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English Pea And White Bean Salad Kicks Spring Into High Gear


The first recipe in the brand-new, 25th-anniversary “Portland Farmers Market Cookbook” is Tartine of Shaved Baby Artichokes with Goat Cheese (small plates for spring) from Cory Schreiber, Art Institute of Portland culinary instructor and founder of Wildwood, the now-closed groundbreaking restaurant. Tying things up at No. 100 is Naturally Fermented Winter Kraut (sweets, sips and condiments for winter) from David Barber, owner of Picklopolis (the Kingdom of the Brine) and Bingo Sandwiches.

Just so you know: Everything else is in here, too, from deep knowledge and respectful sense of place and history to our region’s particular visionary sensibilities and curious, adventuresome spirit. The book is full of illuminating ideas and useful tips but also hints at ultralocal culinary obsessions that lick around the edges, constantly changing up the scene and provoking its followers.

Publication kicks off a celebration of the Portland Farmers Market’s 25th season, marking a striking transformation of the region’s food scene and rise of Portland as a thriving culinary city. From 13 vendors on opening day to 240 vendors at seven weekly markets, PFM is best known for its vibrant market at Portland State University, a year-round Saturday phenomenon under the elms in the South Park Blocks.


The cookbook demonstrates that devotion to the oft-cited principle “simple treatment of quality local ingredients” does not consign us to unsophisticated or throwback-regional clichéed dishes. Contributor Katherine Deumling works unexpected alchemy on humble garden shelling peas and small white beans. Deumling develops recipes to inspire Community Supported Agriculture subscribers (what’s in the box this week and what can I do with it?) and other everyday cooks focused on local ingredients. English Pea And White Bean Salad With Spring Herb Chimichurri reflects her motto, also the name of her business — Cook With What You Have.

Key to this recipe is the peas’ simmering time, which varies (3 to 5 minutes) based on size and age; larger, older peas can take longer. But overcooked peas turn mushy and lose their bright color, so watch carefully, says Deumling. For a selection of dry beans, check out Rubinette Produce Market inside Providore Fine Foods marketplace in Northeast Portland or grocery bulk foods bins.

Katherine Deumling, 2016. 

Katherine Deumling, 2016. 

John Rosman/OPB

English Pea and White Bean Salad With Spring Herb Chimichurri

4 to 6 servings

Ready in: 20 minutes (excluding beans) | Average

“More and more regional farmers are growing dry beans. When combined with shelling peas, whose season is somewhat fleeting, they make a robust salad. Mortgage Runner is a variety of white bean that is particularly good for this salad, although it isn’t widely available. Cannellini, navy, Tarbais (aka Tarbesque), Zolfino and Purgatorio beans are good choices too.

“The beans and peas’ sweet, creamy starchiness is a lovely foil for a bright, herb-based chimichurri dressing, modeled on the Argentinian sauce of the same name. Feel free to experiment with the ratio of herbs according to what’s in season, your preferences, and what you have on hand. This salad holds up well and is a good choice for potlucks, picnics, and lunch the next day.”  — Katherine Deumling, owner, Cook With What You Have

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds English peas (about 1-1/2 cups shelled)
  • 3 cups cooked and drained white beans
  • 4 green onions, (white and green parts) trimmed and thinly sliced

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, parsley, cilantro, oregano, cumin and pepper flakes. Add a big pinch of salt and whisk to thoroughly combine it. Season to taste with pepper and more salt. The dressing should have a good vinegary kick and plenty of salt. Set it aside.
  2. Bring a small pot of lightly salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the peas and simmer just until they are tender and bright green, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain, rinse the peas thoroughly with cold water, and drain again.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the peas, beans and green onions with about three-quarters of the dressing, then taste it and adjust the seasonings, adding more dressing if needed. Serve the salad at room temperature.

Republished with permission from the “Portland Farmers Market Cookbook, 100 Seasonal Recipes and Stories that Celebrate Local Food and People” by Ellen Jackson (Sasquatch Books, 2016)

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