Friday, October 1, 2010

What to make with summerís harvest

Rasberrysí chefs offer up ideas


By SABINA DANA PLASSE
Express Staff Writer

Callie Rasberry slices and dices beets grown in Bellevue by Sean Stevens. Photo by David N. Seelig

With all the bounty from summer gardens and the many fresh fruit and vegetable deals at the grocery stores, the inspiration to cook at home is an exciting idea. Though the summer growing season in the Wood River Valley was a short one, there was still much to harvest.

Rasberrys, a Ketchum-based café and catering business owned by sisters Callie and Maeme Rasberry, has found lots of inspiration from local harvests or unfortunate growing situations.

"When we had the freeze this summer, I had gotten a bunch of green tomatoes," Callie said. "I decided to make a green and tomato chutney."

Callie said that when they get loads of one product for their restaurant and catering business, they start making jams and sauces. She said she also loves to puree fresh herbs for sauces. With leftover tomatoes or tomato pieces, Callie will make salsa.

"We just got pears and apples, and we are making jams and jarring them," she said. "We can use it all for cakes and pastries."

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Their friend Sean Stevens had a plentiful vegetable garden in Bellevue and gave the sisters a supply of beets. Beets are healthy and very versatile. The short as well as cold summer growing season produced a very good beet harvest.

"I might pickle some and jar some," Callie said. "I will make a borsht soup and a fresh beet salad for chicken or steak."

Rasberrys uses as many local and organic produce as possible. Each sister had a garden this summer growing lettuce, carrots, tomatoes and other vegetables.

"We were raised on a farm in Texas," Callie said. "Every day we had fresh eggs and milk. Since college, we have always enjoyed cooking."

Rasberrys will also be part of the Sun Valley Cooking School, which presents cooking classes at valley restaurants. Proprietor Devra Mary coordinates classes with Wood River Valley restaurants for valley residents and others to enjoy cooking and to learn how to make restaurant dishes at home. Mary said the classes are free-flowing, inspired by restaurant chefs and the foods of the season.

Also helping valley residents with their harvest, the Sawtooth Botantical Garden will continue its cooking series beginning with "Pastries With Nancy Rutherford," of Rolling in Dough-European Pastries in Ketchum, on Wednesday, Oct. 6, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The class is $35 for members and $45 for non-members.

Sabina Dana Plasse: splasse@mtexpress.com

Rasberrys Beet Risotto

Ingredients

4 large beets, peeled and cut into 1/2 dice

2 cups chicken stock*

1 cup water

1 cup white wine or rose

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

3 tbls. butter

2 tbls. olive oil

1/4 cup Parmesan or substitute blue cheese or goat cheese (add to taste).

*Use water or veggie stock for non-chicken eaters.

Directions

- In a saucepan, bring chicken stock, water and wine to a simmer and keep on low heat.

- In a heavy saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and olive oil and saute onion until soft.

- Add the rice, stirring until thoroughly coated.

- Add 1 cup of simmering broth and stir constantly until liquid is absorbed.

- Continue cooking on low heat, adding 1/2 cup broth mixture at a time, stirring and letting broth absorb before adding more and until rice is creamy but al dente (about 18 minutes).

- Fold in beets. (The rice will change color.)

- Add cheese, butter, salt and pepper to taste and heat through.

- Serve with steak, chicken or green salad and serve with Vinny's sourdough or Ciabatta bread at Rasberry's




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