Salumi: The Best Cured Meats in the Country?

Meat lovers speak of Salumi in hushed, reverent tones as though they’re in church, or maybe just worried an eavesdropper will beat them to the Pioneer Square deli and get the last culatello.  

And it’s been this way for 20 years now! 

That kind of hype is beyond incredible in an industry that favors the hot new thing. Just this month Tan Vinh, of the Seattle Times, included Salumi’s porchetta sandwich (juicy, slow-roasted pork laced with fennel stuffed into a Macrina Giuseppe Roll) in his list of the four best sandwiches in Seattle. And this comes on top of just about every major food writer in the country having written in ecstatic tones about Salumi’s meats and sandwiches over the years. 

Of Salumi, the late Anthony Bourdain said, “That is a holy place for me.” In 2005, Ruth Reichl, tasting Salumi’s mole salami, said, “(I taste) cinnamon, clove, a lot of clove. And that faint edge of chocolate. God, it’s so good. It’s such a surprise. It makes the pork seem so sweet. Oh, my god, it’s like he’s invented something new here.” She went on to suggest that Salumi’s mole salami would sweep the nation.  

But salami is not an entirely easy thing to make. It takes a lot of skill, equipment and specialized curing rooms. Despite enlarging their production space, Salumi could never meet demand. This is why Gina and Brian Batali, who took over operations when Armandino, the founder and Gina’s father, retired, sold Salumi in October 2017 to Clara Veniard and Martinique Grigg. 

Clara and Martinique were food lovers with Harvard MBAs and plenty of leadership experience looking to invest in a local business together. “Both Martinique and I were long-time lovers of Salumi,” Clara says. “We’d travel to visit relatives carrying sticks of Salumi’s meats.” Gina and Brian were at a point in their lives where they felt Salumi could take a step to the next level, and they weren’t at a stage in their lives where they wanted to do that. A mutual acquaintance bridged a connection, and after a few coffees at Grand Central, both parties felt they’d found the perfect fit.  

Clara and Martinique donned hairnets and spent the first year apprenticing, listening and learning. “We wanted to learn from as many voices as we could what makes Salumi a really special place,” Clara says. “So many people came together to make Salumi what it is today, Armandino and Marilyn, Gina and Brian, the people that work there, and the customers. We worked in all parts of the organization, including arriving at five in the morning to make salami.” 

In November of 2018, they made their first big change: moving the restaurant from its sliver of a space to the former location of Rain Shadow Meats at 404 Occidental Ave. “We hadn’t planned to move, but it was just perfect for us—only two blocks away from our old location—and as a former butcher shop, it had everything we needed. We reused everything that was already in place,” Clara says. 

Spacious and filled with light, the new Salumi retains the filled-with-good-smells charm of the old space. Beloved features remain, like the private dining room and communal tables, but now there is more seating and a line that moves three times as fast. 

Next up: a state-of-the-art production facility in South Seattle. Clara says, “Last December, we got to the point where we literally couldn’t fill most orders. I remember selling the last salami stick. It was a customer who came to the back door. We had one stick to offer them. My sisters and parents-in-law were shocked at Christmas that I didn’t bring them any salami.” Now Salumi will have the capacity to be able to meet customer’s needs. New flavors and new product lines are also in the works.  

To find the best meats, Salumi is going straight to the farms. “We’re taking a hard look at the farms we source from, and how they treat their animals,” Clara says. “Everything will be all-natural.” 

Through the changes, what makes Salumi Salumi are the same recipes and the same crew. “Culture is number one for us,” Clara says. “We have people who’ve been here since the very beginning. The first person who Armandino hired still works for us. It amazes me the level of care that I see from everybody on the team. They take great pride in what we’re doing here.” As Salumi grows, there will be more leadership roles and room for people to grow with the organization.  

At Macrina, we’re thrilled to be a part of Salumi’s growth and are impressed at the seamless way Clara and Martinique have taken the best parts of a sacred Seattle treasure and made them even better. Ruth Reichl’s prediction that Salumi’s cured meats will sweep the nation just may come to pass.  

Meet Diana Yelton: GM at the Aloha Café

Ultimately, it was Macrina’s Greek Olive Loaf that led Diana to our café. A recent transplant to Seattle in 2016, Diana was looking for a job when her boyfriend showed up with a loaf of his new favorite bread—the Greek Olive Loaf. He casually mentioned that he’d noticed a sign saying Macrina was hiring. 

Diana and her boyfriend had moved to Seattle from New York City where Diana had worked in independent film production. Out of college, she had considered a career as a teacher, but student teaching had talked her out of that. Her job requirements were only that she didn’t want to be cooped up in an office. “I’m an extrovert,” Diana says. “Being around people gives me energy. I loved Macrina’s bread and it seemed like a fun place to work so I interviewed.”  

Customers and coworkers alike were quickly impressed with her hard work, kindness and spirited personality. When the Aloha café opened in September 2018, Diana was an instrumental part the opening crew. When the tightly knit community of North Capitol Hill filtered in to check us out, Diana’s product knowledge and bright, lively personality helped introduce Macrina to everyone.  Everyone who has ever opened a new retail business knows just how challenging it is. There’s hardly been a quiet moment since we opened the doors, so strong customer service skills and a good work ethic have been bench tested. “We have so many regulars already,” Diana says. “You know their favorite pastry before you know their name. Seeing familiar faces in line is definitely a great part of the job.” 

When the General Manager position opened up in June 2019 it was clear Diana had earned the nod. “I was honored to be offered the job,” Diana says. “I worked my way up and feel like they saw something in me. Scott and Leslie are at the Aloha café frequently and both are very open and supportive. When I’m hiring it helps to be able to say very honestly that the company culture is really good, and there are many opportunities for growth.” 

 

 

 

October Recipe of the Month: Creamy Mushroom & Chicken Bread Soup

It’s high time to bring this retro favorite back into style! Our Mini Macrina Casera Loaf is the perfect size for making bread bowls and is crusty enough to contain the soup. The lovely texture of this creamy chicken and mushroom soup is created by puréeing the broth with some of the bread you remove to make the bowls. Homemade stock makes this crowd-pleaser even more flavorful.

INGREDIENTS

Serves 4

4 Mini Macrina Casera loaves (8 ounces each)

1/2 cup olive oil, divided

4 cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped, divided

8 ounces chicken breast

3/4 cup yellow onion, finely chopped

3/4 cup carrots, peeled and finely chopped

3/4 cup celery, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1/2 cup white wine

8 cups chicken stock

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 cup (2 ounces) Gruyère cheese, grated

DIRECTIONS

Cut a 1″ deep circle, about 4″ to 5″ in diameter, across the top of each Mini Macrina Casera loaf. Then cut beneath each circle to create a lid for the soup bowls. Using your fingers or a spoon, carve out the center of the loaves, leaving the edges about 1/2″ thick. Measure out 1-1/2 cups of the bread you’ve removed, and reserve it for adding to the soup. Brush approximately 1 tablespoon of olive oil inside each bread bowl and on the underside of the lids. Set the bowls aside.

In a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the mushrooms, salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon of thyme. Brown the mushrooms then remove and set aside. In this same pan over medium-high heat, brown the chicken breast on each side for 2 minutes and then set aside. It will finish cooking in the soup base, so the browning here is just to develop flavor.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions, carrots and celery. Cover the pan and sweat the vegetables for 2-4 minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, rosemary and remaining teaspoon of thyme. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add the white wine and simmer until the wine is reduced by half. Add the chicken breast, chicken stock and the reserved bread. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken breast and let cool for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper.

Pour the soup mixture into a food processor. Do not fill it higher than the top of the blade. Secure the lid and purée the soup. Repeat in batches until you’ve puréed all the soup. Alternatively, if you have an immersion blender that works as well.

Over medium heat, return the soup to the saucepan and add the heavy cream.

Coarsely chop the chicken breast and sautéed mushrooms. Add them to the soup and let cook for another 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place the oiled bread bowls and lids on the prepared baking pan and bake for 5 minutes.

Fill the bowls with soup and top with Gruyère. Carefully return the baking sheet to the oven for 3 minutes to melt the cheese. Serve each bread soup bowl topped with its lid. The crispy lid makes for a great soup dipper and don’t forget to enjoy the bowl itself once you’ve spooned out all the soup. It’s delicious!

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Summer Supper: Chez Leslie

When Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse in Berkeley on August 28, 1971, no one would have predicted how much she’d change our understanding of natural ingredients, how we grow them, and how we cook them. The proliferation of America’s local-seasonal-organic foods and the farm-to-table movement grew out of this new approach to eating.  

Flash forward to summer 2019. There is no better place to experience ultra-local cuisine than the smallfarm-filled epicurean paradise of Vashon Island. This is a big part of the reason Leslie chose to host Les Dames D’Escoffier’s 7th annual Summer Supper and Farm Tour at her Vashon Island Farm.  

Thirty guests were treated to an exclusive tour of local farms, followed by a four-course al fresco meal on the patio surrounded by hazelnut trees and roaming chickens. Naturally, the dinner featured Vashon Island ingredients. Each course was paired with wines from Palouse Winery and Maury Island Winery 

The farm tour started at Nashi Orchards, a premium producer of handcrafted perry and hard cider. They grow Asian and European pears and heirloom apples on 27 beautiful acres, using sustainable practices. Cheryl and Jim Gerlach, the owners and cider masters, talked the group through a history of the industry. “We work very hard to manage our soil and the condition of our trees to ensure the flavor from our fruit is in every bottle,” Jim said. They helped guests distinguish the subtle differences in the varieties of fruit and took guests on a tour of their new tasting room in the town of Vashon.  

The next stop was to Old Chaser Farm, where Matt Dillon, the award-winning chef behind Sitka & SpruceBar Ferdinand and The London Plane, led tours of the 20-acre organic farm where he raises vegetables and meat, including cows, sheep, goats, pigs, and chickens. While walking through the fields of ripe vegetables, Matt talked about Seattle’s current restaurant scene and the importance of sustainability in farming.  

Back at Leslie’s for a cocktail hour, guests snacked on appetizers, including a favorite made with local figs and mascarpone, and enjoyed a signature cocktail made from a local red currant syrup, ginger beer, BSB bourbon, apricot puree and soda water. A naturalist, Greg Rabourn, led guests around Leslie’s farm pointing out wild edible plants we might not recognize.  

Before the meal, everyone gathered for a few words about Green Table Grants. Then guests took their seats, and several long-time Les Dames members began serving food that would have made Alice Waters proud. 

Macrina Does DoorDash

How does breakfast in bed sound? Maybe a Roly Poly, Morning Glory Muffin, or Brioche Egg Sandwich? Or perhaps you need a range of sandwiches and salads for an office lunch? Well, we’ve got you covered. Beginning August 29, DoorDash will deliver a selection of Macrina’s handmade breads, pastries, breakfast, beverages and lunch items straight to your door.  

Initially, we began looking into delivery partnerships as a way to handle large catering orders. But why not have DoorDash also bring smaller orders to our busy customers? Your daily bread? They’ll bring you that too! 

As much as we love a relaxing lunch in the Macrina cafés, there isn’t always time. That’s no reason not to get the food you truly want. Now in this age of convenience, just a few taps in the DoorDash app and your favorite Macrina items will meet you wherever you are. 

 

 

September Recipe of the Month: Peach & Raspberry Crumb Pie

Peach and Raspberry Crumb PieSweet peaches and tart raspberries harmonize in this juicy marriage of pie and crumble. A flaky pie crust cradles the tender fruit and a buttery almond-laced crumb gives the top a gentle crunch. Take this to your next picnic or backyard barbecue and you’ll be scribbling out the recipe for everyone—it’s that delicious. Buy a good pre-baked crust or make your own by following our Flaky Pie Dough recipe. This crumb pie is best enjoyed the day you bake it, but next-day leftovers will not go to waste!

INGREDIENTS

Makes one 9″ pie | Serves 8

4 ripe medium peaches (approximately 6 cups cut fruit)

2 pints fresh raspberries (approximately 3 cups)

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, divided

3/4 teaspoon almond extract, divided

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2/3 cup light brown sugar

2/3 cup sliced almonds

4 ounces unsalted butter (1 stick), chilled & cut in 1/4″ cubes

1 pre-baked 9″ pie shell

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Cut an X on the bottom of each peach, just breaking through the skin. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Blanch the peaches in the boiling water until the skin around the X starts to curl back, about 2-3 minutes. Test one to be sure the skin pulls back easily. If so, use a slotted spoon to transfer the peaches to the ice bath.

Once cool, peel the peaches and cut them into 1/2″ wedges. In a medium bowl combine the peaches, raspberries, dark brown sugar, granulated sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Combine gently, being careful not to crush the raspberries. Allow to rest for 1 hour.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, place the remaining 3/4 cup flour, light brown sugar, sliced almonds and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. With the mixer running at low speed, add the butter a cube at a time. Continue mixing for 4-5 minutes until the flour mixture is a coarse crumbly texture. Set the crumb topping aside.

Set a strainer over a medium bowl and pour the fruit mixture into it. Allow the juice to drain for 2 minutes. Add the strained fruit to the pre-baked pie shell and level with a spatula. Pour 1/4 cup of the drained fruit juice over the fruit. Discard the remaining juice or use for another purpose. Evenly distribute the crumb topping over the pie.

Place the pie on the lined rimmed baking sheet and place on the center rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 80-90 minutes. The pie should be bubbling up around the edges and golden brown on top.

Let cool for 1 hour before serving. Enjoy!

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Metropolitan Market’s Ode to Peaches

Hurry to Peach-O-Rama to savor a Sweet Peach Brioche made by Macrina with Metropolitan Market’s sweet, just-picked peaches.  

Macrina Sweet Peach Brioche

Each Summer Metropolitan Market holds its annual Peach-O-Rama, and the aisles fill with lovers of sweet, juice-filled peaches. The many varieties of peaches have one thing in common: Each is picked at the peak of ripeness, packed carefully to prevent bruising, and trucked straight to the store.

Pence Orchards in the lower Yakima Valley is one of Metropolitan Market’s primary suppliers. A fourth-generation family farm run by Sharon and Bert Pence, Pence Orchards only picks the peaches when they have tree-ripened and have reached an ideal sweetness. The peaches don’t go into cold storage. Instead, they are carefully nested into single-layer packing. They arrive the next day in the produce section at Metropolitan Market just as succulent and perfect as they were when they dangled from the branch.

Peach-O-Rama started over 20 years ago and was inspired by the founder and chairman of Metropolitan Market, Terry Halverson. He says, “My family lived in Yakima when I was young, and we picked peaches for eating, jam, and canning. Mom made pies and we ate peaches for dessert often. They were as good as you could get. There was nothing like making a mess eating the fully loaded, juicy, aromatic peaches.”

That childhood love fueled the desire to find a way to get the best fresh-from-the-farm peaches into the store. The result is an ode to the peach, those juicy nectar laden gems. Of course, the celebration isn’t limited to the produce aisle. Wander over to the bakery and you’ll find Macrina’s ode to the peach: the Sweet Peach Brioche. Our collaboration with Metropolitan Market features slices of their juicy peaches with cinnamon sugar and sweetened fromage blanc in a lightly textured brioche bun, finished with a dusting of fine sugar. You’ll have a hard time stopping at one!

August Recipe of the Month: Blueberry Chipotle BBQ Chicken Sandwich

Local blueberries are bountiful and in peak form right now. They add a tart sweetness to this mildly spicy BBQ sauce and give it a beautiful deep purple hue. The frozen blueberries will break down into the sauce while most of the fresh ones retain their form. The refreshingly zesty summer vegetable slaw gives the sandwich a cool crunch that lends balance to the assertive flavors of the grilled chicken. Serve this sandwich with a favorite potato salad or handmade roasted potato fries.

INGREDIENTS

Makes 4 sandwiches

BBQ Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup sweet onion, small dice
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic, finely diced
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1-1/2 cups frozen blueberries
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons brewed espresso or rich coffee
4 skinless chicken breasts

Summer Vegetable Slaw
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Zest and juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 head of cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 ear white corn, kernels cut off cob
3/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped

Assembly
4 Macrina Ciabatta Burger Buns
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) mayonnaise

DIRECTIONS

BBQ Sauce
Add the olive oil to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic, paprika, chipotle, black pepper and salt. Cook for 1 minute, then add both the fresh and frozen blueberries. Cook for 3-5 minutes to break down the berries. Use a potato masher or wooden spoon to help. You want some whole fruit and some to break down into sauce. Add the brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire, ketchup and coffee. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until reduced. Let cool to room temperature.

Marinate the chicken breasts in 1-1/2 cups of the BBQ sauce. Cover entirely and refrigerate overnight.

Summer Vegetable Slaw
Prepare this slaw at least 30 minutes before assembling sandwiches. In a medium bowl, add the mayonnaise, sherry vinegar, lime zest and juice, honey and salt. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Add the cabbage, sweet onion, corn kernels and cilantro. With tongs, toss the ingredients together to fully coat the cabbage. Check for seasoning and add cracked black pepper to taste. Refrigerate until needed.

Grilling & Assembly
Preheat grill to 400°F.

Slice the Ciabatta Burger Buns in half and brush each side with olive oil. Set aside.

Brush the grill with oil. Place chicken breasts on grill and cook for 6-8 minutes on each side (to mark the chicken with hatch lines from the grill, rotate a quarter turn halfway through the grilling of each side). When done, chicken should reach 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove breasts and let rest for 3 minutes.

Grill the buns cut side down, watching carefully to ensure they just caramelize and don’t burn.

Lay the toasted buns on each plate. Spread a tablespoon of mayonnaise on each top bun. Add a generous amount of slaw to the bottom bun, approximately 1/2-3/4 cup. Cut the chicken breasts into 1/2″ slices and arrange over the slaw. Top the chicken with 1 tablespoon or more of the BBQ sauce. Cover each with its top bun and enjoy!

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Fresh Fruit Crostata

Fresh Fruit CrostataImagine you’re three years into owning and operating your dream bakery. Then imagine getting a call that Julia Child, the legend herself, wants you to appear on her show Baking with Julia. Back then, before Iron Chef, Anthony Bourdain and the Food Network, Baking with Julia was THE cooking show. It won both an Emmy and a James Beard Award.  

That was Leslie in 1996. After the thrill and shock wore off came the inevitable question, What will I cook? It had to both look and taste great, for Julia Child didn’t mince words.  

The Fresh Fruit Crostata, of course. 

The lattice topped crostata is a rustic Italian fruit tart. It can be made with any fruit but is best with at least two kinds, one firm and one juicy. In the kitchen of Julia Child’s imposing Cambridge clapboard house (where the show was shot) Leslie used raspberries and figs. The crostata came out perfectly, and Julia Child loved it.  

“That experience is one of the greatest memories of my life,” Leslie says. “All of the humor and wit and personal connection that you see from Julia Child on the show came across even more between takes. It was unbelievably stimulating and thrilling to be there.” 

This summer, we will be showcasing the crostata in our cafes with nectarines and berries depending on what is fresh or in season. Look for Leslie’s favorite, the nectarine blueberry, or the runner up, nectarine raspberry, to make frequent appearances.  

We make the buttery crust with a sesame almond dough. Hints of lemon zest and cinnamon add complexity to the fruit, and it gets a long, slow bake, which caramelizes the fruit sugars making it luscious and jammy at the edges.  

In classic Macrina style, the crostata isn’t overly sweet. Serve it at room temperature, or even slightly warmed, with lightly sweetened whipped cream or ice cream.  

Stop by a Macrina café this summer to try the crostata that Julia Child raved about. 

Roly Poly: Leslie’s Favorite Pastry

Leslie’s favorite pastry is Macrina’s Roly Poly. “The smell of Roly Polys warming in the oven brings me back to childhood memories of being in my Grandmother Bakke’s kitchen. We would wait by the oven for the cinnamon rolls that we had just made together to finish baking,” Leslie says.

Time spent baking with her grandmother and mother inspired Leslie to attend the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. From there, she went on to apprenticeships with award-winning chefs and bakers and finally opened Macrina in 1993. “When we were creating breakfast treats in the early days, the treasured memory of my grandmother’s rolls came to mind,” Leslie says. “There were no measurements, just about this much and then that much. At some later point, I’d documented approximate amounts for our family recipes and carried them with me wherever I went.”

Leslie will never forget the memories that became the basis for Macrina’s Roly Poly recipe. “The best part of my grandmother’s rolls was the filling of cinnamon, sugar, raisins, coconut, and walnuts. No one ingredient overpowered the others,” Leslie says. “At Macrina, I had the wonderful advantage of already having the laminated dough we used for croissants. It had many thin layers of unsalted butter ready at my disposal.”

The combination of Grandmother Bakke’s filling and the laminated dough was just about perfect. Leslie added a dollop of cream cheese frosting and the Roly Poly was born.

“The Roly Poly is my all-time favorite breakfast pastry,” Leslie says.