The Eat Local BBQ is this Saturday!

Readers of my blog know that the Co-op has partnered with Sustainable Connections for the Eat Local First! campaign.  Last week we co-sponsored an event with Village Books and Sustainable Connections to benefit the Co-op’s Farm Fund (Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet came to town to promote her book EcoMind: Challenging the Way We Think to Create the World We Want with a reception at the Leopold Ballroom) and this week we are having an Eat Local BBQ at the Cordata Co-op.

Even if the weather doesn’t fully cooperate, it should still be a really fun event.  We’ll have beef or veggie kabobs (the grass-fed beef is from Matheson Farms in Bellingham and the veggies are local too!), grilled local corn on the cob (with flavorful butter choices, also local), local grilled greens or salad, and peach iced tea with Okanogan Farmer’s Co-op peaches.  We’ll also have local music, provided by Pretty Little Feet, an acoustic duo that plays old-timey American music and are a lot of fun.

There will also be a few local authors at the BBQ sampling recipes from their cookbook or blog.  Seattle author Debra Daniels-Zeller will be here sampling a recipe from her book The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook (she also writes a great blog called Food Connections, and I have blogged about one of her recipes from her cookbook).  Local blogger Nancy Ging (Whatcom Locavore) will also be here sampling a recipe from her blog.  Her blog is a great place to get ideas and recipes for eating local in Whatcom County year-round.  And it wouldn’t be complete without Bellingham author and nutritionist Tom Malterre of The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook fame.  He and his wife Ali collaborated on the cookbook and also write an informative blog with many recipes not found in the cookbook.  Jennifer Hahn, local author, blogger and WWU Fairhaven College professor may also be here promoting her book Pacific Feast: A Cook’s Guide to West Coast Foraging and Cuisine.  Foraging is looking to be the next big foodie trend, so stop by to pick up a copy.  We will also have the supplemental material to the book available – The Pacific Coast Foraging Guide, which is a pocket-reference guide for quick identification of wild foods.

So stop by the Cordata Co-op tomorrow – not only will it be educational, but it will be local-icious as well!

Gazpacho (made with all local ingredients!)

For this week’s recipe, I wanted to try to make something that used as many local products as possible. Another major part of my criteria was to make something that required little (or no) time to cook because it is decidedly summer in the Northwest right now (better late than never!).

There is so much local produce available right now – I toured the Produce department and found no less than 35 different items that were grown (and brought to us farmer direct) from Whatcom County farms.; I settled on creating a recipe for Gazpacho – a chilled vegetable soup that originates in Spain. There is no cooking involved and it is quick and easy. I’ve never made it before, but that didn’t stop me!

I started with gorgeous organic tomatoes, an organic English cucumber, and organic basil from the Growing Garden in Bellingham (grown by our own long-time Board member Brent Harrison).; Organic red garlic came from Rabbit Fields Farm in Everson.; I rounded it out with some extra virgin olive oil (pesticide-free) from Bija that is bottled in Lynden and Bellewood Acres apple cider vinegar, also made in Lynden from local apples. A little Himalayan pink sea salt from Salt Works in Woodenville (the farthest away of my ingredients – they process the salt in-state). I did put some ground black pepper in the soup as well, which isn’t local, but I won’t tell if you don’t!

Tomatoes are in season right now, so while I did peel them, I didn’t bother de-seeding them – the seeds in fresh in-season tomatoes are generally soft and not as bitter as off-season tomatoes.; Other than that, you basically chop your ingredients up, throw them in the food processor, and let them chill in the fridge until you are ready to eat. The longer you can let it chill, the more complex the flavor becomes.  Fumar con fruición!

Gazpacho in a cucumber cup © Sassy Sampler 2011

Gazpacho

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 large tomatoes, peeled and rough cut
  • 1 large English cucumber
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4-6 large leaves of basil, chopped
  • 1 T Apple Cider Vinegar (Bellewood Acres)
  • 1-2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil (BIJA)
  • 1/2 t sea salt (SaltWorks)
  • Black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add your cucumber to food processor and process until only a few small pieces remain.Pour cucumber purée into a large bowl.
  2. Add the tomatoes to the food processor and process until only a few chunks remain. Add to cucumber purée and stir to combine.
  3. Add the minced garlic and about 4 leaves of chopped basil to the purée. Add sea salt.
  4. Add olive oil and cider vinegar. Add pepper to taste and mix well.
  5. Cover bowl and refrigerate until you are ready to serve. The longer it sits in the fridge, the better the flavors will have combined.
  6. Serve ice-cold with a sliced and toasted baguette (Against the Grain Gourmet makes a great GF baguette). Garnish with more chopped basil before serving.

If the tomatoes you are using are out of season, you may want to remove the seeds either before you purée the tomatoes, or strain the tomato purée after processing. If they are in season, chances are you won’t have to take this step.

All ingredients in this recipe were either grown or processed locally (in Whatcom County or WA State, in-season), with the exception of the black pepper.

Gazpacho PDF