July/Aug 2014 Farm to Table

Putting Down Roots Viva Farms incubator is helping grow a new crop of organic farmers STORY AND PHOTOS BY JESSAMYN TUTTLE It's a fine breezy day in the Skagit Valley, the sun is out, and Nelida Martinez is ready to plant, setting out tray after tray of seedlings on her plot at the Viva Farms farm incubator outside of Mount Vernon. Martinez, who farms five and a half acres split between her plot here and another one a few miles away, is a powerhouse of energy. She works her farm alone ("Sometimes my husband comes to help me a little bit," she says, "un poquito"). Her children help run her stand at the Mount Vernon farmers’ market, where she sells berries and vegetables...

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Washington Rose’

How France’s Favorite Seasonal Wine Won Washington Over...

BLT Barley bowl

“BLT” Barley Bowl with Creamy Avocado Dressing

All the ingredients that make a BLT most memorable join forces in this delicious whole-grain lunch bowl (or dinner side dish). I use spinach here in place of lettuce because it maintains its integrity and doesn’t get soggy; feel free to use any hearty green you’d like. And while the dressing quantity may seem like a lot, the barley soaks up quite a bit. We use and relish every last spoonful. For a true summer timesaver, cook your barley and bacon in advance, so you’re simply folding together ingredients when the salad craving strikes. Serves 6 as a small side; 4 as a light entrée | start to finish: 1 hour (active time: 15 minutes) For the Dressing (Makes 1 cup/240ml): 1 ripe...

Barley: An Easy Summer Stunner

BY MEGAN GORDON Summer is the season for simple cooking and spontaneous meals—heaping bowls of berries and yogurt for breakfast; plates of juicy tomatoes and a few slices of salty cheese for lunch. While it doesn’t necessarily get so hot in the Northwest that standing in front of the oven is an impossibility, many of us relish the time outdoors in our yards or parks—leaving less for elaborate recipes or menus. Recipes that utilize leftover grains or bake-ahead pastries are a summertime win in my book. If you’re new to barley, it’s a hearty grain that packs a real punch of flavor and nutrition. When you shop for this ancient grain you can choose from hulled or pearl barley—sometimes also called “pearled.”...

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Summer Slaw with Basil and Apple

serves 6 |start to finish: 15 minutes This coleslaw is a refreshing spin on the traditional slaw found at many a southern cookout. Southern coleslaw is typically sweetened with sugar and heavy on the mayo. While that version surely hits a spot, a lighter slaw—using the natural sweetness of apples instead of processed sugar—can satisfy just as well. Serve this just-tossed or store it, dressed and covered in the fridge, for up to a day before serving. 1 small head or 1/2 large head cabbage—green, napa, purple, or a combination of two 1 large carrot 1 large apple 1/2 cup basil leaves 1/4 cup mayonnaise 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon table salt 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 tablespoon cider vinegar Shred the cabbage and grate the carrot. Place...

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Sweet Tea and Grape Granita

serves 6 |start to finish: 4 hours; active time: 15 minutes Nothing says “The South” like a tall glass of sweet tea. As the name implies, it takes a remarkable amount of sugar to create the perfect version—so sweet it could be dessert. When frozen into granita form, this is exactly what happens. Fresh grapes add a tart and fruity note that harmonizes with cooling mint. Even if you’re not a fan of sweet tea, this refreshing combination may have you going back for more. 7 black tea bags, a balanced flavor such as English Breakfast (decaffeinated is fine) 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, rinsed 1 quart cool, filtered water 1 cup sugar 2 cups or 1 tray of ice cubes 2 cups red seedless grapes, washed Place...

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Three Sisters Griddle Cakes

makes about 25 small griddle cakes | start to finish: 20 minutes “The Three Sisters”—corn, beans, and squash—have been grown as companion plants for thousands of years by indigenous people all over the continent. The tradition continues today among modern gardeners. The crops are mutually beneficial: tall corn stalks provide a climbing structure for beans, which in turn provide nitrogen for the other plants. Squash vines create natural groundcover, inhibiting weed growth and providing beneficial microclimates. Following the old adage, “If it grows together, it goes together,” The Three Sisters combine well, including these griddle cakes. These small cakes work as a casual appetizer when spread with butter or fresh goat cheese, or as a side dish to barbecue—perfect for mopping up...

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Righteous Barbecued Ribs

serves 4 | start to finish: 4 hours 45 minutes Some might describe these pork ribs as “Texas Style” barbecue. Others have characterized them as “Oh my gosh—please tell me you have more of these.” Either way, they are remarkably easy to make. The lore of barbecue techniques and its myriad magic tricks can be intimidating. Mark my words, though: making incredible ribs without a ton of experience is within reach, even without a grill. This recipe works great with both back ribs (sometimes called baby back or loin back ribs) or with spareribs. A rack of spareribs is larger and flatter but will still work with the amount of rub and sauce listed—there will simply be less sauce left over for...

Cookout or Cook-In: Seattle Goes South

BY ANNE LIVINGSTON In Seattle, we need a backup plan. A summer outdoor wedding can wind up in the house, under a tent, or holding umbrellas. Our hiking backpacks include sunblock and shades, but also extra layers and a raincoat. And a southern-style cookout? Even in the more reliable month of August, there’s still a chance of the meal coming inside. Not to mention, some of us don’t actually own a grill or smoker. Good news: with all bets against it, we can still heed the call of barbecue. There are ways to enjoy a picnic hot off the grill—or sneakily prepared in the kitchen. The best barbecues boast a platter of saucy ribs with a side of coleslaw. These southern favorites...

Chicken Coconut Curry with Eggplant and Bamboo Shoots

Recipe courtesy Wiley and PK Frank, Little Uncle When using fresh curry paste, it is important to fry the paste first, before adding your desired liquids, flavorings, and garnishes. This releases flavor and improves the color of the final curry. This recipe is fairly standard, but the sky is the limit for what you want to put in it—try different meats, vegetables, or even some fresh turmeric and dry roasted spices to give it a Southern Thai flavor. Canned coconut milk creates a thicker curry and requires more stock to thin to a desired consistency. Making your own fresh coconut milk yields a lighter, more vibrant curry with a reddish sheen on top, a desirable characteristic. serves: 2 | start to finish:...

Jul/Aug 2014 In the Kitchen

Roasted Chilies and Creativity Little Uncle combines Thai food culture with local flair BY TARA AUSTEN WEAVER When you walk down the stairs to Little Uncle’s belowground Pioneer Square restaurant, you may smell the fragrance of roasting peppers floating up from the kitchen. This is only the first sign that you are in for Thai food unlike any you have ever tasted before, either here or in Thailand. Little Uncle is a collaboration between husband and wife team PK and Wiley Frank, who met as art students at the University of Washington. PK (full name: Poncharee) was born in Thailand and lived there until the age nine, while Wiley grew up on Vashon Island, playing around in his parents’ kitchen. “When I was a kid...

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Ayako and Family Jam

The quality of Gordon’s jam has the power to turn people nostalgic. “People say it reminds them of their grandmother’s jam, or spending time in the countryside picking fruit,” Gordon says. “I love to hear that people enjoy it—that helps keep me going.”...

Jul/Aug 2014 Urban Foraging

Preserving on a Smaller Scale This is the time of year to turn crates of fruit and vegetables into jam, pickles, chutneys, and more. For those without a farm family to feed, Marisa McClellan’s new book, Preserving by the Pint: Quick Seasonal Canning for Small Spaces, provides inspiration and ideas galore. Divided in seasons, with recipes both sweet and savory, like Sorrel Pesto (spring), Blueberry Maple Jam (summer), Quick Pickled Fennel with Orange (fall), and Quince Slices in Chai Tea Syrup (winter). McClellan, who is also author of the cookbook and blog Food in Jars, provides an appealing way to experiment with the world of seasonal preserving. The Summer of the Ice Pop What comes after artisanal ice cream? Ice pops, of course....

Jul/Aug 2014 Letter from the Editor

One day I was chatting with a favorite farmers’ market vendor about summer meals at long tables and she told me to watch "Antonia’s Line," a quirky Dutch film about a woman who builds a life and family in a small village after World War II. She thought I would like it. “They have these great outdoor luncheon scenes,” she said. “Over the years the table they sit at gets longer and longer—they add to it as more people join the meal.” I loved that image. This time of year I dream about long tables set outdoors—be it an urban backyard, a picnic in the woods, or an open field at one of the many local farm-to-table dinners. It’s so much of...

Le Grand Aïoli

each summer, in villages across Provence, the community gathers for a feast BY GEORGEANNE BRENNAN AND TARA AUSTEN WEAVER This time of year I long to be in the South of France—and not for the beaches, lavender fields, or small stone cottages either. It’s a festival I want to attend, and a meal as well. In the late summer, throughout the region of Provence, long tables and chairs are set out in town squares and villagers gather to celebrate the annual feast of Le Grand Aioli. Noted cookbook author Georgeanne Brennan first encountered this tradition when she and her family moved to a small Provencal town in the 1970s. “A group of teenagers came knocking on our door, giggling and laughing,” she said,...

The Significance of Raspberries

BY DAYTONA STRONG In my earliest sun-drenched memories of raspberries I am a little girl, maybe five or six years old. Squatting down between rows of bushes in my grandparents’ Ballard garden, I brush canopies of leaves aside to search for every last berry. They hide under leaves that are like cocoons protecting larvae; a second pass might uncover one or two still slumbering in their shade. Today each raspberry I taste brings me back to that place—the cool, blue-hued basement kitchen opposite the garden, my skin radiating the warmth of the sun as I slurp bowlfuls of just-picked berries sprinkled with sugar and topped with a generous pour of cream. Each bite of that summer concoction my Grandma Adeline served tasted...

Final Course July/Aug 2014

BY ERICA BAUERMEISTER We moved house a few years ago, to a small Victorian seaport about two hours away from Seattle. Life has changed, in so many ways. Now there is a yellow plum tree outside my office window. I didn’t notice it at first—a small thing, crammed between an evergreen and a buckeye, the result of a United Nations approach to landscaping favored by the former owner. But late that first August, I looked out my window to see that the tree had simply exploded with fruit, golden globes incandescent against green leaves. I went outside and stood among the branches. It was a stunning extravagance of produce—overwhelming, in fact. Far too many for us to eat, too full of juice...