Tacoma News Tribune Article Includes Boccata

The Happy Owner

Sue Kidd, writer and food critic from the Tacoma New Tribune has included Boccata in a few of her articles in recent months. This one in particular is about great places for Italian dining in the Northwest. Included in her blog version of the article is a link to a past review she wrote about Boccata back in January.



Table to Farm Dinner

I’m doing a private Table to Farm dinner this evening at Newaukum Valley Farm. If you are interested in a truly unique and exciting dining experience contact Boccata or Melissa at the farm. The farm number is 360 269-6102.

On the menu for tonight

An appetizer course that includes:
Thin skinned cucumber and heirloom tomato marinated with fresh oregano.
Roasted baby summer squash with olive oil and fresh basil
Pickled Chioggia beets
Pecorino Romano Cheese
Squash blossoms stuffed with Hood Canal salmon, Dungeness crab and mascarpone.

A salad course of Baby lettuce tossed with olive goat cheese dressing.

The main course is grilled local pork loin stuffed with rapini, pine nuts and dried mission figs, served with torpedo onion lavender jam roasted baby potatoes with Romano beans.

For dessert tonight’s guests will be enjoying a golden plum tart with honey mascarpone.

Included with every dinner we do here at the farm is a guided tour and the opportunity to meet and talk with local producers.

Call and book party for you and your friends, or check out the Newaukum Valley Farm website (listed in our links section) to get information about upcoming dinners open to the public.

Tabouli Salad

Tabouli is a great Lebanese summer salad. Perfect for lunch or dinner with grilled or roasted meats (especially lamb), fish or chicken. Try to get your hands on some local cucumbers and heirloom tomatoes to really make this special. If you want to make a vegetarian meal out of it, grill some large Portabello mushrooms, stuff with the Tabouli and top with a little crumbled Feta. One of my favorite ways to eat Tabouli is simply topped with a couple of lightly poached eggs for a nice light morning meal.

1 cup medium Bulgar wheat (#2)
2 bunches Italian parsley, stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
2 bunches green onions, chopped
4 -5 ripe firm tomatoes, diced

2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced

3 lemons, juice of

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt & fresh ground pepper


1. Wash bulghur thoroughly, drain, and soak in fresh very hot water for about 1 hour.

2. Drain and squeeze as dry as possible, and combine in a large bowl with the tomato and cucumber.

3. Add the chopped parsley and mint.

4. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Mix thoroughly.

5. Add salt and pepper to taste, and toss thoroughly.

6. Refrigerate for about an hour, taste, and adjust salt and pepper.

7. If you would like it a little more “wet” add a little more olive oil before you serve it.

Rapini alla Siciliana


Although often referred to as Broccoli Raab, Rapini is more closely related to turnips. Imagine a sturdy green that grows looking a little like a spindly Broccoli plant. Rapini resembles broccoli in  flavor with the addition of a nice nutty light bitterness like turnip greens. It is a quick growing vegetable that does well in partial shade and will mature in about 60 days. Many local farms grow Rapini so it shouldn’t be to hard to find at one of your local farmer’s markets. This recipe is a classic braised greens dish that originates from Sicily. Make it as an accompaniment to grilled meats, chicken and fish, or pair it with some crusty bread and a good sharp cheese for a great summer lunch.

Rapini alla Siciliana (yields 2-4 servings)

1 large bunch Rapini, washed, and cut into 1 inch strips

3 tbl pure olive oil

6 whole garlic cloves

2 anchovy fillets

1/4 tsp crushed red chili flakes (or more if you like spicy)

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

1/4 cup dry white wine

1. Heat a large saute pan on medium low with the olive oil and garlic cloves that have been lightly smashed to release the flavor. Cook slowly until the garlic is light brown and softened. Remove the garlic and set aside.

2. Increase the heat to high, add the anchovy fillets and cook until they dissolve. Add the Rapini, salt it and  saute until it begins to go limp.

3. Stir in  the chili flakes, reserved cooked garlic, pine nuts and raisins.

4. Add the white wine and braise until the Rapini wilts and the softens.

Kosher salt to taste

October Oysterfest in Shelton!

October Oysterfest in Shelton!

This year’s Oysterfest in Shelton with be the 32nd year for the event which has become one of the biggest and best food fesitvals in the state. Chef Darin will be again judging for the cooking contest taking place both Saturday and Sunday. The contest involves many professional, non-professional, and student chefs from the surrounding counties. Three categories of recipes are represented, soups/stews, appetizers and main courses. To be considered as a contestant for the cooking contest you must have recipes submitted by September 15th. Or, maybe you fancy yourself a oyster shucking speedster. You can enter a contest for that too!

In addition to the competitions there are over 40 non-profit organizations hosting food booths serving a wide variety of local seafood menu items. There is a beer and wine garden serving up an extensive list of local beverages next to the live music stage.

click on the title of this post to visit the festival site and learn more.

Table to Farm Dinners

Table to Farm Dinners

Check out the Table to Farm Dinners series going on this summer at Newaukum Valley Farm. There are a few more scheduled for the summer and I am working on trying to do at least one more myself. This is a great opportunity to meet some of the local food growers and producers. Great food and beverages, good conversation and tour of the farm. Click on the title of this post to learn more.

presenting a mouthful of the Mediterranean