november 9 weekly menu | fall table
carrots, celeriac, chicory (pan di zucchero), gourmet greens, leeks, potatoes, sweet peppers, winter squash
What’s for Dinner?
celeriac and lentil salad (Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty)
I haven’t tried this salad, but it looks like a great way to use my celeriac. I think I would serve it warm this time of year. And it’s the perfect meal to complement with a pre-made roast chicken, if someone would miss the meat.
Saturday – Happy 100th Birthday Julia!
I have been dying for months to celebrate a woman who singlehandedly revolutionized how Americans cook, Julia Child. She turned 100 this past August, and I was so envious of the many around the country (and world!) who were cooking and eating sophisticated and fabulous French meals in her honor. Here was my chance – I had a couple of equally crazy friends, and we went to town creating a gourmet four-course dinner, each recipe from Julia’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Let me just say…unbelievable!
galettes au camembert (camembert biscuits)
moules a la provencale (mussels on the half shell, gratineed)
celeri-rave remoulade (celery root remoulade in mustard sauce)
potage parmentier (leek and potato soup)
chaux de bruxelles a la milanaise (brussels sprouts browned with cheese)
gratin dauphinois (scalloped potatoes with milk, cheese and garlic)
coq au vin (chicken in red wine with onions, mushrooms, and bacon)
clafouti aux pommes (apple flan)
Now here’s the really exciting part…our own beautiful and delicious local farm veggies shone brilliantly! The tangy, crunchy remoulade from that ugly, furry, knobby looking thing called celeriac (I do think this was the veggie that starred in the Porlandia alien veggie episode). The leeks and potatoes made up the warm, comforting soup that Julia served Paul nearly each day when he came home for lunch. The creamy, rich scalloped potatoes, the Brussels sprouts (off that crazy stalk thing that always reminds me of giant green jingle bells!) with their perfect cheese complement, and even the crimini mushrooms which added a wonderful rich texture and taste to the chicken dish, all starred in the production. The great news is, anyone can do this! Check your CSA delivery, or whatever local veggie looks good to you at the market, peruse a copy of Mastering the Art, and cook away! Julia’s prose is rich yet simple to follow. None of the recipes was overly complicated or cumbersome – I was only slightly nervous lighting the cognac in the Coq Au Vin ON FIRE!
And as much as I love the story behind Julia’s potato leek soup, I found it to be a bit bland and thin, especially if you’re having it for a main dish, as we often do. Try this one – it’s a family favorite.
golden potato-leek soup with cheddar toasts (Cooking Light)
chicory salad with mustard vinaigrette (Gourmet)
roasted winter squash halves with browned butter and sage (Cook’s Illustrated, The New Best Recipe)
roasted salmon (Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything, the Basics)
I like to add pears and blue cheese to the chicory salad. And although the squash recipe calls for acorn squash, you can use any winter squash for this. The recipe is heavy on the butter, so feel free to reduce the amount and I think it turns out just as delicious.
minestrone soup (Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food)
Minestrone soup is the ideal dish to use what you have on hand. And it is so warm and hearty to come home to on these cold, rainy nights! In looking at Alice’s recipe, I’ll probably add another carrot or two, use canned tomatoes instead of fresh, skip the beans and zucchini since I don’t have those, and instead of spinach, I’ll chop up my head of chicory and put it in. Cabbage is wonderful in minestrone soup, so I’ll bet chicory will work too. Alice Waters also has specific recipes for fall minestrone with kale and butternut squash, as well as winter minestrone with turnips, potatoes, and cabbage – it’s fun to experiment with all of these.
Everyone in my family used to say they hated cooked carrots. Roasting them simply this way, with just salt and olive oil and maybe a little herbs, has changed that. They are delicious! Alaskan Pacific cod fillets are on special this week at New Seasons…I often browse their weekly specials pull-out section from the newspaper, and choose our fish based on this.
I think either milk or half and half is fine for the celery root puree. I would halve this pork recipe for my family of four. With dinners tasting of apple and maple, we know fall has arrived in our house.
mixed green salad with sweet peppers and pumpkin seeds
southwestern stuffed acorn squash (Jessie Price, Eating Well in Season)
corn tortillas, for wrapping up the tasty bites
I make a simple southwestern salad with whatever I have on hand or sounds good- gourmet greens, red peppers, avocado, red onion, etc. The vinaigrette is simply olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, cumin and s & p. As for the squash, I stuff four winter squash halves of any variety, often leaving out the turkey and adding more vegetables. Any cheese you usually like with Mexican works here.
At the Market
1/2 and 1/2
1 lb. salmon
2 cans white beans
1 lb. cod
1 lb. pork tenderloin
This list assumes my reasonably stocked pantry.
“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.)
- winter squash and sweet pepper soup (Dana Jacobi, Something Different)
- curried celeriac soup (Mark Bittman, The New York Times)
- pumpkin soup (Gourmet), I skip the red pepper mousse and use any winter squash I have
- white bean and butternut squash soup (Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food), again, any squash, and canned beans are OK