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....