Market offers more than fresh produce
October 8, 2010 · Updated 11:39 AM
It’s not every day that the chef lets a secret out of his kitchen.
But Kurt Dammeier, owner of Bennett’s Pure Food Bistro in downtown Mercer Island, shared a few of his secrets last weekend during a salad preparation lesson at the farmers market.
Although Dammeier does not follow recipes, he enjoyed the opportunity to “teach” from one last Sunday. In this case, it was his creation of roasted chanterelle, delicata squash and sweet onion salad with shaved Beecher’s flagship reserve cheese.
The salad, he said, “Includes a few of my very favorite things, and it’s very seasonal.”
The salad’s featured ingredients — roasted chanterelle and delicata squash — are seasonal produce. Flavor is only one aspect of a dish, he said, adding that color and texture are just as important. True to his cooking-off-the-cuff style, he incorporated a few extra ingredients from the market, including fresh stripped corn and ripe diced poblano pepper.
As for those kitchen secrets, Dammeier shared many, but not all. The special spiced salt that he sprinkled on the Chanterelles? It’s the same seasoning that’s on Bennett’s burgers, he said. But what’s in that magic powder? Islanders may never know.
Following the demonstration, Dammeier invited the audience to taste the salad and join him on a walk though the market to “shop with the chef.”
Only two weeks left
Next week’s farmers market will feature a special “Green Day at the Market” theme with information on healthy ways to school and work from the Mercer Island Green Ribbon Commission and IslandVision. Market organizers encourage shoppers to visit the market via bus, bike, walk or carpool and to learn of more ways to live the green life. Other events include:
• Samples at the events booth from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Music provided by Yaamba Marimba Band.
• Kids Table activity: cider press.
• Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer gardening questions.
There will also be a special pre-Thanksgiving Harvest Market on Sunday, Nov. 21, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, visit www.mifarmersmarket.org.