One Local Summer Begins this week. Our west region's activities will be moderated by Becke at Columbus Foodie. It's great to find a new food blog with beautiful photographs and great ideas.
We started out the week with a dinner inspired by a recipe in "The Oregonian" recently. In the category of great minds think alike, I was at Jeff's house recently and he had made the same thing. We both made several modifications, but the basic recipe was a terrific starting point. You can go to this link to see the original newspaper version.
I made made a trip to the farmer's market this weekend and had new spring veggies I wanted to use. I also had gotten some spinach fettucine at the market. A cool thing about this recipe is that it does use some cream, but it is fairly minimal, and yet still makes a very nice sauce. You reduce some chicken broth (no, not a vegetarian recipe inspite of its name) by about half, add the cream and reduce further, adding lemon zest after taking it off the heat. Then toss in the veggies, some parmesan cheese and fresh herbs.
The biggest change that both Jeff and I made was to saute the vegetables in a very small amount of oil, rather than steam them. We both wanted to use mushrooms and steamed mushrooms just doesn't sound very good at all. In mine, I used fresh peas, leeks, sweet onion, baby carrots, zucchini and shitakes. Plus, Grady had brought up some green beans from last year's CSA that we still had in the freezer, so I added some of those as well. For the fresh herbs, I used chives and basil out of our garden. The meal was completed with a salad using three types of lettuce from our garden plus some a raw version of the same things we put in the pasta.
So, in the category of local foods in this meal were all the vegetables, the pasta, chicken broth and cream. Not local in Oregon, but important, were the lemon and the parmesan.
I didn't manage to remember to take a picture before we ate the pasta. Not back in the routine yet. But, here is a substitution:
our farmer's market goodies from this week. We have joined an alternative form of a CSA with Deep Roots Farm. Instead of having a box delivered somewhere each week, this is set up as a running account balance to use at the farmer's market stands. This scenario takes some of the challenge and surprise out of having a farm share. But, since we are going to be gone a fair amount this summer, this seemed to be more practical for us this year.