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JasonTrue

Seasonal peaks

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I'm sure there's a topic for this somewhere, but I'm too lazy to look.

One of the things that I really like about the Northwest is the seasonal excesses of summer don't really happen until late August/September... our best local tomatoes start coming in after the rest of the country starts forgetting about them, and it's rather odd to get utterly fantastic peaches and strawberries in September, just as mushrooms and apples start appearing. Eggplants are looking particularly good and are very inexpensive right now, though I'm not sure if they're local or not. Just as the weather starts turning more dreary, we get the good stuff. Only a few weeks from now we'll be getting more interesting mushrooms, and I think we have about 4-6 weeks to passable squashes.

Anyway, I'd love to see what people are doing with whatever is fatastic right now.

This week I got some excellent local strawberries and made a strawberry-basil sorbet with them.

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No particular skill in preparing these fantastic apples... I just sliced and seeded them and was happy.

They are phenomenally large apples from a local Nikkei farmer. They had great aroma and flavor, good crisp texture, and pleasant sweetness. They are much like the extravagant apples sold in Japanese department stores at premium prices, but he told me that the apples from this tree are mostly his personal stash.

He gave some to me even though I didn't deserve them. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time, as I was finishing up a supermarket demo.

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Okay, I'll bite.

<img src="http://www.216colors.com/images/food/IMG_1003.jpg">

I picked up some chanterelles at the farmers market in Ballard on Sunday. I was planning on making a pasta dish with them, but I've been feeling a little sick for the past couple of days, so I felt like having soup instead. It's a pretty basic recipe based on one by my buddy Jamie. Sauteed the mushrooms in olive oil, added garlic, onion and thyme, simmered and then pureed. Finished with some cream, parsley and more sliced mushrooms.

Has anyone seen a price lower than $8/pound on chanterelles?

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Central Markets have Chantrelles as a Big Board buy for $4.98 this week. Sale price is good valid Oct 12-18 as long as supply last. I have been getting them at the Pouslbo store over the last few weeks and they have been delicious and $7.98/lb. Definitely plan on going early to get the buy.

Since Central Market is part of the Town and Country family, perhaps the T&C stores have it as well.

Kay

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$4.98??? Holy cow. The Central, Ballard and Greenwood Markets always seem to have the same specials. I did try to double check this on the T & C website, but it appears to be down. Various venders at Pike Place have them for $6.99/lb.

As an aside, if anyone here shops at Ballard or Greenwood Markets, you can save your receipts, turn them into the Phinney Neighborhood Center, and T&C Markets will donate a percentage of your total to the Phinney soup kitchen.

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At the Ballard market, they were all $10/lb, except for the vendor I bought from. Luckily, I only needed 8 oz. for my recipe.

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Yes, the $4.98 you read is correct. Check http://www.central-market.com under the Big Board Buy section of the sidebar. Sorry the other site didn't come up. If you live near Shoreline, the other Seattle site they have it is worth the trip. Kay

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Not a Northwest native product, but I recently got an email from a friend of mine who is charged with improving the quality of produce selection at Safeway:

"We locked most of the crop on this completely amazing grape. It is limited quantity. It will be in Seattle the weekend of Oct 15 & 16 (probably just the 15th)... at the store at the bottom of the hill (Lifestyle store, not conventional).

Okay, seriously, this is the best green grape I have ever tasted. It's huge, and has a crispness that will blow your mind."

I believe the name of the grape is "pristine". The bottom of the hill location she's referring to is the store on lower Queen Anne.

cburnsi

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Morels are finally available, if anyone else has been looking for them. I got some beautiful ones at the Ballard Sunday Market for $10/pound.

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Morels are finally available, if anyone else has been looking for them.  I got some beautiful ones at the Ballard Sunday Market for $10/pound.

Wow! At which stall did you find those? We were looking at the ones at the hand foraged place but $26 per pound was a little steep for my blood. I'm sorry I missed the $10 ones! I'll look for them next week.

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You know, thinking about it... I believe I got the price wrong. I was just eyeballing the amount I needed, and my total was $5.50 for about a cup and a half.

It was from the hand-foraged guys, and since I've been waiting weeks for fresh morels, I was ready to pay any price. They're not very dense, so my weight-to-handful calculations were probably way off.

Sorry!


Edited by dandelion (log)

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does anyone know if there is any place to get ramps out here??

Yes, Frank's Produce in Pike Place market has them right now, in mid-April. Frank's is in the Sanitary Market building by the cheese shop.

I bought four bunches on Saturday, I think for $3 each. That's the only place I've ever seen them. Ask Frank for his special ramps pasta recipe with prosciutto and parmesan.


Edited by Magala (log)

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does anyone know if there is any place to get ramps out here??

Yes, Frank's Produce in Pike Place market has them right now, in mid-April. Frank's is in the Sanitary Market building by the cheese shop.

I bought four bunches on Saturday, I think for $3 each. That's the only place I've ever seen them. Ask Frank for his special ramps pasta recipe with prosciutto and parmesan.

I was just there last night and was going to post the same thing (not the pasta recipe but the ramps were in)

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to market, to market, to market I go!

Thanks for the tip!

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Actually...would you mind posting the recipe?

Thanks in advance!

does anyone know if there is any place to get ramps out here??

Yes, Frank's Produce in Pike Place market has them right now, in mid-April. Frank's is in the Sanitary Market building by the cheese shop.

I bought four bunches on Saturday, I think for $3 each. That's the only place I've ever seen them. Ask Frank for his special ramps pasta recipe with prosciutto and parmesan.

I was just there last night and was going to post the same thing (not the pasta recipe but the ramps were in)

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I think the ramps must be flying off the shelf at Franks...they only had a few bunches left when I was there at lunch today.

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I just harvested my second batch of asparagus and first batch of rhubarb.

Yum.

Market has washington grown asparagus in right now! Will run down on Saturday to pick up tulips and more asparagus.

lalala

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I saw local asparagus on Monday at Top Banana produce (65th and 15th in Ballard), with a 5 pound maximum purchase per person.

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Is there rhubarb yet? Especially, say, at the Market?

Crossing my fingers for ramps tomorrow.

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I think how the recipe goes is that you take some prosciutto strips and saute them gently with just a bit of onion & and garlic. Add the ramps and wilt them (they reduce about 4:1) Too high heat will make your prosciutto tough and dry...it's like the art of cooking bacon.

Put the cooked pasta back into it's pot and toss it with some butter and some parmesan, adding a little pasta water if you need it. Blend the ramp mixture into the pasta or use it as a topping. Garnish with some sauteed prosciutto strips and a little chopped parsley. It ends up being a yummy mix of very different textures and contrasting flavors.

If you use whole ramps, you end up with long green strands that look pretty and mix in well with the pasta, but they make it more difficult to twine with a fork. I'd cut them into half-lengths.

I used a Trader Joe's packet of 5 lean prosciutto slices, which served about three pepole for a main course. I'd use much more next time and I'd use slices with more fat on them. Likewise, four bunches of ramps served about three people.

Good luck with the ramps! Leave some for everyone else!


Edited by Magala (log)

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Thanks! And don't worry--there are loads there today!

I think how the recipe goes is that you take some prosciutto strips and saute them gently with just a bit of onion & and garlic.  Add the ramps and wilt them (they reduce about 4:1) Too high heat will make your prosciutto tough and dry...it's like the art of cooking bacon.

Put the cooked pasta back into it's pot and toss it with some butter and some parmesan, adding a little pasta water if you need it.  Blend the ramp mixture into  the pasta or use it as a topping.  Garnish with some sauteed prosciutto strips and a little chopped parsley. It ends up being a yummy mix of very different textures and contrasting flavors.

If you use whole ramps, you end up with long green strands that look pretty and mix in well with the pasta, but they make it more difficult to twine with a fork.  I'd cut them into half-lengths. 

I used a Trader Joe's packet of 5 lean prosciutto slices, which served about three pepole for a main course. I'd use much more next time and I'd use slices with more fat on them.  Likewise, four bunches of ramps served about three people.

Good luck with the ramps! Leave some for everyone else!

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