An Open Cookbook

An Open Cookbook


A Walk Through Pike Place Market

This is a very special post for several reasons. First of all, I want to thank Jess Thomson for inspiring me to to think about my relationship with the Pike Place Market. She just recently published a cookbook called Pike Place Market Recipes that gives homage to all the wonderful aspects of the market, all the restaurants and beautiful food it has to offer, and what you can do with your loot once you get home.

The first recipe I flipped to was Marketspice Tea Cake, and I was immediately transported back to the fall of 2001. A and T and I were taking a break from studying, and having drinks downtown. I had just moved here that summer and had spent a few handful of times at the market. As we sipped gin and tonics at the Pike Place Bar and Grill, I told them of a crush I had on a guy that worked at Marketspice. I had talked to him a few times while buying teas and spices. So for the next hour, and another drink later, we concluded that I would walk across the street and ask him to join us for a drink. This seemed reasonable.

So I wrapped myself up for the ten long steps across the cobblestone, in the rain, to go see him. I casually walked in like I was shopping for tea on a Saturday evening. The place smelled of the famous orange and cinnamon-spiced tea. I took a complimentary steaming cup and sauntered up to the spice counter. It's funny, because eleven years later, I can't remember his name. Anyway, I think I asked him a detailed question about the intricacies of green tea pearls. As I calmly waited for the description, I blurted out that my friends and I were having drinks across the street if he wanted to join us. And then quickly run-walked back to the bar. Despite the awkwardness, he did show up for a drink. 

The Pike Place Market holds so many other memories, and as it maintains the cornerstone-status of downtown, it symbolizes to me how much I have changed and evolved since moving here. I was a huge 'Sleepless in Seattle' fan before moving here. Fan may not be strong enough. Fanatic is more like it. S and A and I watched it so much that we just referred to it as 'Sleepless'. So upon arriving to Seattle, I promptly sat myself down at the bar that Tom Hanks and his friend eat lunch, the Athenian. I ordered a beer and cracked open a new journal. I couldn't believe I was here. The smell of the damp old wood of the booths, the foggy view of Puget Sound, and the restaurant buzz of voices and dishes...I was in heaven and nervous at the same time. Arriving in a new city with so much possibility. Tom? Jonah? 

No matter how many times visitors have been here, I always feel the need to walk through the market at least once. My dad has a favorite little lunch spot called the Market Grill, where they make 'his salmon sandwich'. We negotiate the first day of my family's visit with, 'When do you want to get your salmon sandwich, while mom and I go eat at Serious Pie?' We have a little routine. We walk downtown and part ways at 4th and Pine. He goes to the market, and we go eat pizza. It works out so nicely. We usually meet back at the pig. Jess talks about the gold pig in her introduction. It is the greeter of the market and a perfect spot to meet. I would love to know how many people have taken a seat and a subsequent picture on that pig.

Now, years later, I work downtown, and we walk through the throngs of people at lunch time to go to our favorite hidden gem of a lunch spot. I won't mention the name because it is a small place, and we don't want to lose our seats. I would have never guessed that eleven years later, I am all grown up, wearing high heels, walking through the market on a random Wednesday for lunch, and not even minding the smell of seafood. 

The recipe that follows is a cauliflower recipe my mom gave me. It too is symbolic of evolution. Until recently, I liked cauliflower, but I didn't love it. As a kid I dipped it in ranch dressing. Then maybe I would take a few chunks off a salad bar or get it on a pizza. Who knew I would be blending it to make pizza crust, or roasting it with truffle oil. Life has so much possibilities. 

Thanks Jess, for sparking all these memories. Now all you dear readers, buy her book here!

Cauliflower in Curried Cashew Sauce
Makes 2 to 4 servings
Inspired by my Mama

This recipe is wonderful as is, or you can add a little protein with eggs or chicken sausage. I caramelized some onions and stirred them in at the last minute. Whichever way you choose, your family and friends will be cauliflower-loving converts.

1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and black pepper
1/4 cup cashew butter
1/4 cup water
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup roasted cashews

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss cauliflower, olive oil, salt, and black pepper together in a large bowl. Transfer to a parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheet. Roast cauliflower in oven for 15 minutes. Stir and roast until lightly browned and partially softened, an additional 15 minutes.

Combine cashew butter, water, garlic, curry powder, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes in a microwave-safe bowl. Warm in the microwave for about 20 seconds until able to stir easily.

Pour sauce over roasted cauliflower and stir to evenly coat. This may take about 5 minutes to evenly distribute the sauce. Return to oven and roast until cauliflower are completely softened, about 10 more minutes. Toss roasted cauliflower with fresh parsley and cashews before serving.


Dave W said...

We're going to try this tonight. Frances (15 months old) loves everything we've tried so far off your blog. Thanks Alli!

Alli Shircliff said...

Oh thanks Dave! I can't believe Frances is already 15 months...send pics!