September 21 weekly menu | summer table

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Farm Fresh

acorn squash, anaheim peppers, broccoli, carrots, chard, dill, gourmet greens, lettuce, melon, poblano peppers, potatoes, red onions, tomatoes, yellow onions

What’s for Dinner?

On this final week of my summer flowers oil cloth, again, dinner will be a bit of August, and a bit more of what the fall months will be bringing. We’ve still got summer sweet peppers and tomatoes, which I’ll make the most of in tacos and pizza, salads and pancake night. We’ve got chard and red onions and carrots, which span the seasons. And we’ve got our heartier greens and, gasp, winter squash. We’ll ease into things by not delving right into the baked butter and brown-sugar baked variety, but rather kick off the week with a brilliant and zesty soup.

Wednesday – bright & zesty quinoa soup 

squash soup with quinoa & chard (Not Just Baked)
crusty bread

Thursday –  crispy broccoli & salmon

crispy broccoli with lemon & garlic (Smitten Kitchen)
roasted salmon with dill (Mark Bittman, New York Times)

Friday – mixed pepper tacos

fish tacos with roasted mixed peppers and onions (Epicurious)
green salad with cilantro-lime vinaigrette (CI, The Best 30-Minute Recipe)

Saturday – pizza night

pizza with pesto and sliced tomatoes (Epicurious)
gourmet greens salad

Sunday – salad for supper

chinese chicken salad (The Splendid Table)

sliced melon

Monday – nat’l pancake day

everyday pancakes (Mark Bittman)
best breakfast potatoes (The Pioneer Woman)
veggie sausage or bacon

Tuesday – sammie night

italian chicken salad sandwich (The Kitchn)
crudités & hummus
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Wednesday – bright & zesty quinoa soup

acorn squash soup with quinoa & chard (Not Just Baked)
crusty bread

This is a perfect “welcome to Fall” soup – deeply comforting, yet light and zesty at the same time. It combines winter squash (I’ll use this week’s acorn) and chard (you could use any sturdy green) in a bright & vibrant quinoa-based masterpiece. I’ll be making the vegetarian version, which is a bit more weeknight friendly – just ignore all the parts about the chicken and chicken broth, and replace with boxed broth. Believe me, you won’t miss it. That final sprinkling of sea salt, and the squeeze of fresh lime juice made all the difference. Get your favorite crusty bakery bread, and dig in.

Thursday – crispy broccoli & salmon

crispy broccoli with lemon & garlic (Smitten Kitchen)
roasted salmon with dill (Mark Bittman, New York Times)

I don’t get much broccoli from my CSA, but when I do, I generally eat it prepared in a very simple and straightforward manner, savoring that intense, farm-fresh flavor. The best way to make lightly browned, crispy-edged broccoli is roasted in a hot oven. This “recipe” from Smitten Kitchen does this method justice – keeping the ingredients minimal and letting the veggie speak for itself. In this case, flavors are merely enhanced with fresh garlic, lemon juice, and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes. What would go alongside this? Virtually anything, is my vote. But likely I’ll lean toward a beautiful salmon fillet, flavored simply with butter and my farm fresh dill.  Couldn’t be an easier, or a more tasty counterpart.

Friday –  mixed pepper tacos

fish tacos with roasted mixed peppers and onions (Epicurious)

You may notice that I have fish tacos on my weekly menus quite often. For good reason…they just couldn’t be simpler, or healthier. With a good piece of white fish, some olive oil, garlic, and lime juice, you’re in business. Tonight I’ll go a little fancy, grilling the fish outside, and making this Mexican-spiced marinade that serves to blacken the fish as it’s cooked. I’ll skip the marinated onions, opting instead for a giant offering of and roasted onions and mixed peppers. Just thinly slice and spread on a roasting pan with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir occasionally, and in a jiffy you’ll have a fabulous fish taco filling. Use your favorite corn or flour tortillas, lightly warm and blacken them right over your stove’s open flame, and keep them warm throughout dinner. I’ve got a fancy $5 tortilla warmer I picked up once in Mexico – basically two pieces of fabric sewn together in a circle with an opening along one side. A folded over kitchen towel will do – anything to prevent those dried out oven-warmed tortillas, or the multiple trips to the microwave.

Saturday – pizza night

pizza with pesto and sliced tomatoes (Epicurious)
gourmet greens salad

IMG_1084For this week’s Pizza Night, I’m going with one highlighting those tomatoes that are sure to disappear before you know it. Refer to the above link for my favorite go-to crust, or pick up ready-to-bake one at your local store or pizzeria. Start with a store-bought pesto base, shredded mozzarella, decorating with thinly sliced tomatoes to the top. Add a simple salad with some farm fresh greens, drizzled lightly with high quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

Other seasonal pizza ideas:

spinach and chive pizza
shaved asparagus & parmesan 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 

Sunday – salad for supper

chinese chicken salad (The Splendid Table)

sliced melon

With this week’s giant head of romaine, I just knew we’d need a “salad for supper” night. With a hearty, flavorful bowl of bounty like this, you’re sure to please everyone. I’ll use this recipe only to spark ideas, substituting my head of romaine for the cabbage this time. The honey-soy-ginger dressing looks perfect.! My salad will include shredded chicken (made-by-someone else!), grated carrots, and thinly sliced sweet peppers and turnips – nearly any crunchy veggie is a good contender. Don’t skip the chopped cilantro and nuts (could use peanuts, cashews or almonds) – they add just the right finish in a delicious Chinese chicken salad. Sliced melon makes the perfect dessert.

Monday – nat’l pancake day

everyday pancakes (Mark Bittman)
best breakfast potatoes (The Pioneer Woman)
veggie sausage or bacon

I’ve been getting so many potatoes, which have been amazing. My general dinner go-to is a big pan of garlic roasted potatoes to accompany so many easy toss-on-the-grill dinners. When I learned it was National Pancake Day, I knew I’d be a popular mother (at least for the evening) if I marked the occasion with pancakes for dinner. While not a full-meal-deal on their own, add these breakfast potatoes, packed with peppers, onions, and garlic, and we’re getting closer (this recipe is for an army – I’ll reduce by half, at least). Add some veggie sausage or bacon, and the celebration (of this completely ridiculous and unknown holiday) is complete.

Tuesday – sammie night

italian chicken salad sandwich (The Kitchn)
crudités & hummus

These look to be the perfect “kitchen sink” kind of ending to the veggie week. Chopped chicken leftovers, plus red onions, sweet peppers (I’ll skip the roasting!). If you want to add the bacon, great; if not they look quite hearty and scrumptious without. I’ll add fresh sliced tomatoes instead. I especially like the recipe because it’s a vinaigrette mixed with the chicken and veggies, instead of traditional mayo. Spread on top of your favorite Italian style bread. For the side, a platter of whatever veggies still sit in the fridge – carrots, turnips and peppers are likely candidates. Plus a tasty, garlicky hummus, and everyone’s happy.
“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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