Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Last night I attended a potluck, and listened to a talk given by chef Kelly Myers of Nostrana, an Italian restaurant here in Portland, Oregon.

Kelly talked to us about her use of fresh local foods as a food professional, and covered topics such as sourcing fresh ingredients from farmer's markets, seasonal purchasing, and risk taking when trying new and unusual ingredients - such as specialty potatoes, chantrelle mushrooms, and chrysanthemum greens.

Photo by janetleejohnson on Flickr.

When we began making Lilly's Hummus, we originally introduced it to the customers of the Portland Farmer's Market - a wonderful and relaxed venue to both meet Portlanders, and gain valuable immediate feedback for your market fare! It was remarkable to note through the Spring, to Summer, to Fall seasons which vegetables were available for purchase, and I ended up inventing quite a few vegetarian dishes (and fruit desserts) based on what was available from month to month.

Photo by tillwe on Flickr.
Whether I purchase Red Chard from a local farmer's market, or from Food Front, or New Season's Market, it has continued to be a favorite of ours - a carry over from our market days. I like to sautee it in olive oil, splash a little balsamic vinegar over it, quickly steaming the greens. Then I season them with crushed pepper, pepper flakes, sea-salt, and a little bit of minced garlic. Doesn't get any better than that!