Klamath Basin Fresh Organics
Circa 2004 - 2009
A Nostalgic Look Back
Who Are the People Behind Klamath Basin Fresh Direct?
KBFD is an association of farmers in the high desert of California and Oregon’s Klamath Basin with a lot of experience in growing high quality potatoes. We have come together to form Klamath Basin Fresh Direct, LLC. Our core mission is to produce a premium product while enhancing the environmental and economic stability of the rural Klamath Basin. All of our Klamath Pearls and Klamath Ruby's are organically grown.
“Our families have been growing potatoes in this unique, high-desert environment for generations. Our heritage and dedication to sustaining our community, our soils and our ecosystem for future generations is the foundation of Klamath Basin Fresh Direct.
By joining together, we can meet the demands of large buyers while maintaining the personal service expected of small family farms.”
Organic Klamath Ruby is a new potato grown and marketed by Klamath Basin Fresh Direct, LLC. This new potato produces a beautiful red skin, oblong yellow flesh tubers. Grown in the outstanding potato climate of the Klamath Basin exclusively by Family Farms. Harvested young (unlike other small potatoes) to capture peak freshness and excellent flavor. Perfect choice for grilling, roasting and salads.
Grown in concert with wildlife, we are partners in a walking wetlands project with the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge. We rotate our fields with seasonal wetland marshes which provide important seasonal habitat for migrating water birds. This practice also helps recharge the soil enabling the sustainable production of organic potatoes that are the very best in the country.
Fresh Direct brings you Organic Klamath Pearl potatoes in 2 pound gourmet bags complete with recipe, and 20 pound boxes graded from marbles to large.
We also have a program that gives a percentage of the sales to some local athletic programs, the OIT "Hustlin' Owls" and the SOU "Raiders". The Hustlin' Owl potatoes are russetts sold in 8 pound bags, and the Raider potatoes are reds sold in 3 pound bags.
Why should you buy from Klamath Basin Fresh Direct?
We have developed special equipment to plant, harvest, and implemented strict grading standards to provide a clean and uniform product. We have the resources and experience to provide a secure and consistent supply of Organic Klamath Pearls and Ruby's. Improved consistency because you get the same variety from the same region with each purchase. We are specialized enough to offer the most unique and different varieties to fit your companies expanding market needs.
Klamath Pearl Potatoes
Why is the Organic Klamath Pearl Potato special?
Organic Klamath Pearl is a new potato variety grown exclusively by family farmers in the Klamath Basin on the California-Oregon border. We harvest the crop young to capture peak freshness and flavor, distinguishing it from most other small potatoes. The small size, sweet flavor and firm texture make it a perfect choice for salads, roasting, grilling and frying.
Early harvesting means the potato requires less water and is less susceptible to pests and diseases, important considerations in a sensitive habitat like Klamath Basin, which is a major stop for birds on the Pacific flyway. Each winter, the nearby Lower Klamath Lake National Wildlife Refuge hosts the largest bald eagle population in the lower forty-eight states as well as tens of thousands of other birds.
Chefs and buyers have long known the Klamath Basin as preeminent potato country. With the northeastern face of Mt. Shasta visible to the south and Crater Lake to the north, the area sits at an arid 4,000 feet. The short growing season produces warm days and cool nights, perfect potato conditions. The rich sandy and loamy soils are the result of organic matter deposited from prehistoric Lake Modoc (Tulelake) and valuable minerals from the ash of volcanic Mt. Mazama (Crater Lake).
What do the best Chefs say about the Klamath Pearl?
As part of our marketing homework we introduced the potato to a select group of chefs at the finest restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area and made a limited quantity available to them through their regular suppliers. Here is how top chefs are using the Klamath Pearl:
Executive Chef, Bruce Hill
"We use Klamath Pearls in our featured potato pillow recipe. I like the texture (fluffy not mushy) better than the variety we used previously."
"I tried them roasted in a pan with herbs and a little oil and water and peeled and boiled. I liked them both ways. We only buy organic and we buy local potatoes when he can get them. However I will buy and use your organic potatoes in the summer months when he cannot get local potatoes."
Chef Nate Lindt
"We served Klamath Pearl potatoes cut in half and roasted with steaks. I like the small sizes."
Chef Sean O'Toole
"I roasted them and liked them because the skin got crisp and the flesh stayed firm (unlike Yukon Golds that tend to get mushy)."
Chef Paul Canalis
"We tried the Klamath Pearls boiled, roasted, fried, and mashed. I like the fast cooking. We made two big discoveries; the potato puffs up! While it looks and feels like a baby salad potato- when you score and squeeze, it puffs and fluffs like a russet. The starches don't break down into a paste like most small potatoes do when used this way. Our second discovery was perhaps the best way to cook it. It is an extraordinarily good potato when pre-boiled to bring sugars to the surface, and then fried to caramelize them. This produces a complex sweet flavor and a nice texture and color that are different and better than any other I have tried."
Chef Dennis Leary
“This is an excellent potato that has a pure color and flavor the best way to cook it is half peeled and roasted”. Leary prefers the C size.
McGrath’s Fish Houses
Executive Chef Alan Brines
"We featured Klamath Pearl Potatoes with a Fresh Halibut dish and was extremely pleased with the flavor, versatility, and the consistent quality."
"We are planning another exciting seafood dish accompanied by Klamath Pearl Potatoes at all McGrath’s restaurants in the Portland/Vancouver, Willamette and Rogue Valley areas."
Introducing the Organic Klamath Pearl: A special potato from a special place From the high desert of California and Oregon’s Klamath Basin comes a very special potato.
The Organic Klamath Pearl hits the market for the first time this fall (2003). The round, thin-skinned potato is known in Europe as a salad potato and is prized for its mild, sweet flavor and firm texture. Great in salads, the Organic Klamath Pearl is also well suited to roasting, grilling and frying because of its balance of waxy and starchy qualities.
Unlike other small potatoes on the market, the Organic Klamath Pearl is harvested young, making it more tender and delicate than other potatoes. Early harvesting means the potato requires less water and is less susceptible to pests and diseases, important considerations in a sensitive habitat like Klamath Basin, a major stop for a myriad of birds on the Pacific flyway. Each winter, the nearby Lower Klamath Lake National Wildlife Refuge hosts the largest bald eagle population in the lower forty-eight states as well as tens of thousands of other birds. Chefs and food lovers have long known the Klamath Basin as preeminent potato country. With the northeastern face of Mt. Shasta visible to the south and Crater Lake to the north, the area sits at an arid 4,000 feet. The short growing season produces warm days and cool nights, perfect potato conditions. The rich sandy and loamy soils are the result of organic matter deposited from prehistoric Lake Modoc (Tulelake) and valuable minerals from the ash of volcanic Mt. Mazama (Crater Lake).
Not only are the Organic Klamath Pearl and where it’s grown special, but also so are the people who grow them. Family farmers who have been growing potatoes in the Klamath Basin for generations have banded together to form Klamath Basin Fresh Direct. Producing a premium product while enhancing the environmental and economic stability of the rural Klamath Basin is their core mission. This consortium of growers can meet the demands of large buyers while maintaining the personal service that comes from small family farms.
“This is a community project”, said Dan Chin, Chairman of Klamath Basin Fresh Direct. “We’re going to work together.”
Because the farmers live in an area revered for its world-class soils and wildlife, they’re committed to harvesting the Organic Klamath Pearl and living in harmony with the environment. “We live in this environment and plan to take care of it”, said Chin.
Try some of these recipes at home and taste the difference Organic Klamath Pearls make! These white skinned potatoes keep their beautiful color and firmness in the cooking process, and have a visual presentation possibility left only to the imagination. From home cooks to gourmet chefs, Organic Klamath Pearls are the "new" potato age.
Roasted BBQ Aioli Pearl Potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup melted butter
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 teaspoon fresh chopped basil
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
Mix all ingredients well. Take two pounds of Klamath Pearl potatoes (blanched until tender) cut in half and mix in aioli sauce. Place in roasting pan, uncovered & roast at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, stirring often. Garnish with fresh grated parmesan cheese and parsley.
Creamed Klamath Pearl Potatoes
Klamath Pearl Potatoes (2 pounds)
¼ cup butter
¼ cup all purpose flour
2 ¼ cups whole milk
½ cup whipping cream
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
1 10 oz. frozen package pearl onions, thawed and drained
1 16 oz. frozen package peas, thawed and drained
Boil potatoes in boiling salted water for 20 minutes or until tender. Cool potatoes. Cut potatoes into halves or quarters. Potatoes can be prepared one day ahead.
In a saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Blend in flour till mixture thickens being careful not to brown mixture. Gradually add milk till mixture thickens, stirring often (about 10 minutes). Add nutmeg to cream sauce. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. While stirring frequently, add cheese, peas, onions, and potatoes to cream sauce. Heat sauce and vegetables over a low to medium burner till the vegetables are thoroughly heated, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Serves 6 to 8
Klamath Pearl Potato and Scallop Salad
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon prepared hot English mustard
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon whipping cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
8 Klamath Pearl Potatoes
16 medium sea scallops (about 1 pound), halved horizontally
5 ounces mixed baby greens
Garnish with additional chopped fresh chives
Whisk 1 tablespoon oil, vinegar and both mustards in medium bowl to blend. Whisk in mayonnaise, then cream, then chives. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.
Cook potatoes in saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain potatoes. Cool completely. Cut each potato crosswise into slices.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in skillet over high heat. Add potatoes and sauté until golden, about 2 Minutes per side. Transfer potatoes to plate. Add Scallops to same skillet and sauté until just cooked through, about 1 minute per side.
Toss mixed greens in large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat. Arrange scallops and potatoes atop salad. Drizzle remaining vinaigrette around scallops and potatoes. Sprinkle with additional chopped chives and serve.
Klamath Pearl Potatoes with Cilantro
6-8 Klamath Pearl Potatoes, unpeeled
Kosher or plain salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Smaller potatoes may be left whole; larger potatoes may be halved or quartered. In a saucepan, cover potatoes with salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once water is boiling, reduce heat and simmer potatoes till tender (about 20 to 30 minutes). Drain potatoes and place in a serving bowl.
Coat potatoes with olive oil; add salt and pepper to taste. Add cilantro leaves to potatoes and toss well.
Pearl Potato Salad with Spinach, Roquefort and Walnuts
2 pounds baby potatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
8 tablespoons Mustard Vinaigrette
2/3 cup crumbled Roquefort cheese
1/3 cup candied walnuts
To make potato salad: Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix potatoes and 3 tablespoons vinaigrette in large baking dish. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F And continue roasting until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Transfer to large bowl and cool.
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
2/3 cup chopped shallots
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
Mix mustard and vinegar in bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Mix in shallots and herbs. Season with salt and pepper.