Beet Salad with Fresh Basil Dressing

September 30, 2012

Beet Salad with Fresh Basil Dressing

Wine Varietal: Pinot Noir

Serves 6

Pike Place Market Summer Sundays

My friend Cynthia Lair teaches at Bastyr University (a naturopathic university near Seattle), is the author of “Feeding the Whole Family” and “Feeding the Young Athlete” (which has just been re-released), and even has an online cooking series called Cookus Interruptus. Cynthia prepared this recipe during the Pike Place Market’s summertime cooking demonstration series years ago, and I printed the recipe in the second edition of the “Pike Place Market Cookbook.” Thanks, Cynthia!

4 large beets

1 bunch beet greens

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted (see Techniques section)

2 green onions, white and pale green part only, finely chopped

Fresh Basil Dressing (recipe follows)

1/4 pound feta cheese (optional)

1. To prepare the beets, rinse them and remove the tops. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the beets. Lower the heat and simmer 1 hour, or until the beets are tender. Set aside to cool. When cool, peel the beets, cut them into small cubes, and reserve.

2. To prepare the beet greens, rinse them by submerging the bunch in a sink or large pot full of cold water. Shake off the excess water and chop the bunch into bite-sized pieces.

3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the greens. Cook 30 seconds, or just until the stems are tender. Place the greens in a colander and run cold water over them to stop the cooking process. Squeeze out the excess water and reserve the greens.

4. When ready to serve, place the cubed beets, beet greens, pumpkin seeds, and green onion in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to mix. Crumble feta over the top. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Fresh Basil Dressing

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon minced fresh basil

1. Place all the ingredients in a small jar with a lid and shake well to mix. If not using immediately, refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cook’s Hint: If beet greens are unavailable, Cynthia suggests substituting raw watercress, spinach, or arugula leaves that have been well rinsed and spun dry or collard greens that have been well rinsed, coarsely chopped, and cooked until tender in the same way as described above for the beet greens.

Debut of an Important New Cookbook: “Roots”

September 28, 2012

My good buddy and fellow cookbook author, Portland, Ore.-based Diane Morgan, has just release her 14th book, and it’s a dandy.

For anyone who has ever picked up a strangely shaped, gnarly looking vegetable at the farmers’ market (in the author’s case, burdock root) and said, “What’s this?,” “Roots: The Definitive Compendium with More than 225 Recipes,” is the ultimate go-to guide to the hearty, healthful, nutrition-packed, budget-friendly veggies found underground.

“Roots” uncovers everything from beets and potatoes to jicama and salsify to such relatively unknown specimens as cassava, galangal, and crosnes. Discover the fascinating history and lore of each one, their nutritional content, how to buy and store them, and—the best part—more than 225 simple yet creative recipes that bring out their best flavors.

Good news is, Diane will be here promoting her new book beginning this Sunday, September 30. Here’s a list of her upcoming Seattle appearances throughout the holiday season s0 you can meet her and have your book personally autographed by the master herself.

Welcome to Seattle, Diane!


Sunday, September 30, noon to 2:00pm

Book signing/tasting, free

Metropolitan Market at Proctor (Tacoma)

Sunday, September 30, 4:00 to 6:00pm

Book signing/tasting, free

Metropolitan Market Admiral (West Seattle)

Monday, October 1, 6:30 to 9:30pm

Hands-On Cooking Class/Dinner, $70

The Pantry at Delancey

Seattle, WA

Tuesday, October 2, 11:00am to noon

Book signing

Chef’s Collaborative National Summit/Seattle Art Museum

Seattle, WA

Tuesday, October 2, 6:30 to 8:00pm

Demonstration/book signing, free

Book Larder

Seattle, WA

Saturday, October 6, 7:00 to 8:30pm

Book signing/tasting, free

Village Books in Fairhaven

Bellingham, WA

Sunday, October 14, 11:00am to 4:00pm

Book signing/author appearance

Pacific Northwest Book Sellers Trade Show

Tacoma, WA

Wednesday, December 5

Tom Douglas’ 2012 Cookbook Social

The Palace Ballroom, 2100 5th Ave, Seattle

Meet the Author/ Book signing

Thursday, December 6, 7:00pm

Meet the Author/ Book signing, free

Third Place Books

Lake Forest Park, WA

Friday December 7, noon to 2:30pm

Book signing/Q&A

Mrs. Cooks

University Village

Fish Tales & Pike Ales Fundraiser Update

September 20, 2012

As mentioned in an earlier post, Les Dames d’Escoffier, Seattle Chapter will host its annual fundraiser, Fish Tales & Pike Ales, on Thursday, September 27, from 5:30 to 8:30 at the Pike Pub in downtown Seattle.

And now is the time to PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS if you haven’t already done so!

Here are some of the latest details about the event, which promises to be both educational and fun (and how often can you say that after a big night out)?!?!

*Bubbles Bar (sparkling-wine bar) during the Reception, which will feature Taylor Shellfish oysters on the half shell, smoked salmon, snow crab claws, Salumi charcuterie, and an assortment of breads from Le Panier Very French Bakery.

*Seafood industry speakers include Karl Uri of Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI), Mark Tupper (Triad/Bruce Gore Seafood), and John Martin (Intersea Fisheries West).

*Attendees will “schooled” in how seafood is caught, flash-frozen at sea, then distributed to our tables.

*Dames chefs for the evening will represent the culinary side of things, with ideas on how best to prepare and serve Pacific cod, Dungeness crab, and sockeye salmon.

*Dames dishes include King Crab and Corn Chowder, Thai-Inspired Cod Lettuce Wraps, and Spicy Wild Salmon (stuffed with a Dungeness crab cake!).

*Beer pairings for the Reception and with each of three courses generously supplied by our host, Pike Brewing Company.

*Wine pairings include wines from such well-respected Washington-State wineries as Chinook Wines, McCrea Cellars, and Domaine Ste. Michelle.

*Two types of gelato from Gelatiamo, including Pike XXXXX Stout and a brand-new seasonal flavor created just for the event, topped by a specially designed cookie[box] fish-shaped cookie!

So PLEASE buy your tickets today. . .100% of proceeds will continue to fund Les Dames, Seattle’s culinary, beverage, and hospitality scholarships; community-outreach programs; sustainable-agriculture projects; and Green Tables grants.

And if you are unable to attend yourself, please consider buying a ticket (or three) for family members, friends, or colleagues.

Tickets to Fish Tales would also be a nice gift idea with the holidays fast approaching.

Taste and Tote Your Wine

September 18, 2012

After a visit to Washington State’s ever-expanding wineries east of the mountains, do you ever worry about how you will get all those cases of specially chosen wines back home?

To the rescue comes Washington Wine Country’s Taste and Tote promotion, which makes it easier and more affordable to taste and travel the vineyards of Washington State in the Yakima Valley, Tri-Cities area, and Walla Walla Valley.

This new collaborative effort is in conjunction with Alaska Airlines and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. And, as part of this new partnership, Alaska Airlines will expand its existing wine check-in program “Taste and Tote” (which originated in the Walla Walla Valley in late 2011) to the Yakima and Pasco/Tri-Cities Airports.

The Taste and Tote program allows outbound passengers to check their first box of wine free on their return flight. In addition, Enterprise Rent-A-Car will waive rental car drop-off fees for visitors flying on Alaska Airlines into Yakima, Pasco/Tri-Cities, or Walla Walla Regional Airports who wish to fly out of one of the other two airports.

“The ‘Taste and Tote’ program has been a big success in Walla Walla and we feel our expansion to the Pasco and Yakima airports shows our dedication to being Washington Wine Country’s airline of choice,” said Clint Ostler, Alaska Airlines’ manager of retail advertising and sponsorships. “Washington State’s tourism and wine industries are so closely connected and we are committed to making it easier for travelers to visit our award-winning vineyards.”

In addition, visitors will be able to sample wines at participating Washington Wine Country wineries and pay no tasting fees by showing a current Alaska Airlines boarding pass from one of the three airports.

Organizers hope that with these added incentives, visitors from the Seattle and Portland metropolitan areas and others served by Alaska Airlines will utilize air service for their trip to Washington Wine Country.

Fish Tales & Pike Ales Fundraiser

September 11, 2012

Please make your reservations for Fish Tales & Pike Ales, a progressive educational dinner presented by Les Dames d’Escoffier, Seattle Chapter (LDES).

LDES is a group VERY near and dear to my heart; since joining the group in March 2004, I have served as International Liaison, Vice President/Program Chair, Secretary, and President. Starting in October, I will serve on the national board.

Fish Tales & Pike Ales will take place on Thursday, September 27, from 5:30 to 8:30, at the Pike Pub, 1415 First Avenue, in downtown Seattle.

Fish Tales & Pike Ales is designed to “school” both food-professional and consumer “a-fish-ionados” on the virtues of wild seafood, as well as the attributes and advantages of using frozen products. Event attendees will be divided into three groups “schooled” by professional fishers, cookbook authors, and other seafood-savvy experts.

The event’s major donor, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI), will supply a diverse assortment of Alaskan-sourced seafood, with dishes prepared by LDES members. Pike Pub and Washington wineries will provide beverage pairings.

Tickets cost $75 per person and are available through PayPal on the LDES website.

A $500 raffle basket containing a Kindle Fire, a gift card for e-books, and other Dames-donated items will be another exciting part of the Fish Tales & Pike Ales fundraiser.

So please make your reservations now, and plan to attend Fish Tales & Pike Ales!

Feeling Artsy? Love to Taste Wine? Corks and Canvas to the Rescue

September 7, 2012

A Corks and Canvas class held this summer on the patio at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood

With September comes the start of school for children, but what about classes for adults?

If the thought of trying your hand at something new inspires you this fall, consider attending a Corks and Canvas event, which combines a lesson in painting with Washington wine tasting!

Corks and Canvas Events, a local company that combines wine tasting with painting, was co-founded by Washington wine enthusiasts Lisa Cryder and Stefanie Hare.

In a local winery or hotel and nonjudgmental atmosphere, you spend the evening sipping Washington wine and painting a beautiful acrylic masterpiece.

Cost: Corks and Canvas events cost $45 per person, which includes art instruction, supplies, and the first glass of wine for inspiration. Everyone goes home with their very own masterpiece.

When: Check out the Corks and Canvas calendar page for specific dates and times.

An actual Corks and Canvas painting done by Spencer Johnson

Monthly Event Locations:

Apex at Alder Ridge Tasting Room, Woodinville, WA

J. Bookwalter Tasting Studio, Woodinville, WA

Matthews Estate Winery, Woodinville, WA

VoVina Wine and Vodka Tasting Martini Bar, Kirkland, WA

Urban Enoteca, Seattle, WA

Pan Pacific Hotel Lobby Bar, Seattle, WA

Vino at the Landing, Renton WA

Wine Styles, Bothell, WA