Ah, there is nothing better than summer in the Pacific Northwest. It was these summers that made me decide to move to Portland in 1999 for college. It's these summers that always bring me back to this part of the United States and make me appreciate where I live (as if the coffee, wine, craft beer and flannel didn't already). Summer makes everything shine.
But really, every season in Portland boils down to the bigger question:
What's at the Farmers Market?
Cherries. So hot right now. Felon, criminal hot.
Everywhere in Portland, people are talking about the cherries. Giving them out like a basket of candy at beer carts. Showing off their cherry bling upon entering a grocery store. Putting them on salad instead of tomatoes (they will have their day in due time).
The latest farmers market raid consisted of Chelan cherries from Hood River, Little Gem lettuce, goat feta, hazelnuts and a bouquet of basil. I celebrated this loot by mixing everything together in a bowl. The fleshy, sweet cherries stole the show of course, but played well with the tangy feta, aromatic basil and crunch from the hazelnuts (I prefer to roast em myself). This salad was so fabulous and easy to make - so delicious I can't wait to make it again. Hope you are enjoying the Summer and get your hands on some of those cherries while they last!
Handful of cherries (cut in half and pitted)
1 head of Little Gem lettuce
Small handful of basil leaves, sliced finely
handful of hazelnuts, roasted and chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta
Extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & fresh cracked pepper
Chop up the little gems into bite-sized pieces. Save the inner leaves for outside decor if you want. Throw in cherries, basil, feta and hazelnuts. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.