Peter's Weekly Walkthrough
June 19, 2023
You have to love this one just by the name only- Goldilocks Watermelons (32439-8/9 ct) At first glance, it is perplexing what they look like on the inside. Cut them to reveal the red inside of a watermelon. I was cutting them last week and everyone I cut was solid on the inside. Good flavor and texture. It is a good time to start experimenting with melons and the different varieties available to us. Honey Kiss, Summer Kiss, Sugar Kiss, Lemon Drops, Kandy Brand, Orange Honeydew, Golden Honeydew, Pepino and Tuscan Melons are all in stock or due in this week. Each will taste different than the other and are all excellent eating. Most unusual is the Lemondrop. It has higher citric acid so it starts out sweet and finishes with a sharp lemony pucker.
The day has finally arrived! Local, LOCAL, LOCAL! Local beyond the root vegetables, apples and pears. First one I came across was the English Peas (21919-25 lb, 28016-5 lb) grown in Bingen Washington! Dickey Farms is right on the Columbia River. They have a little farmstand as you come into town. Passed by it many a time, thinking that I should stop in to see what is growing. Dickey Farms holds the prestige of being the oldest, continuously run, family owned business in the entire state of Washington. The pods may be smaller than the California peas but looks like the peas inside are much bigger.
The warehouse isn’t one big open building on the inside, a giant walkin so to speak. Rather it is broken up into rooms of various sizes and at different temperatures. A lot of thought went into this: what likes it cold and what needs it to be warmer, got to keep the oranges away from the apples, Honeydew and Cantaloupes don’t play well with each other. That sort of thing. It’s done to make sure the produce is the best it can be. Let’s talk about Room 5 for a second. Room 5 is one of the smaller and warmer rooms and holds the items that flavor summer: fresh bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and Yellow Squash. In the corner are shallots, how they got here is anyone’s guess. I will say there are times this room smells of a hot summer day in the garden. Today there were more boxes from Dickey Farms stacked up: Zucchini Medium NW (31735-4/7 bushel) and Yellow Squash NW (31734-4/7 bushel). They all looked bright and fresh, just waiting to make it on the cover of FoodArts.
The QA team was looking at the Organic Lacinato Kale NW (32385-24 bunch) when I was walking by their station. They had the bunches sitting in nice, neat rows. JR stated that the Kale he was checking in was looking very nice. This LOCAL Lacinato Kale was grown in Clackamas area by Siri and Sons. The thought came thru of Kale Chips; you know- trim the stems, hit the leaves with cooking spray and salt, leave in a low convection oven until they are crisp, don’t forget to only have them in a single layer…. But that was a fleeting thought. What could be more Portland than Lacinato Kale Pesto with Hazelnuts? Thinking about blanching a bunch of Kale to set the color. In the Robot Coupe they go with garlic, asiago and roasted Hazelnuts. Feeling that it will need a least some sort of herb. Basil jumps to mind but that is playing into everyone’s notion that Pesto equals Basil. I will take a note from my mom and add a bunch of rough chopped parsley. Turn that machine on and let it do the work, turning everything into a nice puree. Drizzle in EVOO and the juice of half a lemon to brighten the flavors up. Once you added the EVOO and adjusted the seasoning, ie sea salt and pepper. Time to toss with fresh pasta.