If you want a picture of the food-obsessed spirit Portland is known for, head to its flagship farmers' market on the Portland State University campus. There, under shady 100-year-old oaks, food-savvy shoppers pick over pyramids of the everyday, such as broccoli and heirloom apples, but just as eagerly snap up ingredients that lean more gourmet—like Padrón peppers and succulent ice plant, a salad green previously seen only on Michelin-starred menus. It doesn't stop at raw ingredients; the market hosts the city's best food artisans, who produce an array of kimchi, flaky salt made with local seawater, French-style cheeses, and more. Ranchers are in attendance, too, offering bison, free-range turkeys, or hazelnut-fed pork. It's possible to cross of everything on your grocery list in under an hour, but most shoppers linger—there's just so much to do. Portland's best chefs demo recipes, children take cooking classes, and music fills the air. Some folks come just to eat—from slices of wood-oven pizza to handmade tortillas with spicy mole, there's a bevy of creative food vendors happy to fill your belly and inspire your cooking. In true quirky Portland style, the farmers' market concept has been shaken up and redefined. This is the new market—a mix of small-business incubator, testing ground for would-be restaurants, culinary classroom, social shindig, dining room, and pantry for a city that values excellent food above all.
Recipes Inspired by the Portland Farmers' Market