October 17 weekly menu | fall table

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Farm Fresh

beets, chard, gourmet greens, radicchio, leeks, potatoes, sweet peppers, winter squash

What’s for Dinner?

Winter squash come in all shapes, sizes and varieties. Isn’t this baby blue hubbard just the cutest?!? It has a deep orange, sweet and nutty flesh, similar to a sweet potato. Because of the thickness of the skin, I’ll forgo the peeling battle and no matter how I use it, bake it cut-side-down first. You can fully cook it, then jus scoop out the insides, or par-bake it, rendering it easier to slice, peel, and cube. It was a pleasant surprise to see my sweet peppers still arriving, but the rest of the mix is singing the songs of autumn. I’ve got a veggie style meatloaf, a family favorite potato (soup) bar, and one of the best garlicky radicchio salads ever, compliments of our very own Tasty ‘n Sons.

Friday – pizza & scary movie night

potato & rosemary pizza (Gourmet)
gourmet greens salad

Saturday – the little red chicory 

radicchio salad (Tasty & Sons)
roasted salmon & leeks with butter (Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything)
crusty bread

Sunday – meat & potatoes, CSA style

chard salad (Food52)
buttermilk mashed potatoes (Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa)
meatloaf with sweet peppers (New Seasons Market )

Monday – grown up quesadillas

squash & sweet pepper quesadillas (Deb Perleman, Smitten Kitchen)

Tuesday - potato bar

baked potato soup (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)
beet salad with goat cheese & walnuts (Jennifer Segal, Serious Eats)

Wednesday – farro, the full-meal-deal

farro with swiss chard and radicchio (Simply Recipes)
roasted chicken

Thursday – chicken & chard sammie

chicken panini with chard and leeks (Castellon’s Kitchen)
sweet pepper crudités & hummus

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Friday – pizza & scary movie night

potato & rosemary pizza (Gourmet)
gourmet greens salad

If you’re not going to have potato-leek soup on a rainy Friday evening like this one, a close second in the comfort department has got to be a potato pizza. Comfort on comfort. The Gourmet recipe is included just a guide as to how to pre-prepare the potatoes. Follow this previous Pizza Night post for a no-fail dough recipe I rely on each week. It makes IMG_1084enough for two pizzas, even three if rolled out in the super thin, best-for-crispy-pizza style. Use the amount of potatoes that seems reasonable – two pounds seems like a lot for pizza toppings! I would do these ahead, having them all ready for the topping assembly line. Potatoes and rosemary on pizza is a wonderful combination; I’ll one up it, caramelizing some leeks for the topping as well. And experiment with the cheeses -mozzarella, fontina, parmesan, chevre – they all sound amazing. For the meat-lover…can you say bacon?!? Sprinkle some greens with olive oil, vinegar, and a little salt and pepper and you’ve got a fabulous salad to sidekick pizza night. I couldn’t be more ready for a seasonal viewing of Halloween, Kujo, or Pet Cemetery.

Other seasonal pizza combinations:

spinach and chive pizza
leek, chard, & corn flatbread
kale, sundried tomato, & feta pizza
pizza with green garlic & arugula
pizza bianca with goat cheese & chard
zucchini, sliced tomato, & leek pizza 
grilled pizza with kale, mushroom, & sausage
fresh ricotta and red onion pizza
sweet onion pizza
pizza with grilled fennel and parmesan
eggplant & tomato pizza
caramelized onion, kale, & corn flatbread
classic margherita pizza
potato & rosemary pizza
pizza with red and yellow peppers
fennel sausage & onion pizza 

Saturday – the little red chicory 

radicchio salad (Tasty & Sons)
roasted salmon & leeks with butter (Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything)
crusty bread

I waited nearly an entire year to repeat this amazing radicchio salad from Tasty & Sons. I must put in my two bits to Sauvie Island Organics…more radicchio, please! I recall being a bit reluctant, ordering a salad whose only “lettuce” was radicchio  – I assumed it was sure to be quite bitter. Not so! The trick is to soak the cut radicchio in very cold water for a bit before serving – this magically removes any unpleasant bite. I’m going to cheat and use New Seasons croutons instead of roasting my own bread crumbs – just chop them roughly in a food processor or put them in a ziploc and pound away to your own desired crumbliness. With a lemony, garlic dressing and a handful of chopped green olives, this salad is really out of this world. A butter roasted salmon will be a simple and delicious accompaniment; I’ll think my leeks could fit right in here too. Use just the white and light green parts, quartering them lengthwise, and maybe then cutting them crosswise. I’ll use half butter, half evoo, toss the leeks in this melted mixture, and roast first (maybe for 10-15 minutes), before adding the salmon for another ten or so minutes. The leeks just need a little head start on the fish; when they’re a bit softened, give them a stir, and push them to the side before adding the salmon to roast.

Sunday – meat & potatoes, CSA style

chard salad (Food52)
buttermilk mashed potatoes (Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa)
meatloaf with sweet peppers (New Seasons Market )

I pick up dinner inspiration from all sorts of places. Tonight’s was the New Season’s Weekly Market Flyer. A “Meatloaf 101″ headline, featuring lots of ideas for buying pre-prepared, making your own, as well as potential side dishes. I’m going to follow the recipe they provided, using a chopped leek instead of the called-for onion, and adding a couple chopped sweet peppers. I’ll make a classic mashed potato accompaniment with the yukon gem potatoes I received this week. Ina’s recipe is timeless – with potatoes this farm fresh, all you need for perfect mashers is the spuds, milk, butter, and a good hand-masher. For a salad tonight, I’ll use a head of my rhubarb red chard. When the cooler months arrive, I definitely am more free and inventive with my “salads”. I do love a green salad to have a place at the dinner table most nights. As the delicate butter lettuces and gourmet greens give way to heartier versions, I just find ways to use these instead. I adore this Food52 chard salad…the perfect balance of crunchy, garlicky, and zesty. I buy pre-made bakery breadcrumbs, then just sauté those lights in a little more olive oil and garlic. It’s literally a two minute process. I do not use the full quantity of breadcrumbs suggested, maybe half that amount instead, just enough for a good crunch and flavor throughout the salad. This sunday supper is my kind of meat and potatoes!

Monday – grown up quesadillas

squash & sweet pepper quesadillas (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)

Mexican is a favorite in our house, and I twist and turn almost any recipe to fit my veggies at hand. Any winter squash could be used here, and just like the beets, during a non-crazy, non-dinner-time hour, cut, seed and roast the squash slices so they’re ready to roll. Any that I don’t use tonight, I’ll wrap and save for future uses this week. I’ll also use my sweet red peppers instead of poblanos, and instead of roasting, peeling, etc., just add slices to the onion, garlic, jalapeño sauté. Add a can of black beans to the mix to get the full-meal-deal. I’ll have purchased tomatillo salsa, plus another couple of favorites for a fun salsa-sampling kind of dinner.

Tuesday – potato bar

baked potato soup (Deb Perleman, Smitten Kitchen)
beet salad with goat cheese & walnuts (Jennifer Segal, Serious Eats)

This is like a family-favorite baked potato bar, in a pot. The boiled head of garlic infuses the soup with amazing flavor – rest assured you can skip the labor-intensive garlic chopping/mashing steps. Our toppings will include all of the traditional items:  sour cream, chives, cheddar cheese and cooked, chopped bacon (or veggie substitute) –  essential for that true potato bar experience. With my beets roasted and at-the-ready (key step…miss this and you’re doomed on a weeknight!) this traditional beet salad with a honey dijon vinaigrette is a perfect accompaniment. If I have gourmet greens left, I’ll mix them in; if not, we enjoy the salad with no greens at all, just lots of favorite nuts and cheese.

Wednesday - farro, the full-meal-deal

farro with swiss chard and radicchio (Simply Recipes)
roasted chicken

Simply Recipes just happened to be highlighting this ultra hearty farro pilaf-type dish this week. With chard and radicchio coming my way, I knew it’d appear on my dinner table. Farro is a virtual nutritional goldmine, and offers a wonderful full-bodied texture and nutty flavor. It’s protein-packed, so I don’t worry if I bail on the chicken (or whatever), often serving a farro dish as the full-meal-deal. I’ll use chopped leeks in this recipe, instead of the onion, and once the farro’s texture is to my liking, strain it in a colander, storing it there until ready for the mix-in. With garlic, fresh herbs, and sautéed chard and radicchio, this dish looks truly tasty. You can be sure I’ll add any cooked and cubed squash I’ve got from quesadilla night. Pick up a roasted chicken at your local market and dinner is served!

Thursday – sammie night

chicken panini with chard and leeks (Castellon’s Kitchen)
sweet pepper crudités & hummus

What have I got left n the fridge come Thursday? Whatever it is, I try to steer it toward a place in a panini. In the good ol’ cast iron pan, I’ll first sauté up the thinly sliced chard, leeks, and garlic. This pan will also serve as the panini cooker, placing lightly buttered or olive oiled bread right on the hot surface to begin building the paninis. These have the chard/leek mixture, slices of cheese, and maybe some chicken from last night. You really can’t go wrong. I just make sure my bread is hearty enough not fall apart in the process, and solid enough so cheese isn’t dripping out every opening. If I’ve got sweet peppers left, it’s the simplest side around – sliced and dipped in a favorite store-bought hummus. Yum!

“What the Kale?!?”

Don’t panic and get out the compost bin if all of the sudden you have a giant veggie delivery coming your way, and you still have a fridge full.  Here are a few suggestions for preserving the bounty!  (Soups and stews freeze wonderfully in those gallon zip lock freezer bags.)

table lessons

the delicious pursuits of an ethical eater

Urban Farm Table

using your local bounty every day

Epicurious.com: New Recipes

using your local bounty every day

101 Cookbooks

using your local bounty every day

Cook With What You Have

Classes and resources for healthy, delicious, and quick meals

Sauvie Island Organics Farm Blog

using your local bounty every day

using your local bounty every day

Simply Recipes

using your local bounty every day

America's Test Kitchen

using your local bounty every day

smitten kitchen

using your local bounty every day

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