Posts Tagged local

Moroccan Spiced Carrots with Feta and Mint

You know what? Life is good. Life is really good.

As much as I’d like to complain, I really can’t. My cup runneth over. My freelance career is going splendidly. My husband is the best. I have an incredible network of family and friends to lean on. I have the cutest pets on the planet. Oh, and I live in a city full of talented people (and delicious food).

In addition, I recently started a job as the Marketing Director for the Beaverton Farmer’s Market. The job is a part-time and super flexible, which is a perfect compliment to my freelance schedule. It is a huge and thriving market, brimming with artisans, farmers, bakers, and makers of every sort. I love it!

Even though I’ve only been with the market for a couple of months, I can already feel a difference in my cooking and eating habits. Each week, I come home with an incredible array of baked goods, fruits, veggies, snacks, sauces, and more. I can’t help but be inspired by the things I find at the market.

During my first week at the market, I stopped by the DeNoble Farms booth and purchased a couple of rainbow carrots. I’ve eaten a lot local and organic carrots in my day, but there was something particularly special about these carrots. They are vibrant, flavorful, crisp, and sweet. They are light years beyond any carrot you’ll find in a grocery store.

For the most part, I’ve been eating these carrots raw and unadorned, which is totally delicious. However, you really can’t go wrong with these carrots. A few nights ago a made a big roast chicken dinner, and decided to make a side of spicy roasted carrots. I made up this recipe on the spot, and I feel that it’s a winner. The sweetness of the carrots pairs so nicely with the spice and smokiness of the harissa, paprika, and cumin. The addition of salty feta and fragrant mint just add to the depth and flavor of the dish.

All of that to say, I love these carrots and I love this dish. Really, I love my life. I got no complaints and I’m gonna leave it at that.

Moroccan Spiced Carrots with Feat + Mint | Rosemarried

Moroccan Spiced Carrots with Feta and Mint

Ingredients

  • 2 small bunches organic carrots (15-20 small carrots)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wash and dry carrots. Remove carrot tops, if any, and reserve for another use. If you carrots are small and thin, you may leave them whole. If they are larger, slice lengthwise in half (or quarters).
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, harissa, spices, lemon juice, and honey. Toss the carrots with the oil and spice mixture and half of the chopped mint, then arrange in an even layer on a lined baking sheet.
  4. Roast for 20+ minutes, or until fork tender. (Roasting time will vary, depending on the size of the carrots). When tender, remove from oven and arrange in a serving dish. Sprinkle feta cheese and remaining mint atop the roasted carrots. Serve warm.

http://rosemarried.com/2014/03/19/moroccan-spiced-carrots-feta-mint/

Pronto Pizza: Bringing Quality to the Suburbs

If you were to ask me about my favorite restaurants in Portland, I could rattle them off quickly and easily. Luce, Bollywood Theater, St. Jack. Du’s, Pok Pok, Boxer Sushi, Bunk, Apizza Scholls, Tanuki, etc. I could go on. We have so much good food in this town. I feel thankful and spoiled.

But, what happens when you drive 15 minutes outside of Portland? Or when you find yourself shopping at the mall or visiting relatives in the ‘burbs? Are you doomed to dine at chain restaurants and sketchy strip mall sandwich shops? (Disclaimer: I do not like chain restaurants. I find the food to be bland, processed, unhealthy, and uninspired. However, this is just my personal opinion and I don’t expect everyone to necessarily feel the same way.)

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably found yourself in the suburbs a few times, asking these same questions. Honestly, it’s a little bit shocking. Portland is brimming with amazing restaurants, but Portland’s outlying neighborhoods have (mostly) abysmal food options. It’s Red Robins and Olive Gardens as far as the eye can see.

Which is why I was so delighted to discover Pronto Pizza – a delicious restaurant with an emphasis on local and organic ingredients – right smack in the middle of a strip mall off 82nd Avenue in Clackamas, Oregon.

Pronto Pizza Menu

My husband and I were invited to dine at Pronto Pizza a few weeks back, and we thoroughly enjoyed our experience. The space is huge, but is decorated in such a way that the place feels intimate and cozy. (Fun fact: the owners bought all the Beaker & Flask furniture when it went out of business.)

The service was great – our waitress was clearly passionate about the food and she gave us great recommendations. We sampled a number of different dishes throughout the evening, including appetizers, salads, pizzas, and even a few items from the recently revamped children’s menu.

Cauliflower Sticks from Pronto Pizza

Baked Cauliflower Sticks

While most of the dishes we tried were tasty, the pizza was the clear standout of the evening. Made with imported Italian pizza flour, the pizza crust is damn near perfect. It’s chewy and charred in all the right places. The toppings are thoughtful and restrained, the sauce is light and flavorful. (It should be said that my husband used to work for Apizza Scholls and is a true pizza geek. Even he was impressed with Pronto’s Pizza.)

Brussels Sprout Salad with Bacon from Pronto Pizza

Brussels Sprout Salad with Bacon

Other standouts of the evening included the polenta fries, the Brussels sprout salad, and the cauliflower ‘breadsticks’ from the kid’s menu. I wasn’t really a fan of the pasta (too heavy) or the beet salad (over-dressed), but the rest of the food was stellar. I applaud Pronto’s dedication to quality and their use of fresh, local ingredients. And, while I don’t have children of my own, I really appreciate that Pronto’s kids menu is full of creative, fresh, and healthy options such as homemade apple cranberry sauce and breaded and baked cauliflower sticks. (I kid you not, the cauliflower sticks were better than traditional breadsticks.)

The moral of the story? If you find yourself in the ‘burbs of East Portland and you’re wondering where to eat, there is a place that offers much more than your typical strip mall offerings. Pronto Pizza is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise desolate fast food wasteland.

Full disclosure: While our meal at Pronto Pizza was comped, all opinions expressed are my own.