this past weekend, I got to partake in an online event called the Portland Potluck, where instagrammers from the Portland Metro area came together for a virtual potluck, showcasing some of Oregon’s best homegrown goods. I’ve said it before, but Oregon is SUCH a perfect place to live for a food enthusiast. From five-star dining, to gourmet food carts, to the bounty of our farmer’s market–we are spoiled rotten. If you want to take a look through some of our creations, you can browse through this hashtag.
To be completely honest, when I got invited to be a part of this event I had NO idea what I was going to make. I knew it had to be at least a little different from what I usually cook, but I was drawing blanks on inspiration. The morning of the potluck I went to the farmer’s market early in the morning to look for ingredients and to see if I could crave my way into inspiration.
Spoiler Alert: It Worked.
I knew exactly what I wanted to cook as soon as I walked past the Grano Breads stall and saw the most perfect country sourdough loaf. The smell of fresh bread, the intricate design on the top–they reminded me of a time when we were all obsessed with Panera soups in bread bowls. I decided to take my own spin on this with the bread, and instead fill it with all my favorite summertime goods.
Here are some things I love about this recipe:
- It takes ZERO culinary skills. Seriously. You chop, mix, and season your veggies. Stick them in your loaf and bake. It’s also pretty mess free, is ready in a few minutes, and is SUPER flexible so you can sub or add any other vegetables that you have in season.
- You can make this in a sweet variation too, by adding fruit tossed with sugar, and topped with some homemade whipped cream–think of it as a rustic breakfast pie.
- This recipe is ready in less than 15 minutes, so it’s great when you’re hosting and have a lot of hungry mouths to feed.
- It’s beautiful to look at, and that’s scientifically proven to make it taste better.
Before I jump into the recipe, I wanted to spend some time talking a little bit about why I shop at farmer’s markets and what I like to buy at them.
Farmer’s Market season in Oregon is from May-October, with the middle summer months being the most fruitful. I love shopping locally for a couple of reasons. First, I know that everything is fresh, and that I’m pouring money back into my local economy. Knowing that my apples or tomatoes are grown 20 minutes away assures me that they haven’t been treated with harsh preservatives in the growing process. I also love the aspect of getting to talk to my farmers! You can learn so much about your food this way. I’ve learned along the way that a lot of times local produce is grown pretty closely to organic standards, but because the certification process is so lengthy and expensive, they don’t have the means to become certified organic. This isn’t always the case, but the farmer’s market is the perfect place to find farms that grow sustainably and it never hurts to ask!
When I go to the farmer’s market there are a few stands I go to every.time. My first stop is always SuDan Farms, where I buy my local, grassfed lamb. Their lamb bacon is SERIOUSLY out of this world. After that, I walk my entire farmers market to look through all the produce and select items that fit my menu, orrrr stock up on breakfast items (greens, garlic, bee pollen, etc). It’s one of my favorite ways to get out on a weekend morning, and get excited to cook with and for y’all in the upcoming week.
For this recipe, a round loaf will probable be best, because they are a little more shallow. I also 100% recommend going to a bakery instead of the store to get the freshest bread possible. Grano Breads is quickly becoming one of best artisan bakeries in the Portland area, and I completely recommend their goods! I’m so glad they have a stand at my farmer’s market so I can buy fresh every week.
You’ll want to hollow out your loaf once you cut the top off. You can reserve the extra bread to make bread crisps, homemade croutons, or homemade bread crumbs. The top or ‘lid’ you can keep to scoop up extra bites once the brunch loaf is cooked.
I used local elephant garlic, sun gold tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini, and arugula in my mix. You can easily add or take away any extra ingredients that you have on hand. Like always, I seasoned with my favorite Jacobsen Salt Co seasoning salt, Black Garlic Salt. If you live in Portland you should definitely check out their store (disclaimer, you will want to buy alllllll the things), but investing in a good seasoning salt will change your cooking habits for the better! This specific salt is a little pricey online but this container lasts me about 3-4 months.
I added some Tillamook Sharp Cheddar Cheese to add a binding agent, and because cheese is a part of my vegetable food group, y’all.
At the very end, I added crisped up cubes of lamb bacon ( I wanted to cook it separately to get it crispy), and some sprigs from my rosemary plant.
We devoured this whole thing in about…11 minutes. Partially because we were running late. But also because how do you not devour this?
Hope you enjoy this fresh take on healthy bread (we’re gonna say that’s true, mi gente)!
Love and fresh local eats,