One of the truly great things about living in the Pacific Northwest is the bounty of food we have – and that includes wine, an agricultural gift of nature.
Let’s face it. Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Idaho are teeming with wonderful small farmers who sell their wares at roadside stands and in farmers markets.
In the last 20 years in particular, our region has begun to find its culinary identity, taking advantage of the seafood, fresh-from-the-farm produce and artisan meat processors. And during the same period of time, the wine industry has matured far beyond where even the most optimistic oenophiles thought it could stretch.
This regional style that has evolved from the soil of Northwest farmers and the chefs who are more than willing to take advantage of the fresh bounty is being celebrated in many cookbooks these days, and one of the most enjoyable I’ve run across is Dishing Up Oregon by Ashley Gartland.
Dishing Up Oregon is a delicious collection of 145 recipes that will have you wishing for spring and the rewards it will bring when farmers markets reopen. I’m particularly looking forward to trying Honey-Paprika Potatoes, Grilled Oregonzola Figs and Stout Ice Cream (using Full Sail‘s Imperial Stout).
Interspersed throughout the recipes are profiles of Oregon farmers, chefs and, of course, vintners. It is heartening to see the author chose to go beyond the Willamette Valley and explore other regions of Oregon, including the Umpqua and Rogue valleys. It also was great to see stories from top cheese producers, including Rogue Creamery, which makes what might be the finest cheese in the entire Pacific Northwest.
Author Gartland, who lives in the Portland suburb of Hillsboro, should be a regular with Oregonians who read such publications as Edible Portland and Southern Oregon, as well The Oregonian newspaper and Sunset magazine.
The book, published in 2011, is richly illustrated by the photographs of John Valls.
It retails for $20.