1405 SW Vermont St.
Portland OR 97219
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Filtering by Category: appetizer

Recipe: Crisp Parsnip Latkes

Sarah West

Try this twist on the classic potato latke featuring one of the season's tastiest new arrivals. Parsnips sweeten up with each frosty night and are just starting to reach peak flavor in December. As a bonus, parsnips don't have as much starch as potatoes, so you can skip the soaking and squeezing step.

Makes 24 Latkes, Serves 6


2 pounds (900 grams) medium to large parsnips, peeled & any woody core removed
1 small onion
2 to 4 heaping tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour or potato starch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Freshly ground white pepper
2 to 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Mild oil with a medium-high smoke point, such as grapeseed, sunflower, or avocado, for pan-frying
Coarse finishing salt, such as Maldon sea salt
1 lemon
Optional accompaniments: applesauce, roasted smashed apples and pears and/or crème fraîche
1. Using the large holes of a box grater or a food processor fitted with the grating disk, grate the parsnips. You should have about 5 cups (730 grams). The parsnips may discolor slightly as they stand, but don’t worry. Grate the onion on the large holes of the box grater or fit the processor with the metal S blade and grate. It should look like pulp; mince or discard any large onion pieces.

2. In a large bowl, stir together parsnips, onion, 2 heaping tablespoons flour, salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and a few grinds of pepper. Stir in 2 eggs. If the mixture seems dry, add the remaining flour, baking powder, and eggs.

3. Line 2 or 3 sheet pans with paper towels. Place the prepared pans, the latke batter, a large spoon, and a spatula near the stove. Heat 1 or 2 large skillets over medium heat. Generously film the skillet(s) with oil (not more than 1/4-inch/6 millimeters deep). When the oil is shimmering and a tiny bit of batter sizzles on contact, start spooning in the latke batter, making sure to add both solids and liquid. Using the back of the spoon, flatten each spoonful into a circle 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 centimeters) in diameter. Do not crowd the latkes in the pan. You'll get 4 or 5 latkes in a 12-inch (30.5-centimeter) skillet.

Recipe by Amelia Saltzman.



Pickled Shrimp and Celery

Sarah West

Shrimp season is on its way out - celebrate the last hauls of the year with this unique preparation. Not as acidic as most vinegar pickles, think of the brine as a marinade, infusing both ingredients with delicacy and aroma. Picked Dungenness crab would make a decadent substitute, though may fare better when tossed with the celery post-pickling (just before serving) to avoid a vinegar takeover of its buttery qualities.

Serve for the salad course or make it the main dish with a side of roasted sweet potatoes or delicata squash slices.

Serves 6 as a side dish


For the pickling brine
1/2 Cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 Cup mirin
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Thick slices fresh ginger
5 Black peppercorns
5 Juniper berries
1 Cinnamon stick

2 Bunches celery, outer stalks removed until just the tender heart stalks and their blanched leaves remain
1 Cup white wine
8 Black peppercorns
2 Bay leaves
1 1/2 - 2 pounds shrimp
Really good extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1. Put all of the pickling brine ingredients in a non-reactive pot along with one cup of water and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the brine into a wide shallow dish. Can be make up to 1 week in advance. Keep refrigerated.

2. Keep the celery hearts whole and put them into a large pot with the wine, bay leaves, and a generous pinch of salt. Add just enough water to cover the celery. Cover and simmer over medium heat until the celery is crisp-tender when pierced with a knife, 25-30 minutes. Transfer the celery to a cutting board. Cut the hearts crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces and add them to the pickling brine.

3. Using the same pot and liquid in which you cooked the celery, poach the shrimp until just cooked (if still in their shell, leave it on until after they are cooked to avoid them curling to tightly or flaring into a "butterfly"). Drain the shrimp in a colander, peel (if necessary), and put in a bowl. Pour the celery and pickling brine over the shrimp; make sure everything is submerged. If there isn't enough brine to cover everything completely, just give the celery and shrimp a turn now and then. Cover, refrigerate, and allow the shrimp and celery to "pickle" for about an hour.

4. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp and celery to plates. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with celery leaves and chopped chives. Serve cold.

Based on a recipe from Canal House Cooks Every Day, by Christopher Hirsheimer & Melissa Hamilton.

Wild Mushroom and Herb Polenta

Sarah West

A quintessential fall recipe, pairing earthy wild mushrooms with the zesty brightness of fresh herbs, most of which will hang on until the first frost. Built like a pizza, this dish is easy to assemble and brings a touch of effortless elegance to the weeknight table. Serve with a salad of baby lettuces and frisee tossed in a light vinaigrette. 

Serves 2


4 Tablespoons olive oil
4 Cups wild mushrooms (chanterelles, porcini, hedgehog, etc.), brushed clean, large ones halved or even quartered
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 Tablespoon truffle oil (optional - could also used truffle salt from Springwater Farm in place of regular salt)
Salt and black pepper
2 1/2 Cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
1/2 Cup polenta
3 oz Parmesan, grated
2 1/2 Tablespoons butter
1 Teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 Tablespoon chopped chervil (sub parsley if unavailable)
4 oz soft-ripened cheese (such as Fraga Farm camembert or Willamette Valley Cheese brie), cut into thin slices

1. Heat half of the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add half of the mushrooms and fry just until cooked, 5-10 minutes; try not to move them much so you get golden-brown patches on their surface. Remove from the pan and repeat with the rest of the mushrooms and oil. Off the heat, return all the mushrooms to the pan and add the garlic, tarragon, thyme, truffle oil, and some salt and pepper. Keep warm.

2. Bring the stock to boil in a saucepan. Slowly stir in the polenta, then reduce the heat to the minimum and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. The polenta is ready when it leaves the sides of the pan but is still runny. If you are using instant polenta, this shouldn't take more than 5 minutes; with traditional polenta it could take up to 50 minutes (if it seems to dry out, add some more stock or water, but just enough to keep it at a thick porridge consistency).

3.  Preheat the broiler. When the polenta is ready, stir in the Parmesan, butter, rosemary and half the chervil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the polenta over a heatproof dish and top with the soft-ripened cheese slices. Place under the broiler until the cheese bubbles. Remove, top with the mushrooms and their juices, and return to the broiler for a minute to warm up. Serve hot, garnished with the remaining chervil.

Based on a recipe from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi.

Vegetable Fritters

Sarah West

Vegetable oil for frying

1 egg
1 cup ice cold water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 carrot, cut in half crosswise then thinly sliced lengthwise
1 zucchini, cut in half crosswise then thinly sliced lengthwise
1 onion, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 green pepper, seeded and cut into 8 lengthwise pieces
8 cauliflower florets1 small eggplant, sliced crosswise into 1/4 inch slices



  1. Sift together the baking soda and flour and set aside. Put egg in a bowl and beat smooth. Add water. Add the dry ingredients and beat a few times to mix. Set batter aside while oil heats.
  2. Pour oil into a large frying pan or wok to a depth of 1 inch. Heat oil until it reaches a temperature of 350 degrees. Cook vegetables in batches, a few minutes per side until nicely brown. Remove vegetables with tongs or a slotted spoon and drain on several layers of paper towels. Skim oil between batches to remove bits of vegetable and batter. Serve immediately with lemon wedges or your favorite dipping sauce.

Sweet Moroccan Tomatoes

Sarah West

adapted from a recipe in the book Morocco - Mediterranean Cuisine (a compilation of recipes from a dozen chefs)

This preparation of sweet tomatoes invites the fruit, which we commonly employ as a vegetable, to flaunt its fruitiness.

A kemia, or small (cold) appetizer, accompanied by bread. The dish of tomatoes would then remain on the table as a condiment for a main course (such as a tagine of chicken with onions, cinnamon, & ginger). I have found that they also pair very well with creamy soft cheeses, such as fromage blanc, making for an unusual and delicious cheese course.

Choose tomatoes of medium size; firm and not too juicy. The tomatoes should still be fleshy after removing the skin & seeds.

2 1⁄4 pounds tomatoes
1⁄2 tsp. fine salt
2 pinches saffron threads
5 or 6 cinnamon sticks
2 1⁄4 cups sugar
7 Tbsp. orange flower water
4/5 cup peanut oil


  1. With a paring knife, cut out the core of the tomato at the stem end. Do not cut deeply, just enough to remove the core. Cut a shallow X at the base of the tomato. Plunge the tomato into a pot of boiling water. When the skin loosens, remove the tomato from the water with a skimmer or slotted spoon. Immediately place the tomato into a container of iced water. Repeat with remaining tomatoes. Gently peel away the skins of the tomatoes, using a paring knife to facilitate peeling if necessary.
  2. Halve all the tomatoes vertically. Remove the seeds. Place the hollowed out tomatoes in a baking dish, cut side up.
  3. Distribute the salt, saffron threads, & cinnamon sticks over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with sugar, then spoon on the orange flower water. Lastly, drizzle the peanut oil over the tomatoes. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 300 degree Fahrenheit oven for 45 minutes. Allow the tomatoes to cool in the liquid. Serve hot or cold. They will keep, refrigerated, for 3 or 4 days.

Recipe from Chef Kathryn Yeomans, The Farmer's Feast http://thefarmersfeast.wordpress.com/

Eggplant Rollatini with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Sarah West

“Rollatini” are little filled roll-ups made with eggplant. These eggplant roll-ups, stuffed with ricotta cheese and fresh basil, are fun to dip into the tomato sauce. Children will enjoy helping with this dish. Once the eggplant has been grilled, kids can fill and roll the eggplant slices themselves. Make this basic recipe, or experiment with other filling ingredients – try adding chopped cooked spinach, pine nuts, or dried currants, other herbs or cheeses. Eat them for lunch, or as a supper vegetable dish.

makes about 6-8 rollatini

1 cup ricotta cheese
1 small eggplant, about 8 ounces, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1⁄4 inch slices
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, separated, plus more for brushing eggplants
~ salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 large basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp. grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmigiano Reggiano, or Asiago, or ricotta salata)
1 cup cored, peeled, and seeded ripe heirloom tomatoes


  1. Spoon the ricotta into a fine-mesh sieve or colander lined with a double thickness of cheesecloth. Set the sieve over a bowl and wrap the ricotta with plastic wrap. Set the bowl and sieve in the refrigerator overnight, or up to 24 hours. Discard the liquid that accumulates in the bowl.
  2. Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and season them with salt. Grill them over a bed of hot coals until they are tender and lightly browned. They should not be mushy. Line up the grilled eggplant slices on a baking sheet.
  3. Make the filling. Combine the drained ricotta, chopped basil leaves, and grated cheese. Stir in 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil and season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  4. Make the tomato sauce. Place the prepared tomatoes in a blender or food processor and blend or process until pureed. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream and blend until smooth. Pass the mixture through a sieve and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Place a dollop of filling at the widest end of the eggplant slice. Beginning at the end with the filling, roll up the filling into the eggplant slice. Repeat with remaining eggplant. Serve with tomato sauce for dipping.

from Kathryn LaSusa Yeomans, The Farmers' Feast