Replay from Summer 2015 Bonus Friday Episode The Kitchen in Missoula | Private Chef Marisa Franz | Enjoying your Organic Produce | Grilling Broccoli and Eggplant

Private Chef Marisa Franz

Private Chef Marisa Franz shares cooking expertise for using your organic produce. I run a business called the Kitchen in Missoula and so far it’s been just word of mouth catering events and weddings and doing some fundraisers for people. Starting this fall we’ll be having a home delivery dinner service, where clients will be able to go onto our website and there will be 4-5 options to choose from  and you can order dinner. If you order by 1pm you do same day delivery, and there will be freezer meal options and gluten free, vegetarian options, so a little something for everybody. And then we deliver to your door by 6pm. They will be meals that feed 6-8 people, if you’re a single person just a couple you can have dinner and leftovers for a few more meals, or if you have a big family and you’re a really busy person you can just have dinner on the table and not have to worry about cooking it yourself!

I try to cook everything as fresh and local as possible. It’s really important to me to know where my food is coming from if I’m not growing it. I like that I know my farmer, it’s pretty fantastic!


Our CSA is from Harlequin Produce in Arlee. It’s kind of like opening a present you never know what you’re gonna get!


This week in our CSA basket:

Broccoli, zucchinis, cucumbers, snap peas, spinach, mixed greens, basil, and eggplants.

My plans for the mixed greens and spinach are always good for throwing in my smoothie in the morning. They add zero flavor and so many nutrients, you can’t even taste them! It makes your smoothies a little bit weird color sometimes, but you can always smell and it tastes like the berries or the fruit you put in it, you don’t taste the greens at all. And it’s a great way to get lots of fruits and veggies packed into a drink on the go!


The Broccoli

One of my favorite things to do with fresh broccoli, I also do this with asparagus and green beans as well.

You take the crown of broccoli, set the broccoli crown side down in a marinade of soy sauce, sesame oil, a little bit of rice vinegar, some chili flakes and garlic, and just kind of rub the crown around in that for about 10 minutes. If you leave it in more then 10 min it gets a little salty. Then just go grill the broccoli. And it gives these beautiful grill marks! It only takes a couple of minutes and then everyone can have a few stalks of grilled broccoli.

We do that with asparagus on the grill with the same marinade.

In a zip lock bag, break off the woody stalks of the asparagus, soak in that marinade for 10 minutes, put them on the grill till they turn that bright green color and just eat them, and I don’t think they even make it to the plates we just put them on the serving plate and everyone eats them!

Chef Franz’s Marinade Recipe:

4 TBS soy sauce,

2 TBS sesame oil

a splash of rice vinegar

maybe some honey if I want a little sweetness

good big pinch of chili flakes

1-2 cloves garlic

goes well with chicken and pork too.

Vietnam Noodle Restaurant has a little grocery store in front of their restaurant with affordable and tasty sesame oil. If you want organic, you can get Spectrum brand sesame oil.

SI Exif



I’ll be honest my favorite way is to eat eggplant is smothered in mozzarella cheese, marinara sauce and putting it on top of a salad!

Thinly slice the eggplant – and sprinkle a little salt on it and that takes the moisture out of it. I leave them on my cutting board, slice it from top to bottom. One thing I like to do, it’s like a Greek mixture:

Spicy Filling:




Red Chili Peppers

Then thinly slice the eggplant, grill it, roll the filling up in the eggplant, and it’s like a little vegetarian appetizer that’s full of flavor!

The way to get it crispy, is to sprinkle the salt, let it bring the moisture up for 20-30 min, pat it down dry with a paper towel or a flour sack, whatever you use in your kitchen, then you can brush it with olive oil, or whatever kind of oil you want to use that encourages a high heat.  Avocado, grapeseed or coconut oil are all good options if your gonna have it come in contact with a heat point. You can fry it or grill it. Adding grill marks adds another layer of flavor I love! Eggplant is a vegetable that lends itself to grilling.

Chef Franz’s Cupcake Tip

I had a wedding I did the cupcakes and cake for a few weeks ago in the heat. For frosting in heat: American Cream Cheese Buttercream and an Italian Meringue were the two frostings that stood up best in the heat. The Cream Cheese Buttercream was already on the menu because I was making a Red Velvet Cake.

Chef Franz’s Seasoning tip 

Season early and season often! You need to leave time for it to develop. Just adding rosemary and thyme is all you need. It’s something that’s vastly overlooked in home cooking. If you put the seasoning in at the end you’re not leaving any time for development of flavor. It’s a small change that makes a big difference!

What is a CSA?    Community Supported Agriculture.

A bunch of different growers and farmers,

You sign up by April or May, there are only a certain number of shares, maybe $450 for a large share and you get a weekly delivery of produce from the end of June through September, so 4 months of produce, and it changes with what’s ripening and what’s ready to pick..

So we were getting radishes and lettuce, and turnips, there’s always lettuce! As we get towards August we’ll be getting tomatoes I hope, and squash and pumpkins. They have a couple of delivery drops. We’re splitting ours with 3 other couples. The four of us are all very active, and have our own gardens so doing a big one and splitting it will help us out and help Harlequin out.

Western Montana Growers CoOp

Bountiful Baskets

New participant instructions for Bountiful Baskets

Mango Habanero Salsa


Habanero Peppers

Red Onion,

Red Pepper

Great on fish tacos or even just with chips!

Mango Margueritas

crushed ice



mix in a blender and you have a nice summer cocktail!

If you have questions or want Marisa to talk about something specific email her at

or visit her Facebook Page 


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About the author, Jackie Marie

I'm an artist and educator. I live at the "Organic Oasis" with my husband Mike where we practice earth friendly techniques in our garden nestled in the mountains of Montana.

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