march 1 weekly menu | winter table

Farm Fresh

beets, carrots, collard greens, kale, leeks, mushrooms, mustard greens, potatoes

What’s for Dinner?

Well, we’ve got Italian (pizza night!), we’ve got French, we’ve got Mexican, we’ve got Asian, and we’ve got good old fashioned American beef barley soup & banana cake!  A week’s worth of honest, simple cooking using veggies from my local farmer.  Thank you Hood River Organicfor this table toppling with bounty from our beautiful Columbia Gorge!

Friday – TV trays, movie(s), & pizza

portabella mushroom & roasted red pepper pizza (Food and Wine)

Saturday – short rib simple soup

beef, leek & barley soup (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)
baguette

Sunday – your own boulangerie

boulangerie beans & potatoes with leeks (Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian)
kale and raw vegetable salad with goat cheese dressing (Vitaly Paley, Imperial)

Monday –  carrots go Mexican

roasted carrot and avocado salad (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)
quesadillas

Tuesday –  fresh bananas, creamy mascarpone, oh yeah, and beets

roasted beet and citrus salad (Cooking Light Way to Cook Vegetarian)
roasted salmon (Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything, The Basics)
new seasons signature banana cake

Wednesday – mid-week minestrone

minestrone with collard greens and white beans (Martha Stewart)
baguette

Thursday – criminis & chop sticks

chicken stir-fry with mushrooms & mustard greens (Ruth Reichl, Gourmet Today)
sweet brown rice

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Friday – TV trays, movie(s), & pizza

portabella mushroom & roasted red pepper pizza (Food and Wine)

IMG_1084

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. Friday is the perfect night for this, not only as an end-of-the-week celebration, but because I can literally pick and choose veggies off my table to top the pizzas!  There are just endless combinations, even in the depth of winter.  The Food and Wine portabella and pepper combinations sounds rich and wonderful.  I’ll sauté my portabellas, and use jarred roasted sweet peppers.  And a great idea to use pesto on this pizza – I’ll spread some of my late summer’s preserved pesto on too.  You really can’t go wrong on pizza night.  Line up the toppings, and let everyone go to town.  Some Olympic Provisions salami would put these pizzas over the top!

Other recent winter pizza creations:

winter squash and wild mushroom 
potato and rosemary 
leek, crimini mushroom, and prosciutto
roasted golden beet and leek 
kale, sundried tomato, & feta
caramelized leek, mushroom and Italian sausage pizza 

Saturday –  short rib simple soup

beef, leek & barley soup (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)
baguette

This is big bang-for-your-buck beef barley soup!  Hardly any ingredients, hardly any chopping, hardly any effort at all.  It just needs a good long time to slowly simmer – go about your Saturday business, and before you know it, an amazingly warm and rich dinner will be ready to serve.  A great addition would be some of those amazing HRO crimini or portabella mushrooms!  With a warm, buttered HRO baguette, this is a Saturday night to stay in for!

Sunday – your own boulangerie

boulangerie beans & potatoes with leeks (Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian)
kale and raw vegetable salad with goat cheese dressing (Vitaly Paley, Imperial)

Traditionally baked in the local baker’s oven for hours, boulangerie potatoes is a classic French dish.  It’s Sunday, we have time to pretend.  The beans make this dish hearty and able to stand deliciously on its own.  Although I’m usually a big fan of substituting canned beans for home-cooked, Mark Bittman highly recommends making your own here, as they’ll just stand up better. (I still might cheat, and use two cans…) Just eye-ball the potato amount for a 3-russet equivalent – I’ll use all that I receive from HRO.  And a small modification he suggests in his book is to cook 2 cups chopped leeks in a bit of butter until they’re almost melting, about 20 minutes.  Spread these between the beans and potatoes, and the elegance factor is stepped up immediately!  Again, a recipe requiring very few ingredients beyond what I’ve gotten farm-fresh from HRO; just some significant inactive “oven time”.  No problem, especially on a Sunday, where everyone will linger and relish in the fragrance of an authentic boulangerie.  I’ll add this amazing raw kale salad I was lucky enough to try this week at Imperial restaurant in Portland.  I’ll try it with nonfat Greek yogurt instead of mayo, and double the carrot ribbons instead of using zucchini.  The salad is brilliant – with kale as the base, it can so easily be seasonally modified to include many farm fresh favorites.  Vitaly Paley is not a James Beard outstanding chef semifinalist for nothing!

Monday – carrots go Mexican

roasted carrot and avocado salad (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)
simple quesadillas

I love when my CSA carrots get a chance to shine!  So sweet, fresh, and deliciously crunchy, often they are eaten before they star at dinner!  I’m going to give this roasted carrot and avocado salad a bit of a Mexican flair by adding lime juice instead of lemon juice.  Couldn’t be simpler!  Add make-your-own pan-fried quesadillas – black beans, cheese, maybe some shredded chicken from a made-by-someone-else roast chicken.  And of course, the toppings:  sour cream, salsa, chopped green onions, olives, whatever Mexican-type tidbits strike your fancy.  Simple, fresh, healthy, and delicious – a perfect way to start the week!

Tuesday – fresh bananas, creamy mascarpone, oh yeah, and beets

roasted beet and citrus salad (Cooking Light Way to Cook Vegetarian)
roasted salmon (Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything, The Basics)
new seasons signature banana cake

With oranges still at their peak, I keep looking for different little tweaks to the fresh, sweet, and tangy beet-orange combination.  Use any oranges you want – tangerines, blood oranges, cara caras, whatever.  Since my beets have been coming without their greens attached, I’ll go simple with organic bagged mixed greens.  Weeknight tip:  roast the beets ahead of time!!!  Have them all peeled, cut, and ready to roll.  This night’s meal is then truly a snap to put together.  Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets are a great price this week at New Seasons.  Speaking of, I think we should all partake in the New Seasons 13th birthday celebration.  I’m going to get a couple of those decadently large (2 person) pieces of their signature banana cake – layers of fresh bananas and rich, creamy mascarpone…yum!  Happy Birthday New Seasons Market!

Wednesday – mid-week minestrone

minestrone with collard greens and white beans (Martha Stewart)
baguette

This simple week-night minestrone uses collards (lucky us!) instead of the usual kale or escarole.  If I have any left, I’ll use leeks instead of onions. You could also put chopped carrots in to soften with the onion.  And while I veered this week from a traditional Southern preparation of collard greens, with the essential smokey, salty meat, I have to say bacon would be fabulous in this soup!  Fry it along with the onions.  This meal is quick and easy – 30 minutes to the table, leaving lots of time for baguette buttering and soup dipping.

Thursday – criminis & chop sticks

chicken stir-fry with mushrooms & mustard greens (Ruth Reichl, Gourmet Today)
brown rice

This Gourmet recipe originally included snow peas and watercress.  But that’s the great thing about stir-fry – it’s so easily adaptable to what you like and what you’ve got.  I’ll use my criminis and the wonderfully peppery, full-bodied mustard greens.  Bob’s Red Mill sweet and sticky brown rice is perfect with any Asian dish –  especially good for breaking out those chop sticks!

“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.

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