Food finds in every booth at farmers market
Oh, man are we in for some fun!
The Lake Oswego Farmers Market will open May 16 at Millennium Plaza Park and it is going to be packed with Food Finds for 2015. Trust me this is not going to be a typical, run-of-the mill farmers market. Market manager Jamie Inglis has secured some very special vendors to share their goods this season. I visited with some of them to learn what they would be bringing. Here is a quick rundown of just a few of the notable vendors:
Donut Days After the last doughnut vendor retired, the Richard Yep family of Lake Oswego took it upon themselves to bring doughnuts back to the market. They plan to be there weekly selling cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar and plain mini doughnuts. They use Lil Orbits doughnut mix, from Minnesota.
They have been selling at Wilson and Riverdale high schools and served their doughnuts at Lakeridge Highs prom last weekend.
Old Oregon Brand I am really excited about buying free-range chickens grown by Lake Oswego residents Bob and Kristy Light on their farm in Aurora. I spoke at length with Kristy; she told me Bob has been raising quail and chukars for many years and started raising heritage chickens a few years ago. From about three to four weeks, the birds are allowed to forage outdoors on grasses and on non-genetically modified feed. Whereas commercially raised chickens are harvested at 4 to 6 weeks old, Old Oregon Brand chickens are harvested at 3 1/2 months. The couple supplies Tucci, Nicolettas Table, The Heathman and Raven and Rose with the heritage birds, and now its our turn to cook them at home. They will be at the market every other week.
Napoli, thats Amore! A little fair warning, friends: Chef Renato Solpietros exuberance and passion for authentic Italian cuisine is contagious, even by email. I cant wait to meet him in person. He says they will be making frittura napoletana, lightly breaded and fried seasonal vegetables. He describes the batter as slightly crispy on the outside and super soft on the inside, giving a great flavor to the veggies.
Also on the menu is Renatomisu, Renatos special tiramisu with secret touches that will keep you coming back for more. And fresh pasta salad made of al dente pasta, cherry tomatoes, black olives, fresh basil and XVOO (extra virgin olive oil).
As tantalizing as the menu is I believe the main attraction will be the outgoing personality of Chef Renato.
Ole World Oils Ever heard of camelina oil? Camelina is a crop that has been around for thousands of years. According to Curt Greenwalt, a fourth-generation farmer who farms about 20 miles southwest of Ritzville, Wash., camelina oil was used as an everyday oil since the Roman Empire through World War II. It was widely used in Germany, Scandinavia and Russia until large industrial processes took over many of the food products sold commercially. Because the oil could not be hydrogenated easily (made into margarine), it became a forgotten crop.
The camelina plant produces oil high in Omega 3s and low in saturated fatty acids. The oil is extremely high in Vitamin E and other antioxidants. It has a high smoke point (475 F) and does not form dangerous free radicals that polyunsaturated oils do when heated. I am looking forward to tasting it; Curt says it is great tasting, healthy and a good alternative to olive oil.
Field & Forage Gina Schlatter and Jeff Michels will bring mushrooms and microgreens to the market. Their crews have been foraging for morels and soon will be after chanterelles and hedgehog mushrooms. The mushrooms will go deliciously with their crisp homegrown greens. Look for edible flowers at their booth, too. Based in Tigard, the couple grows the greens on an urban farm in southwest Portland and on a large cooperative farm near St. Paul.
Kimos Dips Owned by Kimberly Lawson McBride, Kimos Dips offers 18 combinations of dried herb and spice blends which make perfect dips, sauces and spreads. They are gluten free with no sugar, salt or MSG added. Kim says she usually mixes them with sour cream, mayonnaise and lemon juice for sampling at markets but the seasonings can also be blended with cottage cheese or Greek yogurt as a base. They can also be blended with sour cream and served over pasta or added to parmesan cheese as a topper for casseroles and other dishes.
She said her husbands favorite thing to do with the onion dip is to blend it with smoked salmon. Yum.
This is Kimos Dips fifth season at farmers markets, but her first at Lake Oswego.
There are plenty of interesting products to discover from returning and new vendors. Introduce yourself to the vendors and ask them questions about their products. This is one of the best ways to make eating an adventure.
Kim McBride is sharing this recipe for using one of her herb and spice blends:
Quick Flavorful Hummus
1 16-ounce can garbanzo beans (drained of most of the liquid)
Put beans in a blender, and with the motor running, slowly add olive oil. When it starts to churn like a milkshake, stop adding the olive oil. Empty into a container and add one of the packets of herbs and blend in.
It is delicious with vegetables and crackers.
Randall welcomes your food questions and research suggestions. She can be reached at 503-636-1281 ext. 100 or by email at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @barbrandallfood.JW_DISQUS_ADD_A_COMMENT