A Salad Made with What I Had & Big News

frisee sorrel herb salad seeds onions

This space has been very quiet for many months as I’ve been working on a deep but carefully curated subscription-based, online Seasonal Recipe Collection. This project grew out of years of developing recipes for CSA farms and their members and teaching cooking classes, all with the philosophy of: fresh produce + well-stocked pantry + a little confidence and creativity = cooking more, eating well and spending less money on last minute trips to the store, take-out, etc. I hope you’ll have a look and consider subscribing. The collection is organized alphabetically by vegetable so you have a dozen (or many more) recipes for each vegetable in one click rather than browsing many different sites to find what suits you in the moment.

The Seasonal Recipe Collection might inspire you to try new things at the farmers’ market or subscribe to a CSA–maybe you’ve never picked up a bunch of salad turnips with their lush green tops or purple mustard greens or fava beans or chicory. This collection offers you guidance about each vegetable, storage tips and complementary ingredients and flavors as well as recipes and photos of the dishes.

You can subscribe to this collection as an individual but if you have subscribed to a CSA this year, specifically 47th Ave Farm, Sun Gold Farm, Minto Island Growers, Gathering Together Farm or Sauvie Island Organics, you will get access through your farm, or in the case of Sauvie Island Organics, to a customized recipe packet each week.

Frisée, sorrel, arugula, parsley and mint.

Frisée, sorrel, arugula, parsley and mint.

 

This salad is the epitome of cook-with-what-you-have. Las week I scavenged in my fridge and garden and came up with sorrel, some frisée, arugula, parsley and mint. I love to use herbs more like salad greens, using them in quantity and keeping the leaves more or less whole. My pantry offered up toasted sunflower seeds and some lightly pickled red onions (just thinly sliced onion in red wine vinegar) and a salad was made! If you don’t have the latter two things prepared you can toast sunflower seeds in 12 -15 minutes at 300 degrees with a little olive oil and salt and slice up an onion and let it soak in vinegar for 10 minutes, in the moment as well.

Spring Salad

Salad greens and herbs, washed and dried
Some toasted seeds or nuts (sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds or pumpkin seeds), use more than you think you need
A bit of pickled onion (optional)
Good olive oil
Lemon juice or red wine vinegar
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

Toss everything but the seeds or nuts together in a serving bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and/or acid. Toss in the seeds or nuts. Taste again. Enjoy!

Happy spring and happy cooking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quince, Squash, Beans – Simple Fall Pleasures (& a New Class)

quince and delicata

When you cook and adapt and create recipes every day it’s easy to get swept up in the many variations and tricks that are certainly fun but not always necessary. And a few of  the teaching projects I’m currently working on are forcing me to strip things down to the very simplest preparations, to really practice what I preach– that cooking can be liberating, a way to frankly make life less complicated rather than more; that cooking can be simple, creative and just plain fun, not to mention delicious, economical and convivial.

It still feels like fall has just begun since the weather here in Oregon is warm and glorious, however, the produce at the markets clearly marks the passing of summer and early fall. The peppers are gone and cabbage is here and so is winter squash in its many sizes, shapes, and flavors. And this year’s crop of dry beans is arriving and my quince tree is loaded. This week I was feeling overwhelmed by the fairly labor intensive ways to preserve  quince (my dwarf  tree produced 50 quince this fall!) so I decided to simply bake the whole unpeeled fruits in a covered pot, as  I was already roasting beets. And voila, after an hour the quince had become sauce and I just needed to pick out the cores and stir in some honey.

quince ready to bake

The beauty of this season’s produce is intoxicating and I’m reminded that even this time of year, the hard, grainy quince and the unwieldy, weighty winter squash can be prepared and enjoyed with ease. And in the case of the latter it can be sliced and baked and enjoyed with nothing more than salt and maybe a little olive oil or maybe some salsa verde.

roasted squash wedges

And then there are beans! The humble, wonderful and under appreciated dry bean I love so much. I just ordered 30 lbs of pinto beans from one farm and will be loading up on other varieties from another soon. Nothing makes me feel more secure than big jars of beans in my pantry. Soaked and then cooked with a bay leaf a clove of garlic and chunk of onion and then left to cool in their broth, . . .then a sprinkle of salt and drizzle of oil and lunch is served.

bowl of beans

And put the three together–wedge of squash, bowl of beans and quince sauce for dessert-simple indeed!

And speaking of fall and what the changing temperatures and products mean for the kitchen, I’m co-teaching a class with Ellen Goldsmith who will bring her experience with Chinese culinary philosophy to our evening of conversation over dinner and would love to have you in class! Details below:

A Taste of Autumn: East meets West at the Dinner Table

Are you wondering how to make your autumn cuisine delightful, delicious, and inspired? Join Ellen Goldsmith and Katherine Deumling for an evening of conversation and eating just for autumn. What does this season’s food tell us about our bodies, our vitality, and our appetites? Katherine will bring her cook-with-what-you-have approach to delicious, produce-driven dishes for this abundant but cooler time of year.

Ellen will offer an overview of the Chinese medicinal and seasonal culinary philosophy as it applies to the autumn season to enliven your cooking.

Infuse your fall season of cooking and eating with a conversation over supper. We will discuss:

• The elements of a vibrant seasonal meal

• To utilize local and seasonal produce in a new way

• The benefits, from a Chinese medicine perspective, of cooking with the season

• How tastes of different foods energize your cooking and you!

You will receive materials, including the evening’s recipes.

When: Tuesday, November 5, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Where: Home of Ellen Goldsmith in Northeast Portland (Address available upon registration)

Cost: $60/person

Ellen Goldsmith, licensed acupuncturist, brings a passion for cooking and food with over 25 years of experience practicing Asian medicine and teaching all about the vitality and potency of food through the lens of Chinese medicinal principles. She practices acupuncture, dietary therapy, Chinese herbs, body-mind health, and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at Pearl Natural Health in Portland. In addition, she shares her passion for transforming our lives through our health on her weekly podcast Health Currents Radio and as a board member at the National College of Natural Medicine, the oldest naturopathic medical school in the country.

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