In the case of Becky Selengut, you can tell a lot about the chef by. . .the website she created. In 2006, Selengut launched Seasonal Cornucopia, a searchable database that enables chefs and home cooks to easily identify when local ingredients go in and out of season. Along with information on fruit, foraged edibles, and vegetables, you'll find a wealth of information on sustainable Pacific Northwest seafood.
Selengut is also the co-author of The Washington Local and Seasonal Cookbook. She is private chef and instructor at her own company, Cornucopia Cuisine, and also teaches cooking for PCC Natural Markets. Here, she shares a recipe that takes advantage of ripe summer melons.
You can find Selengut doing a Chef Demo at the Kirkland Farmer's Market this Wednesday, August 19, from 5-6:30 pm. She'll also be teaching classes on Phyllo and braising at PCC this quarter, as well as a braising class at Dish It Up on September 23rd. You'll also find her at her blog, Chef Reinvented, and as a lively voice on Twitter (@chefreinvented).
Melon "Carpaccio" with Warm Lardons and Mint
Says Selengut: Charentais is my favorite French melon. Its flesh has a honey-like flavor and is a deep orange color. Substitute with ripe cantaloupe if you can't find the Charentais. Skagit River Ranch's bacon is my local favorite. You'll need thick cut bacon for this recipe.
1 medium Melon, orange flesh -- Charentais if you can find it.
4 ounces bacon, cut into small 1/4" by 1/4" cubes
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped mint
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Fleur du sel and pepper to taste
Wash and cut the peel off the melon. Slice in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut off the ends of the melon (about 1/2" on each end) Small dice these pieces and reserve. Using a thin bladed knife, cut the rest of the melon into paper-thin slices and lay out decoratively on 6 plates. Chill.
Render the bacon until it starts to crisp up. Drizzle the red wine vinegar over the top and let the bacon absorb it before draining on some paper towels. Keep the lardons warm.
Drizzle most of the olive oil over the melon slices, reserving a small amount to toss with the melon cubes. Season the melon slices and cubes to taste with salt and pepper. Toss the melon cubes with the mint. Pile a small amount of the melon-mint mixture in the center of the plates. Scatter the warm lardons over the melon slices.