SEASONAL FOOD FLAVORS THAT INSPIRE US
This page often acts as a placeholder for our actual monthly menus, because we only post the actual menu closer to the first of the month, when we know we can depend on the ingredients. And sometimes we can take a favorite seasonal dish through the next month, too. We work with organic, sustainably minded vendors that provide us with the quality produce, sustainably harvest seafood and animal proteins. When something becomes available, we are apt to change our menu mid-month to garner the best the season has to offer, and then we may continue using said change though the next cycle. Below we list some ingredients we look for during each quarter.
FIRST QUARTER NOTES JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH
Foods we crave during the winter months of the year tend to show up as “comfort foods.” Mostly because they are foods that give hugs, like pasta, hot soups/stews, braised beef, spicy dishes with moles, cheesy perogies, polentas and pastas, and of course, root vegetables, grains, and legumes.
We also know by the time we are in February, we are starting to crave tomatoes again, because after August, we don’t even look for a fresh tomato. Meantime we have processed both sauce and dried tomatoes during their peak season and put them in the freezer. While they may lose their fresh look, they retain their fresh seasonal flavor to use in a variety of ways. There is nothing boring about cooking in the winter!
SECOND QUARTER NOTES APRIL, MAY, JUNE
So it is finally Spring, or so says the calendar. Yet often it is still cold outside, could even snow or freeze in Cannon Beach, and we may still be craving those foods that “hug.” Still, we watch closely for first of spring produce, such as—arugula, asparagus, basil, broccoli, cauliflower, chard, chicory chives, cilantro, escarole fennel, kale, mushrooms, snow peas, sorrel, spinach, squash, and zucchini, and first of Spring fruits which includes apples, cherries, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries.
THIRD QUARTER NOTES JULY, AUGUST, SEPTEMBER
Summer is a great time for so many wonderful flavors that often seem to vanish in a blink of an eye! July and august we focus on what we have been patiently waiting for, i.e., summer fruits: fresh apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, figs, nectarines, peaches, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries, and watermelon; and summer’s vegetables that stay around longer than summer fruit, and they are the ones that we can take right into fall. And who doesn’t love the smell of autumn when September arrives with autumn leaves are turning to extraordinary colors to greet the end of vacations. We welcome” back to work, and “back to school,” with more traditional indoor recipes. We enjoy beets, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, chard, eggplant, garlic, green beans, horseradish, kohlrabi, lettuce, parsnips, radicchio, radish, squash and more. And we tend to blend summer ingredients with more traditional recipes.
FORTH QUARTER NOTES OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER
Our fourth quarter at EVOO starts with November, because we are typically hosting tours to Italy in the month of October. On our return, we are getting ready for holiday celebrations and holiday food traditions. It’s the time to celebrate the many significant winter holidays, all of which have their own family traditions and flavors. Thanksgiving favorites are well known so we don’t need to repeat them here; and for us, the celebration of the Feast of Seven Fishes is an EVOO specialty that we embrace with our northwest bounty of seafood. We culminate the year with a celebration of the past year as we greet the new one with a New Year’s Eve dinner party show.