A Complete Pacific Northwest Menu
Bruschetta with Fava Beans, Pecorino Romano, and Garden Mint
Makes about 3 cups
Jackie Roberts’s fond memories of her grandfather eating raw fava beans along with a wedge of cheese, a hunk of crusty bread, and a glass of wine inspired this springtime appetizer she serves at The Pink Door, her ever-popular restaurant along Post Alley in the Pike Place Market. Luckily, in her rendition, the favas are briefly cooked before being puréed with garlic, parsley, and olive oil to form a bright green spread.
4 to 5 pounds fresh fava beans in the shell
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 large clove garlic, coarsely chopped
3/4 to 1 cup olive oil
3/4 to 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, or to taste
Bruschetta (Recipe follows)
1 ounce Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1. To prepare fava beans, remove beans from shells and discard shells. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil and add beans. Cook 30 to 60 seconds, drain, and rinse in cold water. When beans are cool enough to handle, slit one side of husk with tip of a small, sharp kitchen knife, and pop out the bean inside. Repeat with remaining beans, which should yield about 4 cups.
2. Place beans, parsley, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until beans resemble small pebbles. With motor running, add olive oil in a thin, slow stream until it reaches a thick consistency, scraping down sides of bowl once or twice. You may need anywhere from 3/4 to 1 cup of oil.
3. Transfer bean mixture to a medium mixing bowl and stir in 3/4 cup of the lemon juice. Add additional lemon juice if necessary to reach a spreadable consistency. Stir in salt and pepper, taste purée, and add more salt or pepper if desired.
4. To serve, spread fava bean purée on Bruschetta. Using a clean, dry vegetable peeler, shave curls of cheese over brushetta and sprinkle with mint.
1 loaf crusty country bread, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 large cloves garlic, halved
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat the broiler. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet and place 3 to 4 inches from heat source. Broil 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and rub one side of each bread slice with the halved cloves of garlic, then brush lightly with olive oil.
Cook’s Hint: Although your first instinct might be to use extra virgin olive oil in the fava bean purée, Jackie advises not using it in this particular recipe. It is too pungent and makes the purée bitter instead of buttery smooth. A good second-press olive oil does the job and is less expensive than extra virgin oil.
Triple Blue Summer Salad
Clarissa Metzler Cross, co-owner with her husband Doug of Canter-Berry Farms, a U-pick berry farm in Auburn, Washington, was a long-time farmer/vendor at the Pike Place Market and an excellent cook. She shared this easy-to-make layered salad recipe with me, and says she especially likes it because it travels well to picnics and potlucks. It is best enjoyed during the height of the local tomato season and the name comes about because it contains blueberry vinegar, fresh blueberries, and blue cheese.
3 large tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup crumbled good-quality blue, Gorgonzola, or Roquefort cheese
1/2 cup blueberry vinegar or other mild fruit-flavored vinegar
6 large romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed and patted dry
1/2 cup fresh blueberries, for garnish
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
1. Arrange tomato slices in a single layer in the bottom of a stainless-steel or glass mixing bowl or baking dish, then sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons of cheese and a couple of tablespoons of vinegar. Continue layering tomatoes, cheese, and vinegar until you run out, ending with vinegar. Let salad rest at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes. If not serving within that time, cover and refrigerate.
2. Fifteen to 30 minutes before you want to serve, arrange lettuce leaves on salad plates and divide tomatoes and cheese among plates, drizzling with any remaining vinegar. Garnish with blueberries and mint leaves and sprinkle with black pepper, if desired.
This dish is a joy to make in the summer, when basil is bursting and salmon is at its succulent best, although it is a welcome taste of the Market any time of year when fresh wild salmon is available.
Olive oil or nonstick cooking spray
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
4 to 5 sprigs fresh basil, leaves removed from stems, stems discarded (enough for 1/2 cup firmly packed leaves)
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
4 teaspoons capers
24 grape leaves
Four 6-ounce salmon fillets, 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick, skin and bones removed, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
Freshly ground kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Lightly brush a baking sheet with olive oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Drain the sun-dried tomatoes, but reserve 1 tablespoon of the oil. Coarsely chop the sun-dried tomatoes and then place them and the reserved oil in a food processor or blender. Add the basil leaves, garlic, and capers and pulse until the ingredients form a paste, but are not liquefied. Scrape down the sides of the bowl two or three times as needed to blend and chop the mixture completely. Scoop the basil-tomato paste into a small bowl and set aside.
3. Lay six grape leaves dull side up on a large cutting board so they cover an area approximately 10 inches by 10 inches. The grape leaf patch should be large enough to wrap one salmon fillet.
4. Place one salmon fillet in the center of the grape leaves. Sprinkle the fish lightly with salt and heavily with pepper. Spread a quarter of the basil paste over the top of the fish (a spatula works well for this). Fold the grape leaves from the top and bottom toward the center until they overlap. Fold the grape leaves from right- and left-hand sides toward the center until they overlap. Place the salmon packet on the baking sheet seam side down. Repeat the process with the remaining grape leaves and salmon.
5. Bake the salmon packets 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the degree of doneness desired. To test for doneness, cut into the center of a salmon packet with the tip of a small, sharp knife and pull the salmon apart gently. If it is still slightly translucent in the center, it is cooked medium rare. If it is opaque in the center, it is well done.
6. Divide the salmon packets among warm dinner plates and serve immediately.
Cook’s Hint: The large green leaves of the grape vine, or grape leaves, are used in this recipe to protect the delicate flesh of salmon fillets as they bake. The leaves, which turn a khaki color as they char, add a pleasing, earthy look to the dish, as well as a salty flavor. You can choose to eat them or not, but I love their crunchy texture and complex taste. Grape leaves come packed in glass jars, and are available at upscale grocery stores, as well as Italian and Mediterranean specialty markets, such as DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine in the Pike Place Market. Store leftover grape leaves in the refrigerator in their original jar and brine after opening.
Merry Berry Medley
Berry season runs long and strong in the Northwest, beginning with small, sweet local strawberries in late spring and ending with local cranberries in the fall. A mix of the sweet gems sprinkled with a crunchy oat topping, baked, and served warm from the oven epitomizes the Northwest’s berry bounty.
4 cups mixed berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries
1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
Pinch of kosher salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into small chunks
Strawberry ice cream or frozen yogurt (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter a 6-cup baking dish or casserole. In a mixing bowl, gently stir together the berries, 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and tapioca. Taste and add remaining 1/4 cup sugar if needed. Let stand 15 minutes, then pour fruit into baking dish.
2. Mix together oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, allspice, and salt in a mixing bowl. With a pastry cutter or your hands, work butter into dry ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle topping evenly over the berries.
3. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until top is golden brown and fruit is bubbly at the edges.
4. To serve, spoon crumble into individual bowls and top with ice cream.
Cappuccino Chip Coffee Bars
Makes 20 bars
These dessert bars, a recipe from Seattle’s Best Coffee, are chock-full of cinnamon, chocolate, and coffee. They make a lovely bar for nibbling with espresso after dinner or an enticing pick-me-up when paired with a café latte.
1/3 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup double-strength hot coffee orespresso
1 2/3 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Coffee Glaze (Recipe follows)
1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan or spray with nonstick spray.
2. Cream the shortening and brown sugar; blend in the egg and coffee. Sift flour with baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients, mix well, then stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.
3. Spread batter in baking pan and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until the bars turn golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the baking pan on a wire rack.
4. Once the bars are cooled, and while still in the pan, pour the Coffee Glaze over them. When the icing is set, cut into squares and enjoy.
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons strong, hot coffee or espresso
1. In small mixing bowl blend confectioners’ sugar and butter until smooth, then slowly drizzle in vanilla and 3 tablespoons of the coffee to make a thin icing, adding the remaining 1 tablespoon coffee, if needed.