Monday, June 24, 2013
Dining Month Portland: Six Days and Counting…
We're nearing the end of Dining Month, those thirty or so days in early summer where Portlanders have an excuse to check out a new spot or haunt an old favorite with abandon, and where restaurants can fill up otherwise empty seats during a slow season. It's also where not feeling like cooking is an acceptable reason to go out rather than trying to sell the old "breakfast for dinner" approach.
So when I was offered a chance to check out one of the listed restaurants, Clyde Common, one night last week, I said, "Heck, yeah!" After all, I'd been there a couple of times since they'd opened and loved it. And I was curious to see what was proffered for the three courses…after all, they weren't going to be handing out filet mignon for that price.
Our evening? It was lovely, of course, from the drinks in the bar—my Americano served in a little soda bottle and Dave's stunning barrel-aged Negroni—to his choice of the pasta with lamb ragu. A fun chance to head downtown and hobknob with the denizens while not spending an arm and a leg to do it.
Spring green soup with herb crème fraîche
From Clyde Common
2 yellow onions, sliced
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 green bell peppers, seeds removed and thinly sliced
2 green zucchini, washed with ends removed and thinly sliced
1 green tomato (when in season), cored and chopped
1 serrano pepper
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
1 head fennel, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 c. Champagne vinegar
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. blanched peas
1/2 c. blanched asparagus tips
1/2 c. blanched broccoli florets
1 bunch of parsley, picked and coarsely chopped
1 c. crème fraîche
1 Tbsp. minced chives
1 Tbsp. minced chervil
Salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste
A day ahead, combine the onion, garlic, pepper, squash, scallions and fennel in a non-reactive container. Add the salt, sugar, olive oil and vinegar. Mix well, cover and allow to sit overnight.
The next day, add in the cooked peas, asparagus, broccoli and chopped parsley. Mix well, and purée the vegetables in small batches in a blender until smooth. (The vegetables should have released quite a bit of liquid overnight. Add that liquid to the blender if the vegetables have trouble pureeing. If more liquid is needed, use vegetable stock or water.) After all the vegetables are pureed, re-season the mixture with salt, pepper, lemon juice and a 1/2 cup of the crème fraîche. Place in the refrigerator to chill. In a mixing bowl, take the remaining crème fraîche and combine with the minced chive and chervil. Set aside.
Divide the soup into four chilled bowls and serve with a heaping spoonful of the herb crème fraîche.
Photo at top courtesy Clyde Common.
Read my posts about previous visits to Clyde Common: Common Vocabulary, Our Night on the Town and Quick Hits: Clyde Common, Theory, Relish.