CF5_greens

Soaked Kale and Spinach Salad

serves 4 – 6 | start to finish: 40 minutes (active time: 10 minutes) This vegetarian version of ohitashi, which means “soaked” in Japanese, includes kale mixed with spinach. The spinach version is often found at Japanese restaurants in Seattle, but many leafy greens work with this recipe. What makes ohitashi distinct is the preparation technique: dropping the greens into boiling water, quickly cooling them, squeezing out the liquid, then allowing the greens to absorb a flavorful dressing. 1 bunch kale 1 large bunch spinach or 8 ounces baby spinach 4 cups water 1 tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon soy or tamari sauce 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil 1 tablespoon mirin 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, for garnish Wash the greens and remove stems from the kale. Bring the water...

CF8_rice

Japanese Rice with Sesame Salt and Celery

Serves 6 | start to finish: 30 minutes (or if soaking the rice, 1 hour) A little extra care and forethought goes into cooking good Japanese rice, but the exquisite result makes the extra steps worth it. Rinsing the rice several times gives the grains a glossy finish, with a barely sticky consistency. Soaking the rice in advance makes it tender, but not mushy. Stirring the rice to release excess steam after cooking also helps to prevent mushiness. With a little practice, preparing rice this way becomes easy. Sesame salt (gomashio in Japanese) serves as a nutritious and savory seasoning, both in Japanese cuisine and also in Macrobiotic diets. According to Macrobiotic principles, sesame seeds with rice provide a complete protein. While...

CF6_soup

Roasted Vegetable Soup with Miso

Serves 4 | start to finish: 25 minutes A savory autumn soup hits the spot at the end of a long chilly day or even on the go, in a thermos. This soup is so rich and luscious that meat lovers might not believe the vegan ingredient list. Northwest autumns bring an array of local mushrooms to choose from. While shiitake will provide the most traditional Japanese flavor, playing with wild mushrooms from our own forests yields some wonderful results. 6 scallions 4 medium carrots 1 medium turnip 8 ounces mushrooms (chanterelle, crimini, matsutake, bolete, lobster, shiitake, or a blend) 2 tablespoons canola oil 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1 quart vegetable stock 4 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed 8 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes 1/4 cup red...

CF10_mirin corn

Mirin Caramel Popcorn with Almonds

Makes 4 quarts | start to finish: 25 minutes Surprisingly simple to whip up at home, caramel popcorn makes an addictive snack or dessert. Using mirin (a seasoned rice wine) as a caramel base only increases its allure. The alcohol boils out as it caramelizes, leaving a subtle toasted rice flavor that will make you want just one more handful. While a variety of nuts taste great with caramel popcorn, the delicate slivered almonds accentuate the mirin flavor. 1/4 cup canola oil or other high-heat, neutral-flavored oil 2/3 cup popcorn kernels 1 1/2 cups slivered almonds 1 cup mirin 1 cup sugar 1 stick unsalted butter 1 teaspoon table salt 1/2 teaspoon baking soda Preheat oven to 250°F. Line two sheet pans with parchment or wax paper. In a large pot with...

Get Your Lunchbox

PHOTOS AND RECIPES BY ANNE LIVINGSTON Even those of us who are not students can still feel the draw of back-to-school nostalgia. This is the time to pull out the heavier sweaters, organize a few files, or just take a moment to relish the crisp air. The lure of fall comfort food awaits, too. Savory soup, caramel corn, or even a steaming bowl of rice can feed the soul when the rains come. Having some new fall recipes in your back pocket is as keen as a fresh box of crayons. Using Japanese ingredients—vegetarian ones, no less—adds a smart twist to comfort foods that taste equally good at lunch or at dinner. Soaked spinach and kale salad, shaped in elegant, bite-sized pieces,...

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Bring on the Kiwi Berries

Every year Burnt Ridge, Dolan’s fruit- and nut-growing operation located east of Chehalis, harvests thousands of pounds of hardy kiwifruits from 200 cultivated vines—grown on trellises, not in the forest canopy. The wooden and wire bracing groans beneath the weight of the grape-sized, fuzzless fruits....

Cider Route

On the Cider Route

When Crystie Kisler describes her farm, Finnriver, as being “Shangri La, a little piece of paradise,” she’s spot on....

The Wild Life

BY LANGDON COOK The rain came early last fall. It fell in a torrent in mid-August, a gullywasher that surprised the hikers and backpackers who count on a dry spell in late summer. Not everyone was disappointed. The first hints of a bountiful harvest came near the end of the month, when it was time to pick mountain huckleberries. Peeking from beneath the dense foliage were shiny, rain-burnished caps of porcini mushrooms, pounds and pounds of them. You needed another bucket. Mushroom hunters, like Major League ballplayers, are a superstitious lot. They don’t get too excited. Nature is fickle. Get too excited and she swats you. But the rain came again just when it was needed. Even casual fungi-fanciers started to notice....

Provisions Mushroom Farm

Olympia fungi farmers have culture STORY AND PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CRAIN Christian Kaelin piles sterilized straw onto a stainless steel table in the outdoor workspace at Provisions Mushroom Farm. He tears the corner off a plastic bag and scatters its contents—a millet-based mushroom spawn—over the top. Attendees at the farm’s daylong mushroom cultivation workshop are soon combining straw and spawn with their hands and packing the mixture into plastic bags. The group is making mushroom substrates, blocks of material that will sprout blue oyster mushrooms, one of twelve culinary varieties Christian and Ria Kaelin cultivate at their homestead, on the edge of Capitol State Forest near Olympia. Since 2006, the Kaelins have provided wild and cultivated specialty mushrooms for their CSA subscribers through Helsing...

On the Mushroom Trail

local author and wild foods forager, Langdon Cook, would rather be in the woods BY TARA AUSTEN WEAVER Langdon Cook doesn’t actually spend that much time in the kitchen—not if he can help it. “I live where I do, because I can be on Tiger Mountain in 15-20 minutes,” he says of his Mt. Baker neighborhood. Cook prefers the woods, the mountains, the coast. He’s happy to trade his kitchen for a campfire or rustic cabin. It was time spent outdoors, however, that brought this journalist to cooking. Since moving to Seattle in 1991 he’s become an avid forager: mushrooms and huckleberries in the fall, nettles, razor clams, and fiddlehead ferns in spring. It was the extraordinary quality of these wild edibles that...

Bellewood.3_mts

Bellewood Acres Distillery

“We bought 30 acres of perfect soil in a perfect setting with our three perfect farm hands—our children,”...

blackberrycake_cropped

Blackberry and Hazelnut Layer Cake with White Chocolate

RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY PAOLA THOMAS It’s that time of year when we’re clinging desperately to the last golden vestiges of summer, but getting ready for the warm earthy flavors of fall. This cake elegantly bridges the seasons, making use of the final berries of summer while incorporating autumn’s first hazelnuts. Sometimes the in-between season can be the most delicious. The frosting here is a perfect vehicle for the tart, smeary spoils of blackberry picking, as unblemished shapely fruits are not required (you could even use frozen berries, just make sure to thaw and let them drain thoroughly first). The cake is a traditional English sponge but incorporates local hazelnut flour, which mellows the sweetness and marries perfectly with white chocolate. We’ve...

Simple & Crisp

in her SODO production kitchen, Jane Yuan is reinventing the cracker STORY BY EMILY HORTON PHOTOS BY JIM HENKENS AND ANNIE BRADY Most of us have a few memories of a meal or a dish that stand out, vivid, even when we've forgotten everything else around it. We may not remember the details, but we know that moment changed things—and spoiled us for anything similar. For Jane Yuan, former publicist and founder of Seattle-based Simple & Crisp, the idea of a life-changing meal isn't hyperbole. Several years ago, Yuan was having dinner in at a restaurant in Los Angeles, where she was living at the time, when a feature of the dessert course—a thin, candied orange slice—caught her off guard. The flavor was intense;...

Sept/Oct 2014 Letter from the Editor

A friend of mine remembers when she first moved to Seattle from the East Coast in the late 1960s. “I couldn’t believe it,” she says. “All anyone wanted to talk about were hiking and mushrooms!” I don’t know about you, but that suits me just fine. It’s true there are people who hate mushrooms (one of them in my family, even), but wild mushrooms are one of the boons of the Northwest. Some of us anticipate the first rains of fall. That moisture wakes up the mushrooms that have gone dormant for the summer and soon they emerge from the forest floor, pushing their way through fallen pine needles and into the light: coppery-colored chanterelles, white, rounded matsutaki, and the highly sought-after...