Cooking with Emma & Price is a monthly series featuring seasonal recipes by two of our very own dancers. I have grown to know this beautiful couple as the cookers of the company. Every weekend they are out at the Ballard Farmers’ Market picking the freshest ingredients and always finding the best recipes. I asked them to contribute a monthly entry to the PNB BLOG so you can get to know them better and see what dancers go to for fuel (and desserts!).
Here is the third of many exciting posts by Emma Love & Price Suddarth.
The word alone almost has a somewhat romantic, almost dreamy connotation, doesn’t it?
For youth everywhere, it means no school. For Midwesterners, it means sweltering temperatures. For outdoor pools, it means packed crowds. For Seattleites, it means lengthy hours of daylight (is it virtually impossible to get your giddy, homework-free kids to go to bed?). For Pacific Northwest Ballet, it means off-season. For the world, every four years (2016 being one) it means the Summer Olympics! These initial examples aside, I’m sure summertime signifies something special for you. In our house, it has taken on one additional meaning. The summer of 2015 inspired what will be a series of PNB cooking posts stretching over the next couple of months—it was in that summer that Price and I discovered the joys of the farmers’ market.
I’d been to farmers’ markets here and there in the past—thanks to my culinary-wizard sister, or my horticulture-master cousin, but I wasn’t a regular. More often than not, I associated them with the world’s most vivid dahlias, friendliest daisies, most unique crepe stands, or most aromatic honeys. While I love all of those things, I didn’t feel the pull to frequent the farmers’ market for a regular dose.
Maybe because we had just recently become homeowners and the idea of our own vegetable garden was creeping into our thoughts, or maybe because we found it convenient on our regular Sunday passage through Ballard on our drive home, or maybe because we felt the need to stop and enjoy the sunshine that Seattle summers abound in, or maybe we just needed eggs—I can’t exactly remember the reason. The why aside, we pulled off of Market Street, parked, and decided to stop off in the Ballard Farmers’ Market. I’m so glad we did.
Now, virtually one year later, we’ve barely missed a Sunday—minus the ones we’ve been performing or out of town. More often than not, farmers’ markets are associated with the warming rays of summer. While some markets are seasonal—only lasting a few precious months during the summer—Ballard, lucky for us, is year-round. The aroma of fresh doughnuts fills the air at one end, savory halibut sandwiches at the other, with cheery flowers and vibrant produce sandwiched snugly between. I was there only a few short hours ago, but the thoughts of the sights and smells alone makes me long for it to be next Sunday already.
While we have our specific vendors whom we routinely frequent without fail, I never tire of walking past stand after stand, watching the months pass by through the changing varieties of the flowers and produce offered. As it’s been a year since our initial visit, we’ve virtually come full-circle as to where we first began. We’ve witnessed the produce come and go with the seasons—tomatoes, beets, peppers, apples, squash, leeks, rhubarb, berries, peaches… the list is endless. There are those necessary staples, however, on which we can always rely—greens (kale, chard, tender varieties—it’s all good), potatoes, eggs, and salmon to name a few. At this point I don’t know why I keep a list of the grocery essentials we purchase there each week—it’s an understatement to say I know it by heart. After all, we’ve built a couple weekly routine meals around just those items.
As it was the season for the bright orange, deep red, or cheerful yellow colored heirloom tomatoes when we first explored the market, and it is becoming just that now, I find it only fitting to begin there. I’ll be honest, we’re suckers for a giant dinner salad. Homemade dressing, fresh greens, a side of crusty bread—likely our favorite kind of dinner. You know, one of those that you can eat more than your share of and still feel great afterward? You can never have too many greens (or, in this case, tomatoes as well). For us, there are few things better. I happened across this recipe just around the time we happened across the market, and I couldn’t imagine a better marriage.
Fresh northwest salmon filets? Check.
Giant bag of tender greens? Check.
A colorful array of juicy heirloom tomatoes? Check.
It makes a weekly appearance in our house, and I hope that it might start to pop up in yours. We’ve made our own few tweaks—as we always do—but any version of it is likely to be entirely delicious. A side note we routinely practice—we always toss the majority of the dressing with solely the greens initially, then top with the rest of the accouterments, as well as whatever remainder of the dressing we might need. We’ve found it spreads the flavor most evenly throughout.
(Makes 2 large dinner salads)
For the salad:
- 2 6 oz salmon filets, skin on
- 5+ oz tender greens (spinach, arugula, spring mixed greens, any assortment thereof)
- 1+ c tomatoes (cherry, large or small heirloom), halved or sliced depending
- 2-3 strips turkey bacon (or normal—depending on preference)
- ½ a ripe avocado, chopped
- extra virgin olive oil
- Tom Douglas Salmon Rub with Love (available at many grocery stores nationwide as well—we even found in Indiana while visiting family!), or a mixture of smoked paprika, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and thyme
For the dressing:
- ½ a ripe avocado
- ¼ c extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ c red wine vinegar
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbs green onions
- pinch of salt
- Preheat grill to medium-high.
- Rub non-skin-side of salmon with a little extra virgin olive oil, followed by rub/spice mixture. Set aside.
- To make the dressing: in a food processor, first pulse garlic. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Toss greens with the majority of the dressing.
- Cook bacon according to preference—either in the oven or stove-top. Once cooled, chop.
- Place salmon non-skin-side down on grill, immediately turning the heat down to medium/medium-low. Cook until rub has caramelized—maybe 5 minutes. Flip the salmon and continue to cook for another 10 minutes or so, until salmon is flaky and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and let rest.
- To assemble, place greens down and top with chopped bacon, chopped remaining ½ avocado, tomatoes, salmon filet, and remainder of dressing.
Recipe adapted from Heather Christo’s BLT Salmon Salad with Creamy Avocado Green Goddess Dressing
The first of our many farmers’ market-brimming dinners. Did I mention we have my brother’s homemade bread to go with tonight?