A favorite Pacific Northwest grocer celebrates its 65th anniversary (!) with a cookbook including its best-selling deli salads — meaning now you can make them at home.

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PCC’s got its heart in the right place. The Pacific Northwest grocery chain emphasizes local food, to keep the carbon footprint down and the livelihood of farmers around here up; it stocks tons of organics, for better taste as well as better living through fewer chemicals. It cares about how animals are raised and GMOs, too. If PCC sounds more like a person than a corporation, that’s because it’s a co-op, owned and guided by its members — shoppers like you and me, almost 60,000 of them as of last year — rather than an engine of capitalism beholden to owners, investors and shareholders. Started in a garage in 1953 by 15 local families who wanted to pool their resources to buy food at better prices, PCC’s now a dozen stores strong, the biggest community-owned food market in the land.

More goodness: The PCC Food Bank Program has been up and running for more than a quarter century, with all donations going to feed those in need rather than administrative or other costs (you can volunteer to help, too). PCC supports FareStart, gives grants to local food nonprofits, runs its own Farmland Trust, helps local schools, sponsors community events and, as they say, much, much more (including, just recently, ending sales of chinook salmon to support our local orcas).

To celebrate its 65th birthday, PCC just released “Cooking from Scratch” — 120 recipes, including those for lots of favorites from its popular deli counters. Actually, the book includes the top-three PCC deli best-sellers: the chickpea-based powerhouse known as Perfect Protein Salad (of which they sell three-quarters of a ton per week); the feel-good-while-tasting-good-too chard-and-kale Hearty Greens Caesar; and the glossy, lemony-dressed Emerald City Salad. I asked PCC if we could have the recipes, and heart-in-right-place, they sent all three.

My favorite is the simplest one, the Hearty Greens Caesar. Perfect for fall, it gives ruffly leaves a little luxury in the form of a creamy dressing that everybody loves, plus Parmesan cheese (the amounts of which can, of course, be adjusted to taste — I’d go upward). The secret to the dressing, it turns out, is our old friend mayonnaise; it’s anchovy-free, though you could (and arguably should) add some. (Another recommended addition: homemade croutons sautéed in lots of butter. It’s your salad!) Bonus: You’ll have Caesar dressing left over for tossing with roasted vegetables, putting on a sandwich or making more salad.

Another bonus: All three of PCC’s most popular deli-dishes keep in the fridge especially well, so if you make them at home, you can have salad for days.

PCC’s Hearty Greens Caesar

Makes 4 servings

1⁄2 bunch chard, stemmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1⁄2 bunch lacinato kale, tough stems removed, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons Caesar dressing (recipe follows)

3⁄4 ounce (about 1⁄4 cup) shredded Parmesan cheese

In a large salad bowl, combine the chard and kale. Toss the greens with the dressing and half the cheese. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top to garnish.

PCC’s Caesar Dressing

Makes about ¾ cup

1⁄2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1⁄2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

3⁄4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a blender or the bowl of a food processor, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire, garlic, vinegar, mustard and pepper. Blend briefly on medium speed or pulse several times to combine. With the motor running on low, slowly add the oil and blend until the dressing is emulsified.

PCC’s Perfect Protein Salad

Makes 8 servings

3 cups water

1 cup spelt berries

1⁄3 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar

1 teaspoon dried dill

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 clove garlic, minced

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained

1 small English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced

1 medium green bell pepper, diced

3 ribs celery, diced

1 medium carrot, peeled and diced

1⁄4 medium red onion, diced

1⁄2 bunch green onions, thinly sliced (both green and white parts)

1⁄3 bunch fresh Italian parsley, chopped

1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a rolling boil. Add the spelt, stir, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 1 hour, until the grains are pleasantly chewy; if the grains were soaked overnight, they will cook in 40 to 45 minutes. Drain any excess water from the spelt, rinse and cool to room temperature.

2. While the spelt is cooling, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, vinegar, dill, salt, basil and garlic. Cover and keep it chilled until you are ready to dress the salad.

3. In a large salad bowl, mix together the spelt, chickpeas, cucumber, bell pepper, celery, carrot, red onion, green onion and parsley.

4. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well with a wooden spoon or broad spatula. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve chilled.

PCC’s Emerald City Salad

Makes 8 servings

3 cups water

Kosher salt

1 cup wild rice

1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1⁄2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 1⁄2 medium lemons)

1 clove garlic, minced


Freshly ground black pepper

1⁄2 bunch lacinato kale

1⁄2 bunch chard

1⁄2 medium red bell pepper, diced

1⁄2 medium yellow bell pepper, diced

1⁄2 medium fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced

1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced (both green and white parts)

1⁄2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Season generously with salt and stir in the rice. Stirring occasionally, return the water to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 60 to 65 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked. Remove from the heat, take off the lid and cool to room temperature.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice and garlic, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the cooled rice to a large serving bowl and toss with the dressing.

3. Remove the tough stems from the kale and chard and cut the leaves into thin ribbons. Collect the ribbons into a pile and cut across them, so you have very small pieces of the leaves, about 1⁄2-inch squares. In a medium bowl, combine the greens with the peppers, fennel, onion and parsley. (If you’re making the dish in advance, you can pack this mixture into a sealed airtight container).

4. Just before serving, combine the dressed wild rice with the vegetables. Use tongs to mix well. Serve chilled or at room temperature.