Sunchoke Potato Gratin

Category : January, Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Sunchoke Potato GratinWinter meals in the northwest corner of the Pacific Northwest are all about warmth, stick-to-your-ribs heartiness, and flavors with substance. For locavores, winter is also about root vegetables, the kinds of things that are harvested in late fall and can be stored over the winter. Continue Reading

Creamy Potato Cheese Soup

Category : Recipes, Soups, Vegetarian

Photo of Creamy Potato Cheese SoupWhen you have a busy week ahead of you, it’s nice to cook something in enough quantity to use for a few days as leftovers. Soup is a perfect make-ahead dish, since the flavors of soup continue to blend once the dish is complete. As a result, the leftovers may be even more flavorful than the original servings.

This soup is fairly quick and easy to make, with a stick-to-your-ribs heartiness that is as welcome in a thermos on a chilly spring day as it is on the table. It’s an easy recipe to customize, too, by adding chopped  greens, carrots, fresh herbs, or whatever local veggies you have in the fridge. Continue Reading

Rainy Day Crockpot Beef Stew

Category : Main Dishes, Recipes

Photo of Rainy Day Crockpot Beef Stew One of the special delights of eating local food is trying new ingredients or using familiar foods in new combinations.  I haven’t cooked much with sunchokes, also called Jerusalem artichokes. I tried using them in a cottage pie recently, and was delighted with the flavor. This time I tried using them in a hearty beef stew.

The flavor of sunchokes is distinctive, slightly sweet, and fairly strong. It blends better with other flavors if the sunchokes are cut into small pieces. For this stew I recommend a quarter-inch dice.

This is a variation of a traditional beef stew that uses a lot of mushrooms and a thick wine sauce. Locally raised stew beef cooks up tender and tasty. Continue Reading

Sunny Cottage Pie

Category : Main Dishes, Recipes

Photo of Sunny Cottage PieCottage Pie is a mixture of ground beef and vegetables topped with mashed potatoes and baked to blend the flavors and brown the top. The vegetables used are typically peas, carrots, and celery, but you can use whatever you like. This is a good dish for cleaning out the produce crisper in the refrigerator.

For this dish, I wandered through Terra Organica and found some wonderful collard greens from Terra Verde (Deming) and delightful little sunchokes (also called Jerusalem artichokes) from Osprey Hill Farm (Acme). I decided to carry the “sun” theme farther by getting some Yukon gold potatoes from Hopewell Farm and Broadleaf Farm (both near Everson) for a light sunny color on the top. Continue Reading

Sunny Solstice One Dish Meal

Category : March, Seasonal Menu Ideas

Photo of Sunny Cottage Pie MenuOn a cold, rainy solstice day, my thoughts wandered to hearty hot dishes. Cottage Pie seemed a perfect solution for this week’s locavore meal.

Cottage Pie is the beef version of Shepherd’s Pie. Shepherd’s Pie is a traditional English dish made using lamb or mutton (hence the name). Basically a layered casserole, Cottage Pie uses ground beef  instead. It’s mixed with several vegetables, all topped with a layer of mashed potatoes and then baked to blend the flavors. Continue Reading