For a sample of Debra Daniels Zeller’s work in The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook: 200 Recipes That Celebrate the Flavors of Oregon and Washington (see my review of this cookbook), this Borscht recipe is reprinted by permission from the book. There were a few ingredients which were not local, so I’ve added notes about adaptations I made to substitute local ingredients. The results were both lovely and delectable. The surprising (to me) use of potato to thicken the beet soup gave it a smooth, creamy texture without the use of cream. Give it a try! Continue Reading
Winter squash (including pumpkins) have a nutritional treasure at the center–and a tasty one, too! In the middle of the stringy pulp are the lovely squash seeds. They are quick and easy to roast, filling the kitchen with a wonderful fragrance that only comes in the fall.
Cleaning the seeds can be a bit of a chore. They grow in little clumps, and I pinch them off one at a time like picking grapes. Then I put them in a colander and rinse well under cold water, rubbing the seeds together to remove the slippery juice. (Learn more about how to cut open winter squash.)
Don’t let seed cleaning stop you from fixing this healthy autumn snack. Just put on some good music and have at them! The rich flavor and concentrated nutrition makes it worth the effort. Continue Reading
If we were going to do true confessions I’d have to admit pears are my favorite tree fruit. They’ve been my favorite for as long as I can remember, going all the way back to childhood.
When I was in my twenties, I can still vividly remember the time at a friend’s house in Alaska when I first tasted fresh pears with Gorgonzola cheese. I think I may have swooned.
For the recipe below, I chose a vinegar reduction for a tart contrast to the sweet Bosc pears, some hazelnuts to add a roasted crunch, and some basil as an earthy note to warm up the pear’s brightness. I recommend you be sitting down when you taste it. You might swoon! Continue Reading
Lobster mushrooms have a meaty texture, even more than portobellas. For that reason they are often used by vegetarians in recipes instead of meat. People also use lobster mushrooms to dye fibers for knitting or weaving.
Lobster mushrooms are particularly fascinating in the strange world of fungi. Read my article about Lobster Mushrooms.
If you’re interested in learning more about mushrooms and how to identify, collect and eat them safely, I’d recommend contacting the Northwest Mushroomers Association (NMA). Call Jack Waytz at (360) 303-4079 or Margaret Dilly at (360) 675-8756, or see their website at: www.northwestmushroomers.org Continue Reading
Eggplants, those lovely deep purple vegetables with smooth skin and undulating curves, are difficult to grow in our climate. That makes it a particular pleasure to find at the Farmers Market or in a home garden.
I recently found some beautiful certified organic eggplant at the Sunseed Farm booth at the Bellingham Farmers Market. I wanted to make some caponata (see recipe below), so selected one to bring home with me.
At the last minute, just as I was getting ready to do the cooking, that eggplant met with an untimely end in my refrigerator. Now, since I had planned to write about eggplant for this column, I had a full blown eggplant emergency. something for which I had no preparedness plan. Continue Reading
In the life of a locavore (a person who eats only locally grown food as much as possible), summer is a time for both enjoying the seasonal harvest bounty and planning ahead for the winter food supply.
Instead of providing a recipe this week, here’s the process I use for canning tomatoes. It’s a classic method, not something I invented. Continue Reading
My daughter Joan created this delectable recipe, inspired by ingredients harvested from our home garden. Our garden is small, but we grow an amazing amount of food in it.
A caramelized onion topping is what really sets this recipe apart in terms of flavor. The sweetness of the caramelization and the slight bite of the garlic make a perfect taste combination with the creaminess of the Col White potato texture. Continue Reading
Simplicity itself in terms of preparation, this colorful slaw salad has spectacular flavors. It makes a unique summer picnic or potluck dish. The overall effect on the palate is light and refreshing. It’s a wonderful way to try a couple of ingredients you may not have used before–daikon radishes and fennel bulb. The carrots make this look attractive, even to kids. Continue Reading
Warm biscuits fresh out of the oven and dripping with melting butter–what a luxurious way to start a Sunday brunch!
Biscuits are quick and easy to make if you get the ingredients in the right proportions. Stir everything together, drop on a baking sheet, and bake for less than 15 minutes. It’s a perfect last minute option. Continue Reading
Many people were involved in creating this recipe (read about it here), and it turned out to be one of the best locavore recipes yet. Exotic looking and richly flavored garlic scapes provide the green herb for this pesto (instead of basil), and light and delicate hazelnut oil provides a robust support with a flavor strikingly different than the more commonly used olive oil.
Recently I interviewed Krista Rome, who started the Backyard Beans and Grains Project on some farmland near Everson (see an article about that interview).
I purchased some cranberry beans from Krista to experiment with in my kitchen, and I asked her if she had any cooking tips to offer. When it comes to cooking with beans, Krista recommends keeping it simple. “Also,” she says, “don’t add salt or anything acid until the very end. It stops them from softening.” Continue Reading