For those who have never been, the San Juans, an archipelago of islands off the coast of Washington State and easily accessible by ferry, are a magical combo of natural beauty, nature’s bounty found in farms, orchards, wineries, a cultural dedication to sustainability, land stewardship, and small food producers as well as delightfully charming small towns and villages set against the backdrop of Puget Sound.
Now, after a year of pandemic and social distancing, it’s time to celebrate to return to the island and experience in real time the food and farm culture of Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan islands, the largest of archipelago’s 170 islands.
And what better time to do so than during the 14th Annual Savor the San Juans? It’s a fine time to taste and tour with so many special events going on such as harvest dinners, film festivals, farm tours, wine tastings, demonstrations, and more. And of course, there’s plenty to explore on your own as well.
Upcoming tours and events
October 14-17 Friday Harbor Film Festival
October 16-17: Lopez Island Farm Tour
October 16: San Juan Island Farmers Market
November 12-14: Hops on the Rock Orcas Island Beer Fest
Information on Local Flavor Specials can be found here.
Getting there, visit here.
Can’t make it this year, then bring a little of the island into your kitchen with the following recipe.
Cook Like a Coho Restaurant Chef: Roasted Garlic, Pear, and Goat Cheese Flatbread
Ingredients for Flatbread Dough
1 tsp active dry or instant yeast
1 tsp granulated sugar
3/4 c warm water
2 c (250g) all-purpose flour or bread flour
1 Tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp for brushing the dough
1 tsp salt
How to Make Flatbread Dough
Mix the ingredients together by hand or use the dough hook of a stand mixer.
If making by hand, place dry ingredients in a large bowl, make a well in the middle, and add wet ingredients. Incorporate the wet with the dry and knead for ten minutes. If using an electric mixer, place all ingredients in the bowl and beat for five minutes, until all the ingredients come together into a smooth ball.
Place dough in a greased mixing bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 45 minutes.
Punch down the dough and separate in half. Form each half of the dough into rounds.
Sprinkle the countertop with flour.
Take your rounds and roll them out to a football shape and length. Press your fingers lightly into the dough and dimple. This helps prevent any large air bubbles. Brush with olive oil to keep the crust crisp.
For best results, especially if this is your first time making flatbread, bake the flatbread before topping it. Transfer dough to a baking sheet. There is no need for parchment paper with this dough.
Bake at 450°F for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Top with goat cheese, garlic, and pear. Bake for another 5 minutes.
Top with arugula and balsamic reduction.
1 cup balsamic vinegar
How to Reduce Vinegar
Pour balsamic vinegar in a shallow pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Let reduce until your balsamic is a thick consistency and coats the back of your spoon.
4 cloves of garlic
How to Roast Garlic
Peel four cloves of garlic and place in oil until submerged, cover with aluminum foil and roast at 450°F for fifteen minutes or until golden brown. You will be able to smell the garlic when it’s ready.
Whipped Goat Cheese
1/3 cup goat cheese
2 tsp water
How to Whip Goat Cheese
Place goat cheese and water in a blender or food processor. Blend for two minutes until it is smooth and easy to spread.