Welcome back to Market to Menu, in which Eater shadows a chef's trip to the Portland Farmers Market, following the trajectory of Oregon's freshest ingredients from market stall to restaurant plate.
As the mastermind behind NE Alberta's Natural Selection, an all-vegetarian (and mostly vegan) restaurant, chef Aaron Woo curates a tight (eight-item) menu based on his weekly farmer's market spoils, releasing the menu details each Wednesday for the coming week's service.
During a stop into the Hollywood Market on Saturday morning, Woo gathered some lemon cucumbers (to be used garnishing a chilled cucumber soup), summer squash (which will be roasted and served in an entree with dolmas and shell beans), melons, which will participate in a melon and tomato salad, and lobster mushrooms and yellow romano beans, which will be featured in an entree with polenta and egg. And extra bonus points for an off-menu inspiration: "The squash blossoms are being featured as a special side item off the menu," say Woo, who plans to fill them with a basil, eggplant, and pine nut mixture, before frying them in tempura batter. And of course, "they will happen to be vegan and gluten free."
· Natural Selection [Official site]
· All Previous Natural Selection Coverage [Eater PDX]