Leek salad with sherry dijon vinaigrette

Our markets are moving north. ********************************************************************** Farmers market ripens in Overlook Kaiser Permanente will sponsor weekly North Portland event By JENNIFER ANDERSON The Portland Tribune Issue date: Fri, Jan 21, 2005 After a short-lived attempt to host a community-based farmers market several years ago, North Portland is about to try again. This time, organizers and residents think, it will be ripe for the taking. Kaiser Permanente will sponsor the Overlook farmers market beginning in May at its Interstate campus, 3500 N. Interstate Ave. The 30- to 35-stall market will be held on a weekday, so it won’t compete with Saturday markets in the city. And it will focus on locally grown produce with an emphasis on community wellness — the benefits of walking around the neighborhood and cooking nutritious meals, for example. Residents are brimming with delight, calling the much-needed amenity — right off the new Interstate MAX line — a perfect fit for the area. “My wife and I are big fans of the farmers market at PSU,” said Tom Kilbane, an Overlook resident with two young children. “We go every week to have breakfast. And at the Thursday evening market at the Ecotrust parking lot (Northwest 10th Avenue between Irving and Johnson streets), we mostly get vegetables.” Both are within a couple of miles of his home, Kilbane said, “but having one here in the neighborhood will be great. We’ll be able to walk. And it’ll be nice to be able to get together with neighbors in that setting.” Kaiser sponsors farmers markets in California and Hawaii, but this will be the first in Oregon. The idea is to assist its startup financially and administratively and have the market support itself with its revenue over time. Kaiser’s community benefits manager, Nancy Stevens, got the idea rolling last summer after a company conference call about farmers markets in the region. “I thought ,‘Wow, what a fantastic idea,’ ” she said. “It’s just so aligned with a lot we’re doing now with (disease) prevention and childhood obesity. It’s a real positive way to walk our talk." ************************************************************************** Meanwhile, at our Friday Fresh Farmers' Market this week, pick up some leeks and baby gem lettuces from Happy Boys Farm of Watsonville. This locally grown, fresh, organic produce makes a wonderful light and sweet salad. I think asparagus is only 4 weeks away. The ground temperature has to reach 65° in Fresno for it to sprout.

Ingredients

  • 6 medium leeks
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Vinaigrette
  • 1 Tbsp sherry wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh tarragon, minced
  • Baby gem, butter or Bibb lettuces
  • (Cherry tomatoes, halved, would be great for a garnish but I suggest waiting until they are available locally grown. Those shipped here from a long distance just won't taste as good.)

Directions

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Trim the leek leaves, leaving the white and light green parts. Trim off the root end. Cut in half lengthwise and rinse until clean. Sometimes annoying pieces of grit stick in between the layers. Tie the leeks into two bundles with kitchen string so they won't fall apart and mess up your presentation. I made a substitute for kitchen string by rolling up a piece of aluminum foil into a long string-like piece. Cook the leek bundles in the boiling water until they are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 7 to 9 minutes. Drain, cool and undo the bundles. Dissolve the salt and pepper in the vinegar. Whisk in the Dijon, then the olive oil. Whisk in half the tarragon and parsley. On salad plates, arrange the leeks on the lettuce leaves. Dress the salads lightly. Sprinkle with the remaining herbs. Garnish with cherry tomatoes in season.

Contributor

Preston Maring, MD

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