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Food

Fall 2016

Peaches

It’s just not a summer without them

Among the fruits of summer, one stands alone for its juicy sweetness, sunset colors, and soft fuzzy skin. There’s a reason we refer to good things as “peachy.” Washington’s fame may be apples, but peaches sit proudly next to them, as well as our pears and Rainier cherries at roadside stands and farmers markets.

The volume of other tree fruit grown in the state dwarfs peaches and their siblings, the fuzzless nectarines. According to the USDA, Washington produced 13,800 tons of peaches in 2015, compared to 3.15 million tons of apples and 340,000 tons of pears.

One reason … » More …

Asparagus and morels. Photo Bruce Andre
Summer 2016

Morels

Mysterious. Elusive. Delicious.

The smell of rain-soaked earth permeated the logged-over clearing in the woods in mid-May as my friend Mike and I peered closely at the ground and walked slowly. We were hunting mushrooms.

Mike’s more adept eyes spotted a cluster of light brown, honeycombed caps. He sliced the morel mushrooms with his knife. After a while we filled a small bucket, which we took back to Mike’s mom. She battered and fried them and, as a teenager in northeast Washington years ago, I had my first taste of the rich flavor of the wild Northwest mushroom.

Mike and I had likely picked Morchella … » More …

Wagyu cattle. Courtesy Jerry Reeves
Spring 2016

Fine beef

It was a beautiful sunny day in May when six WSU chefs, decked out in their white uniforms, stood on a hillside 1500 feet above the Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River, squinting to make out cows grazing on the steep terrain across the valley. Looking like little black dots on the massive hills, Jerry Reeves looked through his binoculars, suddenly pointing and exclaiming, “There they are! Can you see them?”

A retired WSU animal sciences professor, Reeves was giving the chefs, four from Dining Services and two from WSU’s School of Hospitality, a tour of his ranch and pastureland located less than an … » More …

Garlic scapes - Recipes thumb
Spring 2016

Greenhouse recipes for spring

Garlic Scape Pesto

1 cup garlic scapes, sliced crosswise (about 10 to 12 scapes)

¼ cup raw sunflower seeds

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

½ cup basil leaves

juice of one lemon

 
PREPARATION

Place the garlic scapes in a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds. Add the sunflower seeds and pulse for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the olive oil and process on high for 15 seconds. Add the Parmesan cheese and pulse until the ingredients are combined. Add the basil and lemon juice, and process until reaching the desired consistency. Add … » More …

Pan roasted duck breast. Photo E.J. Armstrong
Winter 2015

Duck

Rediscovering a worldwide favorite

In a small northeast Washington field, a flock of 34 Ancona ducks—a white breed with distinct, mottled feathers—quack sociably as they waddle around Rebecca Cahill Kemmer’s farm. Sometimes they drop eggs while they follow their guardian geese and gobble up old apples and remnants of summer squash.

Cahill Kemmer and her husband Eric Kemmer started their Pend Oreille County farm, in Fertile Valley just north of Spokane County, in 2013, with education and assistance from WSU Extension’s small farms team. When they chose livestock, ducks were a natural choice.

“They’re very hardy,” says Cahill Kemmer. “Last winter, they liked to sit … » More …