel-Braised Pork with Celeriac Potato Puree

For the rub:

+ 2 tbsp fennel pollen

+ 2 tbsp kosher salt

+ 1 tsp white pepper


For the braise:

+ 4-5 pound Berkshire shoulder (from Mountain Primal Meat Co.), cut into one-pound cubes.

+ 1 onion, quartered

+ 3 cups Big B’s Cider

+ 3-4 cloves garlic

+ 2-3 star anise


Rub the shoulder and sear in a hot cast iron skillet with a little oil. Add onions and garlic, cooking until lightly browned. Reduce heat to simmer and add cider and star anise. Cover skillet with parchment, then foil and finish in the oven at 300 degrees for four hours, until tender. Reserve jus to top the dish.


For the puree:

2-3 pounds celeriac

+ 2-3 pounds potatoes

+ 2 cups chicken stock


Peel and dice the potato and celeriac. Boil for 20-30 minutes, until tender. Strain and pulse in a food processor while adding stock to desired consistency. Be careful not to overmix. Season with salt and pepper. Finish by sautéing oyster mushrooms and top with pea sprouts. Use the jus from the braise as a light sauce over the top.


Hardin: This is one of my favorites, and a true treat! I’m working with Erin’s Acres in Carbondale to obtain fennel pollen, and the local mushrooms I use in this dish are from Cooper Means at Shining Mountains Farm. He grows some of the best I have seen.