Farmstand Birthday Dinner

by Sherri Koehler on August 30, 2014

40 days without a post! Yikes! Let me remedy that by sharing my birthday dinner.

Really, it was the day after my birthday, because we were both too tired to make food after a picnic at the beach and a stop at a farmstand, two of my favorite things to do.

I love finding good farmstands. Usually they involve getting out of the city, although in Portland there’s a growing number of family farms setting up small stands in the city, the trip to them is usually lovely, and sometimes there’s great photography options too. Best of all, there’s the chance to possibly talk to the family and workers who actually grew the food I’m buying.

Last night, a slightly belated dinner, I made an all-grill dinner to celebrate the bounty of summer and farmstands. Mobile phone photos because we were too impatient to just eat all the yummy food! Although there isn’t an exact recipe, I’ve included notes on how each dish was made.

Here’s one of the dishes, Marinated Tofu, Cauliflower, and 3 kinds of Summer Squash (yellow & green zucchini and pale green patty-pan). Everything was chopped into largsih, but still bite-sized pieces and put into a bowl. 1/4 cup of olive oil was drizzled over along with 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar, fine Alaea salt, freshly ground pepper, 4 mashed & torn up garlic cloves, and dried herbs were added. About 1/2 teaspoon of both dry basil and oregano were added along with a slightly smaller amount of dry rosemary that was lightly crushed and broken up into smaller bits. All of it was tossed together so everything was equally coated and let sit for 30 minutes.

Two kinds of roasted chilies; Sweet Banana Peppers (from the farmstand) and Padron Peppers. Christie had recently been introduced to Padron peppers roasted in some oil at a local Peruvian restaurant, Andina, during a team dinner. We found some at the market and tossed them, along with two kinds of chilies from the farmstand, in avocado oil before roasting on the grill. Once nicely grilled they went back into the bowl with the remaining oil and were lightly sprinkled with coarse sea salt.

Here’s everything going at once! I so love this new grill and this is a perfect example of why, look at all this smoky, grilled goodness!

Finally, here’s dinner all plated up. Note the pretty, orangeish pepper on the left. By time decided to cook these I’d rather forgot what kind of chilie it was. So this lovely photo is mere minutes away from my being reminded it was a Hungarian Wax Pepper after biting off about 1/3 of it at once. While a lovely, spicy taste at first, the heat rapidly progressed to burning in the ears, sinuses, and of course my tongue.

I eventually was able to cool things down enough to eat again after trying some Yumm Sauce on corn cakes. The remainder of these I plan to remove seeds, stem, and skin before blending into a paste I’ll divide up in 3s to add a little heat while cooking things like chili and dahl.

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