Downtown Portland explodes every July with the scent and color of everything BERRY! This is the festival that celebrates the crown jewels of Oregon. Last year I was fortunate to attend and sample Oregon Fruit at this event and my daughter, Kaitlin and I had a great time meeting the locals and discussing the various forms of ,and ways to use, Oregon berries.
This year we had the opportunity to do something different. Chef Abby Fammartino from Abby’s Table in Portland agreed to use her magic to create and demonstrate a recipe using Oregon canned fruit on the demo stage. Now this is a bit of blasphemy considering this festival was all about bringing in the fresh harvest and also considering Chef Abby’s culinary point of view. She is committed to fresh, local and healthy fare. Her philosophy is:
“Source local, pure, natural and organic items at all costs. We are careful and responsible in our production practices from the root source to your table.
We believe in the power of yum. Healthy food must taste delicious in order for your body to truly reap the health benefits over time.
We wish to strengthen a healthy food culture in America, one table at a time. Food tastes better when shared, savored or enjoyed sitting down with loved ones.”
So as you can see we are not so far apart at all when you consider this blog’s point of view as well as Oregon Fruit Products. We believe in the quality of produce grown in the Northwest by our local farms. We simply make it possible for you to enjoy that produce all year when the fresh season is a distant memory. We also believe that humans need to get back to the kitchen and back to the table. There is some actual scientific research that demonstrates that teens that have frequent family dinners are less likely to use drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Other research has shown that regular family meals increase children’s nutrition and reduce childhood obesity.
The recipe that Chef Abby created here is creative also in that it is a savory recipe. Traditionally, Oregon Fruit has been used as a pie ingredient. However, if you are a regular reader you know that I love the savory applications myself and am always searching for ways to use fruit in food not just dessert. So this Asian inspired Grilled Salmon in Lettuce cups with Blueberry Chutney will become an entertaining staple for me but it is also a recipe that I could make for a weeknight dinner. Chef Abby prepared it in just few minutes. Her secret is lots of fresh flavors to complement the key ingredients. I love Chef Abby’s “freestyling” where she makes it up as she goes along. That is the way I learned to cook from my mom as well. But thankfully she has shared the recipe with us so we can make it at home