August 17 weekly menu | summer table

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Farm Fresh

carrots, corn, eggplant, fennel, gourmet greens, onions, peppers, potatoes, lettuce, romano beans, zucchini, tomatoes

Wednesday – tzatziki with a twist

grilled halibut with fennel tzatziki (Cooking Light)
simple zucchini saute (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog, Wk. 8 2013)
garlic roasted potatoes (Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Parties!)

Thursday –  move over basil

pasta with sweet corn pesto (Epicurious)
tomato, basil salad (Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa)

Friday – grilled pizza fest

summer squash & red onion pizza (Cooking Light)
gourmet greens salad

Saturday – late-summer soup

roasted eggplant, pepper, and tomato soup (Whole Foods Market)
simple green salad (Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa)
country bread

lemon sunshine zucchini bundt cake (Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice)

Sunday – who needs Ragu?

gourmet greens salad
classic italian tomato sauce + spaghetti (The Splendid Table)
grilled Italian sausages

Monday – chopstick challenge

noodle salad with eggplant (Deborah Madison, The Greens Cookbook)
sautéed green beans (The Food Network)

Tuesday – summer risotto

risotto, with corns, tomatoes, & basil (Fine Cooking)
grilled salmon

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Wednesday –  tzatziki with a twist

grilled halibut with fennel tzatziki (Cooking Light)
simple zucchini saute (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog, Wk. 8 2013)
garlic roasted potatoes (Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Parties!)

I simplify this recipe, just tossing some fresh halibut on the grill and brushing it with olive oil and lemon juice.  The freshness of the fennel in the tzatziki sauce will bring more than enough fennel flavoring.  I love this sauce, changing things up a bit from the usual tzatziki suspect – cucumber. Fennel is sweet and a little licorice-y, and fabulous mixed in greek yogurt with a bit of fresh garlic.  I’ll double the sauce recipe, using any leftover as a raw veggie dip, or sandwich spread, over the next week.  Add this simple zucchini sauté to the meal, sprinkling with whatever fresh herbs you might have on hand. I’ll also roast my little red potatoes, with just a bit of garlic and olive oil, for a perfect hearty side.

Thursday –  move over basil

pasta with sweet corn pesto (Epicurious)
tomato, basil salad (Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa)

This recipe for corn pesto has the same tried-and-true ingredients we’re used to (olive oil, garlic, cheese, nuts, etc) but with the added delight of bacon, corn, & a pinch of red pepper flakes. Forget all the fancy steps – just boil a pound of pasta, and mix in the corn pesto plus a big handful of chopped fresh basil. YUM! And the tomato salad needs no recipe – fresh tomatoes, basil leaves, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix it up in a bowl, layer it on a platter, whatever strikes your fancy. These are the flavors of summer to savor!

Friday –  grilled pizza fest

summer squash & red onion pizza (Cooking Light)
gourmet greens salad

Super fun, interactive, and delicious way to use those veggies –Pizza Night! Let this prior post be your inspiration and step-by-step instructional for pizza making. This week, I’m going to use a combination of yellow summer squash and zucchini, and some yummy caramelized red onions. The caramelized onions are just a hot skillet, a little olive oil, and thinly sliced onions, low and slow until their brown and caramelly.  They make any pizza extra special! This Serious Eats guide to grilling seems pretty fool proof. I do find it easier to grill pizzas when you make them the individual size. Skip the tube-o-dough and either use my go-to 5 minute recipe from The New Basics, the Serious Eats recipe, or grab your dough from Hot Lips, New Seasons, or nearly any favorite pizza place. This is a simple, sauceless pizza, gaining all of its flavor from farm fresh toppings; I would definitely brush the crust with some olive oil and give it a sprinkling of salt. Our salad will be a lickety-split version – gourmet greens, drizzled with balsamic vinegar, high quality olive oil, and salt and pepper. With greens this fresh and delicious, nothing fancier is needed.

Saturday – late-summer soup

roasted eggplant, pepper, and tomato soup (Whole Foods Market)
simple green salad (Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa)
country bread

lemon sunshine zucchini bundt cake (Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice)

I truly think this soup is the most delicious pot of late summer bounty. Even if you’re not a die-hard eggplant fan, give this soup a shot. The eggplant adds just the right flavor to the soup, with none of the “mushiness” its reputation brings. I do realize it’s supposed to be hot; no matter. This soup is truly a late-summer celebration. It’s really very easy, just roasting the farm fresh eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes, then adding that plus the broth to sauteed onions & garlic. The delectable flavorings of fresh basil (lots of it!), lemon juice, & a pinch of cayenne are icing on the cake. With your couldn’t-be-simpler green salad and a loaf of favorite country-style bread, head outside with this summer soup, and continue to soak up the sunshine. And because it’s a celebration, and there’s sunshine, and I have more zucchini than I possibly know what to do with, we’ll end the meal with the Martha Stewart zucchini cake adaptation. Speaking of icing on the cake…

Sunday – who needs Ragu?

gourmet greens salad
classic italian tomato sauce + spaghetti (The Splendid Table)
grilled Italian sausages

Here’s the tomato sauce recipe I go to again and again. And again. Why? First, because it’s fabulous. It also happens to be quite loose and non-fussy…no worrying about tomato peel or seeds, no pre-sauteeing of ingredients, and no diluting the tomato flavor with other things. It’s fresh tomato and basil, through and through. After cooking the very minimal ingredients for a half an hour or so, the final consistency is up to you. Whirl away in the blender or food processor for very smooth, pulse a few times for saucy but with some texture, or don’t use a machine at all and just mash up with the back of a wooden spoon, keeping lots of chunks intact. This sauce freezes nicely – use it all winter for pastas, polenta, pot roasts, whatever. We can’t wait though, so will delve in immediately, served over spaghetti with lots of grated parmesan. I’ll make a simple salad made with my gorgeous gourmet greens sprinkled lightly with tasty olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. And for anyone missing the meat, a great (and near-zero effort) accompaniment would be some Italian sausages grilled up on the BBQ.

Monday –  chopstick challenge

noodle salad with eggplant (Deborah Madison, The Greens Cookbook)
sautéed green beans (The Food Network)

Deborah Madison’s brilliance, once again. Generally, an Asian noodle salad is something everyone gets excited about. The soy/sesame oil based dressing is generally the clincher, and can be tweaked with anything from ginger to spicy oils to vinegar to peanut butter. This version has a little of everything. I’ll use a big bunch of chives from the herb pot in place of the green onions. The asian eggplant seems to be the star in this pasta salad – just the flesh is used, and soaked in the ultra-flavorful dressing. I’m just certain I’ll use more than the one called for in the recipe. The rest of the veggies will be impromptu – I’ll skip the snow peas and sprouts, using lots of slivered carrots and zucchini instead. Depending on the veggies you choose, they can either be blanched slightly, or just added in before the final mixing for a nice crunch and a really pretty salad for supper. Serve with side of this ultra simple Asian-inspired green bean saute.

Tuesday – summer risotto

risotto, with corn, tomatoes, & basil (Fine Cooking)
grilled salmon

I tend to forget about risotto during the summer months, maybe because of the stovetop time often required to get a just-right consistency. But, after seeing a version of this oh-so seasonal risotto on the Paley’s Place menu recently (darn, I was just there for fries and a cocktail!), I was questioning why I didn’t place it in my summertime repertoire! It really amounts to less than half an hour. I’ll use lots of my farm fresh corn, onions, tomatoes (of any kind!) and basil. The tomatoes and basil get combined sort of salad-like, then mixed in at the end to keep the tomatoes intact. Grill some fresh Pacific Northwest salmon, and your meal is complete. Just lightly brush with olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a sprinkling of fresh herbs after cooking.

“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.)

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

Fearless cooking from a tiny NYC kitchen.

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