September 1st was the kick-off for Sustainable Connections annual Eat Local Month. The first event was a BBQ featuring local grass-fed beef burgers from Matheson Farm and locally grown portabella mushroom burgers, held at the Downtown Co-op and we have another BBQ scheduled for tomorrow at the Cordata Co-op from 11am-2pm featuring both vegetarian and beef kabobs. There will also be live music from Kuungana marimba band and lots of other delicious local food. There are many other events scheduled this month, including the annual Whatcom Harvest Dinner, held this year at Bellewood Acres farm and store. Check out Sustainable Connections website for more information on upcoming Eat Local events happening this month.
Today at the Cordata Co-op, KAFE 104.1 came to promote Eat Local Month. We asked local BBQ sauce guru Mama Jay to come to sample her delicious sauce with local pork, and we featured a local lunch special (a meatball sandwich with Breadfarm hoagies and Matheson Farm beef, plus an Italian-style coleslaw made with local ingredients). A few of us gave interviews to be aired as part of the promotion, and in honor of the festivities I decided to make a salad using as much local produce as possible. It didn’t turn out to be too hard, since we have over 50 local produce items in stock right now! I settled on Green Bean and Tomato salad, a recipe I found on Epicurious via Yummly.
The salad came out fresh and delicious – I used organic green beans from Moondance Farm, organic cherry tomatoes from Spring Frog Farm, organic slicing tomatoes and organic Italian parsley from the Growing Garden, and organic hard necked white garlic from Rabbit Fields Farm. It’s pretty simple to make – just blanch the green beans (and plunge them in ice water to stop the cooking process), chop your tomatoes, mix up the herb dressing and toss. Everyone who sampled the salad really loved it, even a couple picky kids. The green beans stay crisp and the two kinds of tomatoes lend to the overall flavor. I don’t usually put oregano in my balsamic dressings, but this tasted great so I will remember it in the future. Enjoy!
Green Bean and Tomato Salad
Serves 8; adapted from http://www.epicurious.com
- 1 1/2 # green beans, snapped (or cut) into 2 inch pieces
- 3/4 c tomato, chopped and seeded
- 1 c cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
- 2 T balsamic vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 t dried oregano
- 1/4 c Italian parsley, chopped
- Sea salt and pepper
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the green beans until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
- Drain beans, and transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain again, and place in a large bowl.
- Add the chopped tomatoes to the bowl.
- In a measuring cup, mix the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and oregano.
- Pour dressing over salad and mix. Add the cherry tomatoes and parsley as garnish. Season with salt and pepper.