STANDARD MARKET in Westmont, Illinois is one of the most exciting, beautiful grocery stores I have ever seen. When it opened in November, 2011, my daughter raved about how wonderful it was…she lives close by and now shops there on a regular basis…so it was the first stop when I flew to Chicago last year. I have to admit that I’m sure I made a spectacle of myself as we explored the different areas in the store. It is so obvious that the staff at the market loves and respects the food they sell. I would give almost anything to have a store like this close to where I live, but Portland is small town by Chicago standards and we don’t have the population to support the great ethnic grocery stores and delis that are found in almost every Chicago neighborhood.
My nose was pressed to the glass of the long rows of cases in the deli aisle. Standard Market’s housemade salads, sides and entrees were mouthwatering so, in honor of my granddaughter’s birthday, I took home a good selections of deli items to add to the celebration.
The salad area held the usual selections plus many combinations of fruits, veggies, grains and proteins that were new to me. One of my favorites was their ROASTED BEET AND ORANGE salad. The ingredient list was printed on the tag they put on the little take out box and I couldn’t wait to make it myself…Yay! I have made lots of beet salads, but the flavors in this one differ from what I have tried before. Everybody loved it.
All bakery items are made in house and I wanted to take a piece of every single one home with me…It was a birthday celebration after all. I did settle for several slices of coconut cake that my friend Marie, at PROUD ITALIAN COOK, recommended. Thanks for the suggestion, Marie. It was delicious…I could have eaten a plateful of that light, creamy frosting even without the cake. Not only did I have a slice after dinner…I gobbled up the last piece with my coffee the next morning. For somebody who doesn’t have a sweet tooth I did OK. Not so with the monster TURTLE CHEESECAKE that I bought at Cheesecake Factory for the birthday party. Way too rich for this girl.
You are looking at part of Standard Market’s selection of housemade salads, salad dressings, dips, sauces and seasonings.
We bought hummus…nice and garlicky…and a creamy, spicy guacamole that was fantastic.
Their Caesar salad dressing was out of this world and I hope I can come close to duplicating is at home…
The cheese and wine and spirits areas were something else. They feature many local cheeses I wasn’t familiar with and it was fun tasting and learning about them. It is strange to me to see hard liquor in a grocery store mixed in with beer and wine. We have a State Liquor Commission in Oregon that regulates sales and alcohol is only sold in state run stores. I don’t think much of the system, but that’s how it’s done here. All prices are strictly regulated. Oregon is almost perfect…but not quite.
- 2 pounds beets, roasted, peeled and diced**
- 1 large navel orange, peeled and cut into segments***
- ½ cup canola oil for dressing
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro, or to taste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- queso fresco cheese, crumbled (feta works well too)
- 1-1/2 cup canola oil for frying the shallots
- 2-3 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced*
- Place diced beets in a large bowl
- Combine canola oil, vinegar, orange juice, sugar, orange zest, cilantro and salt and pepper. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour over beets (moisten them well but don't use more dressing than you need). Arrange beets on a serving platter. Add orange slices.
- Garnish with crumbled quesco fresco to taste and a little extra cilantro.
- Top with crispy fried shallots. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
*Fried Shallots are so easy to make and are a great garnish for many dishes. I love them on top of a creamy serving of homemade mashed potatoes. Talk about elevating an ordinary dish to something special! Find out how to make them at SEVEUR.COM.
**Don’t know how to roast beets? You can find an easy tutorial HERE.
***Questions about how to segment an orange? Take a look HERE.
This post is linked to FOODIE FRIDAY at Rattlebridge Farm.