When Portland’s farmers markets hit high gear, local cooks enter a short but frantic season. For a few blessed months, the metro area’s 50-plus markets overflow with bounty—and recipes for putting it all to work become prized. Here are a few to start with.
Shredded Radish Salad with Lemon Balm Vinaigrette
Recipe From: Abby Fammartino
FARM-FRESH CREDS: Through pop-up dinners and health-conscious catering, Fammartino has immersed herself in Portland’s farmers market ethos with unfussy, feel-good cuisine, using fresh produce from all ends of the local spectrum.
WHY RADISHES? “They’re a great internal cleanser; they help remove animal proteins and fats from the body, and provide bright color and crunch to a salad.”
WHERE TO GET THEM: “Breakfast radishes are abundant at many farms in the springtime: Deep Roots Farm, Groundwork Organics, and Winter Green Farm. Gales Meadow Farm sells lemon balm.”
SUPERFOOD STATS: Radishes belong to the brassica family of vegetables, highly regarded for its anticancer properties. Radishes are high in vitamins B and C, in addition to minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. They also have high water content, making them a hydrating and cooling addition to any meal.
MAKE IT! Serves 2–3
- 2 bunches French breakfast radishes
- 1–2 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
- 4 heads baby gem lettuce
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh lemon balm
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup lemon juice or white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp local raw honey
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
(1) SLICE radishes into matchsticks, and toss with garlic.
(2) RINSEgem lettuce and carefully section off into cups.
(3) WHISK remaining ingredients together for the vinaigrette,
and dress the radishes and garlic generously.
(4) FILL lettuce cups with radish salad, and enjoy!
Summer Fruit Cake Crumble
Recipe From: Kate McMillen
FARM-FRESH CREDS: The owner of Lauretta Jean’s made a name for herself at the PSU farmers market for baking the season’s finest into her deep, delicate, butter-only piecrusts. Now she dishes up some of the best pie, biscuits, and quiche in the city from her restaurant on SE Division Street and 34th Avenue.
WHY NECTARINES? “I use nectarines because they are fast and easy to prepare, and give this pastry tooth and structure. I think they can be a little tart on their own, so pairing them with a juicy, sweet raspberry rounds it all out—it’s fruity, tangy, but not cloyingly sweet.”
WHERE TO GET THEM: “I love buying peaches and nectarines from Baird Family Orchards. They bring top-quality fruit to the market and tell me exactly which varietals I should be baking with. Unger Farms and Denison Farms both have consistently great raspberries.”
SUPERFOOD STATS: Nectarines are an excellent source of potassium, which supports healthy blood pressure and helps prevent heart disease. The yellow flesh is high in carotenoids, a potent antioxidant. Nectarines are also a good source of beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A.
MAKE IT! Makes 1 9-inch cake
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 2 lemons, zested
- 1 stick butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup sour cream
- 4 cups sliced nectarines
- 2 cups raspberries
- Crumble Top*
(1) PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees.
(2) BUTTER and flour a 9-inch cake pan.
(3) COMBINE flour, baking powder, salt, allspice, and lemon zest in a bowl and set aside.
(4) CREAM butter and brown sugar using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on high for 2–3 minutes, scraping the sides occasionally, until light and fluffy.
(5) ADD egg and vanilla to the mixer, and mix on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
(6) ADD flour mixture in three additions, alternating with dollops of sour cream, but beginning and ending with flour.
(7) REMOVE bowl from the mixer and, using a spatula, fold in nectarines and raspberries.
(8) SCRAPE batter into the cake pan, sprinkle crumble over the top, and bake for 60 minutes, or until a skewer poked through the middle comes out clean.
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup quick oats
- 1 tsp allspice
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 tbsp butter, softened at room temperature
MIX all ingredients in a bowl, using your fingers, until crumbly.
Insalata Nostrana (Radicchio Salad)
Recipe From: Nostrana’s Cathy Whims
FARM-FRESH CREDS: A six-time James Beard Award nominee, Whims fuses Italian sensibility with a fine-tuned appreciation for Northwest bounty.
origin story: Nostrana adapted this long-standing menu favorite from the LA restaurant Locanda Veneta.
SUPERFOOD STATS: The bitter taste in radicchio comes from a compound called lactucopicrin, which is known for its pain-reducing properties. Radicchio is also a great source of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It’s high in vitamin K, which supports bone health and proper blood clotting.
MAKE IT! Serves 4
- 2 large heads radicchio
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp white wine
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 anchovies in olive oil, finely chopped
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 cloves garlic, pounded with a pinch of salt
(1) BREAK APART the radicchio into 1½-inch pieces and soak in iced water for 2 hours.
(2) MIX the other ingredients. Process in a food processor until emulsified.
(3) DRAIN radicchio and combine well with the dressing.
BEST SERVED with a generous shower of parmesan and croutons made from cubed focaccia or crusty artisan bread, baked in a 375-degree oven for 10–15 minutes and tossed with melted butter flavored with 1 tbsp chopped sage and rosemary.
Fennel and Orange Pickled Beets
Recipe From: Katie & Jesse Hancock
FARM-FRESH CREDS: This duo started one of Portland’s first commercial pickle operations, Unbound Pickling, transforming farmers market hauls with supreme puckering potential.
WHY BEETS? “They give off such a beautiful color that reminds us of springtime. These pickles are great tossed in a salad, topped with bleu or goat cheese on crackers, or served on the side with sandwiches.”
SUPERFOOD STATS: Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains, powerful antioxidants that give them their rich colors.
MAKE IT! Makes one 16 oz jar
- ½ lb beets
- 1 whole fennel bulb, in ¼-inch slices, stem removed
- 1 sprig tarragon
- ½ tsp whole cinnamon chunks
- ½ tsp whole allspice
- ½ tsp whole cloves
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp salt
(1) PREHEAT oven to 400 degrees.
(2) SCRUB whole beets, wrap in foil, and roast for 60 minutes.
(3) SLIP off beet skins and slice them into ¼-inch chunks as soon as they are cool enough to handle. (4) PACK beets, fennel, and tarragon into a clean, 16 oz glass jar.
(5) TIE cinnamon, allspice, and cloves in a scrap of cheesecloth.
(6) PUT water, vinegar, orange juice, brown sugar, salt, and spice bag in a
nonreactive pot, and bring to a boil.
(7) REDUCE heat and simmer for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally.
(8) RETURN mixture to a boil, and transfer to a heatproof measuring cup with a spout.
(9) POUR mixture into the glass jar, leaving ½-inch headspace.
(10) WIPE top edge of jar and seal with a clean lid. (Do not overtighten.)
(11) ALLOW jar to cool, and refrigerate. Beets will be ready to eat after a week and
will keep for up to two months in the refrigerator.
Farmers Market Slaw & Ultimate Breakfast Taco
Recipe From: Mark Doxtader
FARM-FRESH CREDS: The Tastebud founder combs the Portland State University market before the opening bell, trading Tastebud’s wood-fired pizzas and bagels for fresh veggies to use at his own booth.
SUPERFOOD STATS: Noted for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, kale is also packed with vitamins and minerals—two days’ worth of vitamin A in a single cup, for example.
WHY duck eggs? They make for a richer, fluffier scramble.
MAKE IT! Makes about one quart
- 3 cups finely shredded Italian kale
- 1 cup thinly sliced French breakfast radishes
- 2 tbsp thinly sliced scallions
- ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 pinch chile flake
- Salt and pepper to taste
COMBINE vegetables in a bowl, toss with lemon juice and olive oil, season with chile flake, salt, and pepper.
(2) Masa or Tortilla (Three Sisters Nixtamal)
Roll masa into walnut-size balls, place between two pieces of plastic wrap, press into a
tortilla using a pot or cutting board, and heat in a cast-iron skillet for one minute on each side.
(Or use premade tortillas.)
(3) Duck Eggs (Dancing Chicken Farm)
Add butter and eggs to a cold, nonstick skillet, turn heat to medium, and scramble eggs
with a fork, adding cheese, salt, and pepper as they finish.
(4) Pluvias Cheese (Willapa Hills)
Crumble bits of this creamy, cratered, blue-style cow’s milk cheese
to melt into the scrambled duck eggs as they cook.
(5) Pork Jowl Bacon (Pono Farm)
This flavor-packed cheek bacon is soaked in a brown-sugar brine for two weeks and smoked over apple and cherry wood. Slice it into ?-inch lardons, and fry over medium heat until crispy. Top tortillas with eggs, bacon, and slaw.