Holidays on the Lamb

The last two months of the year are a time of celebration and giving thanks. Family and friends gather around the holiday table to reconnect and reminisce while enjoying a hearty meal together. When I was growing up, lamb often found its way onto our holiday table. An untraditional meal to many, lamb became our tradition, and to this day, the smell of lamb wafting through the house brings back all those memories of home and comfort....

Chelan County

Because Stemilt’s wines are naturally fermented — a finicky process that relies on the yeast naturally present on the grapes to ferment the juice — Jaime takes care to sanitize each cork before yanking it from the barrel so as not to compromise the wine inside....

From Grain to Glass

It’s still early on a recent Saturday night, but nearly all of the tables at Black Label Brewing Co. in downtown Spokane are already full. Of the brewery’s 15 beers listed on a chalkboard above a row of taps, two carry a special designation: insignias identifying them as Palouse Pints....

Growing Trust

Wine people love to speak of terroir – the influences of soil, climate, and terrain that distinguish grapes from a certain region. It’s what makes a Bordeaux a Bordeaux....

Seattle’s Serendipity

What you might not realize when buying a perfect cut of Kobe beef or a pint of raw milk from Mohamed Souaiaia's Kenmore wholesale meat shop is that its owner’s path is one of the most unlikely — and fascinating — you may ever hear....

From Farm to Food Bank

“It’s remarkable, I think, for reasons people don’t understand when they come to the market. They see the fish flying and the flowers and the great food, but what they don’t know about so much is the market’s commitment to serving the downtown community."...

Prepare Your Garden Beds Now for Winter

In late autumn, my gardening thoughts turn not to the seed, but to the ground. The philosopher, poet, and — perhaps most importantly — farmer Wendell Berry often refers to the soil, from which all life springs and returns....

Tomato Miso Bread With Holly Smith

Winter is a time most chefs hole up in kitchens and begin the joyful process of bread-baking and soup-making. The kitchen’s warmth and fresh aromas thaw our spirits and bring comfort as we settle in for the season....

A Treasure Trove of Truffles

It’s a chilly February morning, and we are out walking through the woods near Issaquah. A gauzy veil of wintry sunshine hangs like gossamer around the treetops, the forest smells damp and inviting, and Stella and Lidia, two adorably moptopped dogs, scamper through the undergrowth at breakneck speed, so excited and joyful that you can practically see the smiles on their faces....

The Proof is in the Parsnip

Perhaps you’ve heard the expression, “Fine words butter no parsnips.” In other words, flattery (“buttering up”) is meaningless without the behavior to back it up. A variation of sorts on “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” it's a particularly apt turn of phrase when speaking of parsnips, that humble root vegetable whose gnarled exterior is at odds with its creamy, sweet interior....

Spiced Pear, Pomegranate, and Butterscotch Upside-Down Cake

If you’ve ever wondered what autumn on a plate might taste like, then you just might want to try this riff on a classic upside-down cake. Thick slices of juicy pear, poached in pomegranate juice to add a tart undertone, meld with a rich butterscotch glaze to form a fudgy-sweet topping for a soft, moist cake, fragrant with autumnal spices....

Communion

When I was a kid, my sister and I accompanied our mother to church on Sundays. We weren’t particularly religious; mostly we sat in the pews and flipped ahead to mark all the upcoming hymns and then sang our hearts out to “All Things Bright and Beautiful.” The doctrine never really stuck, but I came to appreciate the ritual...

Swimming Upstream

The growth of farm-raised salmon, a practice riddled with environmental and health concerns, doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down. One of the latest developments took place in November, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved AquAdvantage salmon, a genetically-engineered (GE) Atlantic fish, green-lighting its production in land-based facilities in Canada and Panama by manufacturer AquaBounty Technologies....

Sound Enterprise

Passionate entrepeneurs grow into savvy business owners through the Agri-peneur Program, providing small food start-ups with training, assistance, microloans, and the keys to success....

Polenta Tart with Heirloom Tomatoes, Mozzarella, and Prosciutto

Here’s a quick and easy alternative tart crust that’s light, less complicated than pastry, and naturally gluten-free. The polenta crust holds its shape beautifully and is just as versatile on a dinner table or as a perfect option for casual entertaining. Leftovers make a great, fuss-free workday lunch. You can also parbake the crust ahead of time, store in the refrigerator overnight, and then assemble and bake the next day. This is a great tart to make year-round by altering the ingredients to take advantage of what is in season....

Garden to Table

When I was a kid, we always planted a small backyard garden every year, usually just a few tomato, pepper and zucchini plants in a small space under our kitchen window. I remember how much I loved the smell of tomatoes and peppers growing on the vine, and I couldn’t wait to see the plants transform their blossoms to fruit. As small as our garden was, it was always very special walking out in the backyard and returning to the kitchen with the few ingredients we would use that same night. Something that is picked immediately when it’s ripe and eaten within hours is a totally different flavor experience....

Carmenere

BY ANNE SAMPSON PHOTO BY BARBARA BEITO In every industry, business owners look for a way to stand out from the crowd. In the tech world, you develop the hottest new app – or the gadget to run it. Think Apple Watch. But if you grow wine grapes, you might have better luck with something old, maybe a little obscure. Something like Carmenere. That’s the path Dean Morrison followed at his Walla Walla vineyard, Morrison Lane. A bit of a contrarian, Morrison dedicated his vineyard to lesser-known grapes, like Counoise, Cinsault, and Barbera. He was one of the first in the Northwest to plant Syrah, in 1994, on four acres of his family’s farm. At the time, that grape was considered experimental in...

A Little Night Wine

An afternoon in Woodinville offers Seattle wine lovers plenty of exposure to Washington's finest vintages. But for a deeper appreciation of the terroir that fuels the flavors, consider a night sleeping in the vineyard. It's one of the most enjoyable ways to get intimate with your favorite wine....

Lavender Lemon Posset with a Lavender Hazelnut Crumb

Until the First World War, when rising land prices and lack of manpower ravaged the industry, South West London was famous for its vast fields of lavender. Lavender had been used for centuries in England as a perfume, a medicinal herb, and in cooking, and both Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria were fans. So it seemed appropriate to include lavender in a posset, an old English dessert in which cream is heated and then slightly curdled with acid, in the form of citrus juice or wine, so that it sets. While a lavender shortbread would pair perfectly with this decadently creamy dessert, I took that idea in a slightly different direction by topping the possets with a lavender hazelnut shortbread...

Grilled Lamb Chops with Lavender Chimichurri

This herby, garlicky sauce from Argentina is most traditionally served with a grilled steak, but I always think its vinegary tang is a wonderful complement to the sweetness of lamb. When I experimented with adding fresh lavender to the more usual herbs, I wondered whether it would stand up to the more robust flavors of garlic, vinegar, and mint. I needn’t have worried: There it was, adding a bright floral note and a subtle complexity to the mix. Serves 4 | active time 20 minutes including grilling INGREDIENTS: 3 cloves garlic 1 cup fresh Italian parsley 3 tablespoons fresh oregano 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves 1 tablespoon tender fresh lavender leaves 1/2 tablespoon lavender flower heads, picked before they have fully opened 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 3 tablespoons...

Lavender, Elderflower, and Grapefruit Gin Fizz

When I started mulling over a lavender cocktail, I knew immediately that lavender’s flowery tones would pair well with an elderflower liqueur such as St-Germain and the botanical flavors of gin. From there, my mind jumped to a refreshing and summery gin fizz made with a lavender simple syrup and a dash of St-Germain. A gin fizz is traditionally made with lemon, but this can overpower the delicate lavender syrup a little too much. A substitution of pink grapefruit juice brings out the lavender’s sweet aromatics perfectly. If you can find Lavender DRY Soda, do use that to top up the fizz. Otherwise, club soda or even sparkling water will work just fine. If you don’t want to use a raw...

Lavender

Lavender. It grows splendidly here in the Pacific Northwest, and we’ve all probably got a bush or two out in the yard — or know of friends who do. And yet we rarely, if ever, cook with it, which is a huge pity, as it is one of the most versatile of culinary herbs, with a slightly sweet taste and a distinctive fragrance that marries equally well with sweet and savory dishes. It can be used in many recipes as a less pungent substitute for its close cousin rosemary, and like rosemary, it pairs extremely well with citrus fruits of all kinds....

Hive Mind

Husband-and-wife team Paul and Pat Perkins are the only two employees at Seattle Urban Honey, but their workers number in the millions. At any given moment, their Green Lake backyard is literally buzzing with activity, their industrious crew producing a gentle hum as they y from buckwheat to borage and back to their four colorful hives....

CasaCano Farm

Heads down and backs bent, the two young farmers form the shape of a heart over a row of leafy greens in Valleyford, Washington. On this summery, sunlit evening, they’re harvesting just enough collard greens to give to a neighbor who has stopped by for dinner. The work isn’t nearly as strenuous as their more usual chores of filling an order for a Spokane restaurant or gathering enough produce to haul to the local farmers market. The husband and wife team, in matching rubber boots and T-shirts adorned with their farm’s logo, laugh and joke as they snap the tender stalks and the sun sinks a bit lower on the horizon....

Origin of a Dish

Only one dish is on Thierry Rautureau's mind when he returns to his family homestead 30 miles south of Nantes, France. Pot-au-feu. With alacrity, the Chef in the Hat recounts eating the meat and vegetable stew for the first time at age 3, proving what scientist suspect: Taste ties directly to memory....

A Plunge into Pungent Alliums

As pumpkins appear on porches, carved into grins, think about warding off vampires – but not by hanging a necklace of garlic across your shoulders. It would be better to spike some cloves into the ground....

My Huckleberry Friend

Unless you live in the Pacific Northwest, chances are your "experience" with huckleberries has been limited to pop culture: Huckleberry Hound of cartoon fame; "I'm your huckleberry," a 19th century slang phrase made famous by Doc Holliday; Mark Twain's character Huckleberry Finn, first introduced in "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer"; and "my huckleberry friend" from the lyrics of "Moon River" as sung by Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Huckleberries also make a darn good pie....

Feeling the Pulse

The lowly lentil – and its pulse-family brethren – are loved and lauded during the international Year of Pulses. ...

Chill Out for Summer

For those who love to garden and cook — and eat — summer is “show time!”...

Lemberger

“Every grape has its quirks, but Lemberger is a delight to grow,”...

Chelsea Farms

At high tide, all you can see of the Eld Inlet tidelands is an unbroken ribbon of pebbly beach. When the water recedes, the farm comes into view, a muddy plain dotted with clam beds and, farther out, mesh oyster bags attached to long racks. Geoduck clams squirt streams of water up from the mud at random....

Season of Bounty

Lark's John Sundstrom celebrates summer with a vegetable pistou....

Fall Roots

Get another crop underground now...

The Lure of Lummi

"So what is there to do on the island?" I hear a visitor ask the woman in front of me at her driver’s-side window. We’re waiting in line for the tiny, open-air car ferry to transport us to Lummi Island, just a five-minute ride from the small mainland terminal....

A Very British Picnic

Surprisingly, although the British summer is often non-existent, we Brits have a splendid repertoire of traditional summer foods...

One Cow Seven Courses

The new 4,000-square-foot Sevenbeef Steak House is an architectural marvel in Seattle's Central District. Floors have geothermal heat; sound-dampening material lines ceiling beams; and natural light pours in from every corner. Yet the real ingenuity is in the supply chain. The plan is to use locally raised, grass-fed, grass-finished beef. That is, the entire cow....

Sip Into This

Smasne Cellars blends award-winning winemaking with a historic lineage of vineyards to uncork its premium vine-to-cork creations....

Have it Your Whey

Cherry Valley Dairy churns natural, sustainable, healthy practices into every product it makes....

Leeks

The farmers markets are piled high with these slender, white beauties. Take them to international heights with these very traditional but very different European dishes....

GRuB Digs In

Growing food is a vehicle for social change at an Olympia nonprofit....

Quinoa

Food trends have a way of coming on quick and fizzling out in much the same way...

Plotting Your Plat

On a nice day soon, I'll get down level with the soil and press my rake handle into it, creating a shallow furrow. Time for seeds to bring the garden back to life. But as I contemplate the future harvest, I focus on the past, too....

The Rebel Chef

Derek Ronspies isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. The Seattle chef and owner of Le Petit Cochon in Fremont is straight-talking, especially where his restaurant and its nose- to-tail, farm-to-table approach is involved....

Of Flora and Family

Spokane entrepreneur turns a small-batch yogurt hobby into a cultured business...

Plant a Radish

I am not a natural gardener. I didn’t grow up with carrots sprouting in the backyard. In fact, I looked with envy at my friends’ raised beds, with fence posts fashioned from driftwood logs and old fishing nets strung to keep the birds out...

Learning by Taste

It is easy to say that change is too difficult. But South Whidbey dug in — into the soil, that is....

Mt. Townsend Creamery

Mt. Townsend Creamery’s cheeses are transporting. Seastack, a silvery tomme lush with mushroom and citrus notes, could have been pulled from the cellar of a French chateau....

Beyond the IPA

Though it may seem a blasphemous omission for a Northwest brewery, you won’t find an IPA at Propolis Brewing in Port Townsend....

Sweeter After a Frost

Magenta hues brightened the ribs and veins of this January King cabbage as it experienced increasingly cold winter weather....

Brrrrrrrrr!

When the temperatures drop, it’s time to turn to comfort menus and heartier dishes....

21 Acres

“When we choose to purchase and eat foods grown locally, seasonally, and organically, we support our local economy and create a livelihood for local family farmers that in many cases have been tending their lands for several generations,”...

Camping With Julia

“I would far prefer to have things happen as they naturally do, such as the mousse refusing to leave the mold, the potatoes sticking to the skillet, the apple charlotte slowly collapsing. One of the secrets of cooking is to learn to correct something if you can, and bear with it if you cannot.”...

Eat Well, Be Well

“He’s an extraordinary chef and food-service director, but he’s a better human being,” says Glenn. “His passion and sincerity about this is impossible to miss.”...

Farro for the Cold

Farro is part of a larger wheat family consisting of three ancient varieties: emmer, spelt, and einkorn....

No Till Farming

Karl Kupers’s twinkling blue eyes, easy grin, and tall lean stature might be expected on a Hollywood set but not in the wheat fields of eastern Washington. But there I was in Ritzville, Washington, with 50 others on the Shepherd’s Grain farm tour, listening to Karl’s rich, energizing voice resonate across the ever-so-gently-swaying golden fields....