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Portland Chefs' Recipes Celebrate Fall Harvest


Paige Common reminds us that "you don’t have to eat vegan, gluten-free and raw all the time to enjoy delicious, nutritious food” like the snacks produced by her company, Eatin' Alive.

Paige Common reminds us that "you don’t have to eat vegan, gluten-free and raw all the time to enjoy delicious, nutritious food” like the snacks produced by her company, Eatin' Alive.

John Rosman/OPB

Autumn days are apple-crisp and nights arrive early. Now that summer’s torpor has dissipated, perhaps meals sustain more than refresh. We fire up the stovetop and let heat build in the oven.

Every kind of grilling shifts to every kind of roasting. We indulge in all manner of skillet-wrangling and braising. Cassoulets and risottos, paellas and vindaloos, grits and frittatas — they warm our faces and, yes, comfort us. If seasonal greens are more bitter than sweet, just dress them appealingly for company.

All six chefs who contributed dishes for these stories source many seasonal ingredients from local purveyors. Two chefs are vendors at the vibrant Portland Farmers Market, open Saturdays year-round in the South Park Blocks at Portland State University. Farm-to-table is a way of life, not a trend, and these recipes have been adapted to inspire delicious fall adventures in your home kitchen.

See a few seasonal items in stock at Portland farmer's markets this fall.

This week we’re featuring:

  • Winter Squash Cavatelli With Gorgonzola Cream Sauce, by Lincoln Restaurant
  • Psychedelic Minestrone With Arugula Pesto, by Nostrana
  • Hazelnut Pear Parfaits With Cardamom Cream, by Eatin’ Alive

Try three more creative chefs’ recipes that celebrate Oregon’s fall harvest.

Winter Squash Cavatelli With Gorgonzola Cream Sauce | Lincoln Restaurant

Winter Squash Cavatelli is made with squash and flour but Jenn Louis discovered that authentic rustic Italian dumplings rely on available regional ingredients such as other grains, dried bread crumbs, potato and cheese.

Winter Squash Cavatelli is made with squash and flour but Jenn Louis discovered that authentic rustic Italian dumplings rely on available regional ingredients such as other grains, dried bread crumbs, potato and cheese.

John Rosman/OPB

Chef/owner Jenn Louis serves fresh, homemade pasta at Lincoln Restaurant on North Williams Avenue. Chronicle Books published her “Pasta By Hand,” a groundbreaking collection of Italy’s regional hand-shaped pasta, earlier this year.

“Italian has no word for dumpling,” says Louis. During her research into this “missing category” of peasant cooking, she visited kitchens all over Italy, a country that has never become culturally unified, she says. “In each region, people forage at the market or in their own yards” for seasonal ingredients.

Squash is a perfect fall-winter food. In this cavatelli recipe from Molise in Southern Italy, Louis calls for butternut “because it doesn’t have too much moisture and the shaft is 100 percent usable.” As a sauce alternative, she suggests a simple sage butter.

Louis emphasizes the importance of measuring dumpling ingredients by weight, not volume, for successful results. Grams are much more precise than ounces, she advises; if you are investing in a basic digital scale, check that it specifies gram weight.  

To save time on the day of the meal, make the cavatelli ahead and cook it while preparing the sauce.

Preparation time: 2 hours | Difficulty: Medium

How To Prepare Winter Squash Cavatelli With Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

Psychedelic Minestrone With Arugula Pesto | Nostrana

Cathy Whims of Nostrana lit up her minestrone by including brightly colored  vegetables like purple potatoes, yellow cauliflower, red or purple cabbage and purple and yellow carrots.

Cathy Whims of Nostrana lit up her minestrone by including brightly colored  vegetables like purple potatoes, yellow cauliflower, red or purple cabbage and purple and yellow carrots.

John Rosman/OPB

Nostrana executive chef Cathy Whims says she had made minestrone “5 million times.” But one day she was inspired by the kaleidoscopic contents of her weekly CSA-subscription produce box from a nearby farm. “The cabbage, the carrots — they were not the usual colors. And I had an epiphany. I opened the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator — duh!”

So she cooked up a new batch — “the most vivid-colored thing I’d ever seen.” Whims notes that vegetables will look their brightest if you make the minestrone with water rather than broth. For the pesto topping, arugula is a good cool-weather choice but when basil is in season, she prepares the more classic version.

Whims, who has opened Oven & Shaker and Hamlet during Nostrana’s decade in the Southeast Buckman neighborhood, says insaporito is key in preparing dishes like minestrone. The Italian term means “to incorporate flavor” by adding, sautéing and wilting ingredients in succession: “This technique imparts the flavor of each vegetable to the whole, transforming the flavor repeatedly, making the flavors inseparable.”

Preparation time: 2 hours  | Difficulty: Medium

How To Prepare Psychedelic Minestrone With Arugula Pesto

Hazelnut Pear Parfaits With Cardamom Cream |

Eatin’ Alive

Eatin' Alive's recipe for gluten-free, raw Hazelnut Pear Parfaits With Cardamom Cream can be prepared as single servings or a cobbler-type dish to be sliced. Substituting coconut ingredients for honey makes it vegan.

Eatin' Alive's recipe for gluten-free, raw Hazelnut Pear Parfaits With Cardamom Cream can be prepared as single servings or a cobbler-type dish to be sliced. Substituting coconut ingredients for honey makes it vegan.

John Rosman/OPB

As a preschool teacher, Paige Common encountered young kids with allergies, autism and ADHD, while observing their parents’ fast-paced lives. Combining interests in natural healing and good nutrition, she started Eatin’ Alive, producing gluten-free, vegan and mostly raw snacks wholesale. She sources many local and organic ingredients in creating “quick options for families, sweet and savory grab-and-go” foods.

Now former students come to visit the inner Southeast commissary kitchen, shared by a vegan trattoria. Packaged foods like Spicy Collard Green Krisps, Figgy Bars, Falafel Wraps, Zucchini Lasagna and Thai Peanut Noodles are carried at New Seasons, food cooperatives and specialty vendors.

Common prepared her Hazelnut Pear Parfaits With Cardamom Cream — serve as breakfast, snack or dessert — when she applied (successfully) to join the Portland Farmers Market. The Mason jar parfaits are offered during October at the Eatin’ Alive booth in the South Park Blocks on Saturdays.

Preparation time: About 45 minutes  | Difficulty: Medium  | Gluten-free and raw

How To Prepare Hazelnut Pear Parfaits With Cardamom Cream

Recipes 

 

Winter Squash Cavatelli With Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

Serves 4 as a main dish or 6 as a pasta course

Ingredients

Squash purée (makes 6 cups or 1.4 kg)

  • 2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

 Cavatelli

  • 200 grams (1⁄2 cup + 5 tablespoons) squash purée
  • 2 eggs
  • 170 grams (1 cup) semolina flour, plus more for dusting
  • 230 grams (1-1⁄2 cups + 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Gorgonzola cream sauce

  • 1-3⁄4 cups  + 2 tablespoons (450 ml) heavy cream
  • 
4 ounces (110 grams) Gorgonzola dolce cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 30 grams (1/3 cup) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Kosher salt

To serve

  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Chopped toasted walnuts or hazelnuts

Directions

Squash purée

1. Heat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. Place the squash in a large shallow baking dish. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat.
3. Cover the squash with parchment paper, then cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.
4. Bake until tender, 25 to 35 minutes.
5. Using a ricer, food mill or fine-mesh sieve, purée the squash until smooth.

Cavatelli

1. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, combine the squash purée, eggs, semolina flour and all-purpose flour.
2. Knead with your hands or on medium speed for 10 minutes, until fully combined and the dough is mostly smooth.
3. Remove dough from bowl, wrap in plastic and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
4. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and dust with semolina.
5. Cut off a chunk of dough about the width of two fingers (about one-sixth to one-quarter of the dough) and leave the rest covered with plastic wrap.
6. On a work surface lightly dusted with all-purpose flour, use your hands to roll the chunk into a log about 1⁄2 inch (12 mm) in diameter. Do not incorporate too much more flour into the dough, adding just enough so the dough does not stick to the surface.
7. Cut the log into 1/2- to 1-inch (12-mm to 2.5-cm) pieces.
With the side of your thumb, gently push each piece against a gnocchi board or back of the tines of a fork, rolling and flicking the dough to make a curled shape with an indentation on one side and a ridged surface on the other.
8. Put the cavatelli on the prepared baking sheets and shape the remaining dough. Make sure that the cavatelli don’t touch or they will stick together.

(To store, refrigerate on the baking sheets, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 days, or freeze on the baking sheets and transfer to an airtight container. Use within 1 month. Do not thaw before cooking.)

Gorgonzola cream sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, Gorgonzola dolce cheese and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and bring to a gentle simmer.
  2. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the sauce is smooth, reduced by about one-third, and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 7 to 10 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and a few swipes of nutmeg.

Finish the cavatelli

Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the cavatelli and simmer until they float to the surface, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove immediately with a slotted spoon. Use right away.

To serve

Portion four to six servings of just-cooked dumplings into individual bowls. Spoon the sauce over the top and sprinkle with nuts. Serve right away.

 

Psychedelic Minestrone With Arugula Pesto

Makes  4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

Minestrone

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 
3/4 cup purple and yellow carrots, peeled and diced
  • 
3/4 cup celery, diced
  • 
1-1/2 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 
1 cup yellow cauliflower, florets only, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 2 cups purple Savoy cabbage or red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 
1 medium purple potato, peeled and diced
  • 
1 medium yellow finn potato, peeled and diced

  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced, or canned San Marzano tomatoes, drained
  • 
4 cups unsalted chicken or vegetable broth or water

  • Parmesan rind (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Arugula pesto

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 
1/3 cup pine nuts or local hazelnuts or walnuts, lightly toasted
  • 4 cups loosely packed arugula leaves, washed and dried
  • 1⁄2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
  • 
3⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • Salt and pepper

To serve

  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

Minestrone 

  1. In a large, medium-height soup pot, add olive oil, onion, carrot and celery and sauté over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and barely golden but not brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add butternut squash and sauté, stirring occasionally, to amalgamate flavors, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add cauliflower and stir occasionally until wilted, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add cabbage and potatoes and stir occasionally until wilted, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add cannellini beans, tomato, broth or water, Parmesan rind and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender, about 35 minutes.
  6. Remove any Parmesan rind that has not dissolved.

Arugula pesto

  1. In the food processor bowl, place garlic, pine nuts, arugula and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Pulse to chop finely.
  2. With motor running on medium speed, very slowly pour in oil until pesto has a smooth consistency (you may not need all the oil). 

  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste

(Store any leftover pesto in a lidded container with plastic wrap pressed onto the pesto to prevent oxidation.)

To serve

Serve minestrone hot or at room temperature. Ladle into bowls and add sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Garnish with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and a dollop of arugula pesto.

Suggested accompaniments: A hearty, crusty country loaf and Hannah raw-milk cheese from Ancient Heritage Dairy. Pair with a light red wine (like a young chianti or pinot), a medium-bodied pale ale, dry cider or sparkling water.

 

Hazelnut Pear Parfaits with Cardamom Cream

Makes about 8 servings

Using coconut nectar and oil instead of honey will make this recipe vegan as well as gluten-free and raw. If using fresh figs, allow 24 hours in advance to dehydrate.

Ingredients

Hazelnut crumble

  • 2 cups Freddy Guys or other whole raw hazelnuts
  • 1 teaspoon powdered cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon Jacobsen’s Vanilla Salt or flaked salt
  • 1/3 cup dried Mission figs, de-stemmed. (Or use same quantity of fresh figs, stemmed, halved and dried in a home-kitchen dehydrator for 24 hours) 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 Pear filling

  • 2 medium-sized red pears, very ripe and soft, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon local honey or coconut nectar*
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

 *Available in jars on grocery shelves near honey or agave

Cardamom cream

  • 3 cups raw cashews, whole or pieces, soaked (see note), drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup local honey or coconut oil*
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon powdered cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon Jacobsen’s Vanilla Salt or flaked salt

*Available in jars on grocery shelves near baking ingredients
To soak cashews: Place in a bowl and add water to cover by 2 inches. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days.

Directions

Hazelnut crumble

  1. Pulse hazelnuts, cardamom and salt in food processor until coarsely ground. Set aside.
  2. Pulse figs and vanilla in food processor until coarsely chopped.
  3. Place hazelnuts and figs in a large bowl and mix to incorporate fully (texture will be sticky and crumbly). Set aside.

Pear filling

Toss all ingredients together in bowl until honey or nectar and cinnamon coat pears evenly. Set aside.

Cardamom cream

In a blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour into bowl and refrigerate for 20 minutes.  

 To assemble

For individual servings in 8-ounce Mason jars or glass tumblers, layer the three components in the following order, from bottom to top: Hazelnut crumble, pear filling, cardamom cream. Use as many layers as you like, any thickness.

For a cobbler-type dish, use a 9-inch circular cake pan. Spread half the hazelnut crumble on the bottom; layer the pear filling on top of it. Spread the remaining crumble over the filling. Slice as desired and serve each portion with a generous dollop of cardamom cream.

To serve and store

Serve within 2 hours of assembly. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days; for best flavor and texture, return to room temperature before serving. Accompany with hot or iced tea; chai tea will bring out the cardamom flavor.


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