Hamilton County is bursting with spring flavors, and what better place to taste test than Westfield's The Local Eatery and Pub? Chef/owner Craig Baker opened this ultra-local bar and restaurant with a vision for serving the area delicious dishes made with ingredients from nearby farmers and artisans. The result? Fresh, fantastic, and highly seasonal fare that satisfies even the most diligent of locavores.

The menu contains a mouth-watering lineup of salads (try the Caesar with housemade pickled onions), burgers (there's a version using freshly ground meat from nearby Viking Lamb with tzatziki and feta!), and an alternating entrée list showcasing local beef, chicken and vegetable dishes prepared in a dizzying variety of ways.

For the perfect al fresco lunch, one of The Local's must-try creations is a veggie burger. "We always have one on the menu," says Baker. "We find that not everyone wants meat all the time. This burger offers a lighter option, and yet it's still high in nutritional value." (Hint-swap out the house bun for a gluten-free bun to make it a gluten-free meal). Below, Baker shares the recipe for his current veggie burger.



The Local Vegetable Burger

1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups water
2 jalapenos, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1/2 C Cilantro
1/2 a red onion chopped
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
3 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups oats (you can also use gluten-free oats)
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder or minced garlic
pinch salt
2 tablespoons flax

What you do:
1. To begin, add quinoa to pot with water, and bring to boil. Cover and simmer until done, about 15 minutes. Put jalapenos, carrots, celery, onion, cilantro into food processor. Grind into small bits.
2. When quinoa is cooked, put beans, veggie bits, and oats into same bowl and squish with a big spoon. Add spices and garlic.
3. Add flax, and mash all ingredients together. Form into patties. Cook in oil until golden on each side.

Keep up the local theme and wash it down with a Sun King or Upland brew, or a cocktail mixed with local spirits from Heartland Distillers.

Cheers to finding so many local options under one roof in Hamilton County!