march 22 weekly menu | spring table

Farm Fresh

beets, carrots, chives, collard greens, kale raab, leeks, mushrooms, potatoes

What’s for Dinner?

Maybe you noticed…a different urban farm table?  This is a great week to highlight the flexibility of many of the CSAs out there.  Often farms have to employ a “use it or lose it” philosophy when it comes to your veggie share. Many a friend has received my intricate instructions as to how to pick up veggies during my absence in the height of the summer months – I just can’t stand the thought of losing them!  The secret location, the BYO bags, the bins, the checklist, etc.  In return, they get the mountain of veggies! Hood River Organic is somewhat unique in its extreme flexibility – I can put my delivered-to-my-doorstep share on hold (which I’ve done this week,) gaining credit for a future date.  Also, as the photo shows, their boxes are very customizable – this one includes dried beans and whole grain bread.  We have officially entered into spring; CSA season is upon us.  Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to become a part of something big and bold as our region’s produce kicks into high gear! See resources on finding just the right one for you on my what’s a csa page.

Friday –  TV trays, movie, & homemade pizza

pizza with leeks, sundried tomatoes, and goat cheese (Bon Appetit)

Saturday – french in a flash

crunchy broiled salmon with beets (Serious Eats)
baguette

Sunday –  biscuits, warm & farm-fresh

carrot ginger soup (Simply Recipes)
chive biscuits (Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Family Style)
roast chicken

Monday – surprise ingredient pesto pasta

pasta with collard green olive pesto (Danny Toma, Gourmet)

Tuesday –  puffy popover pie

mushroom popover pie (Molly Katzen, Serious Eats)
mixed green salad

Wednesday – portabellas & homegrown hero

roasted potatoes (Simply Recipes)
veggie burgers with grilled portabellas

Thursday – LQLACSD, love it!

pasta with garlicky kale raab (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)

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Friday –  TV trays, movie, & homemade pizza

IMG_1084pizza with leeks, sundried tomatoes, and goat cheese (Bon Appetit)

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.  This pizza with sautéed leeks and goat cheese looks perfect!  Substituting sun dried tomatoes for fresh will not only be delicious, but will get us thinking about the tomato planting months just ahead!  Double this recipe if you’re making more than one pizza.  A sausage sampling could be just the thing to add to the toppings bar!

Other recent pizza creations:

winter squash and wild mushroom 
potato and rosemary 
leek, crimini mushroom, and prosciutto
kale, sundried tomato, & feta
caramelized leek, mushroom and Italian sausage pizza 
portabella mushroom & roasted red pepper pizza
shitake mushroom pizza

Saturday – french in a flash

crunchy broiled salmon with beets (Serious Eats)
baguette

I say “in a flash” because I assume pre-roasted beets – one of the first things I try to do each week when they arrive at my door.  All you need is an hour where you are mulling around doing something else – beets are wrapped tighly in foil and thrown in a HOT oven (475 ish).  That’s it – peel and slice or cut into wedges once they’re cooled.  They’re then ready for anything, including this wonderfully healthy and delicious sounding salmon dish.  If the rosemary panko crumb topping seems too fussy, skip it and just sprinkle  your salmon with chives, salt and maybe a little lemon juice.  I would use my HRO baguette (and Magimix!) to make some fresh bread crumbs for the topping.  The just-picked chives would provide a fresh and wonderful sprinkling over the finished dish.  And they are a beautifully fragrant reminder that the just-outside-the-kitchen-door herb pots are ready to be dreamed of and planned!

Sunday – biscuits, warm & farm-fresh

carrot ginger soup (Simply Recipes)
chive biscuits (Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Family Style)
roast chicken

Nothing screams Sunday night more than homemade biscuits.  We think of them as a huge undertaking, but really it only takes 10-15 minutes to pull together the simplest of ingredients.  The result is so worthwhile – fluffy, light, flakey, melt-in-your-mouth delicious.  Perfect dippers for the springtime carrot soup!  Use leeks in your soup, if you have them, and be sure to garnish with more of our amazing fresh-from-the garden chives.  Add a made-by-someone-else roast chicken, and it’s a Sunday night supper anyone would love to join.

Monday – surprise ingredient pesto pasta

pasta with collard green olive pesto (Danny Toma, Gourmet)

Want your kids (or other) to try collard greens without knowing they’re trying collard greens?  This is the recipe!  It’s a take on the tried-and-true pesto (something green, something garlicky, something cheesy,) so nothing is too unfamiliar.  But the way these flavors blend is truly unique, combining the peppery, slightly bitter taste of the greens so well known and used in the south with the essence of Italy – Parmigiano, olive oil, and garlic.  The green olives, balsamic, and dash of cayenne add just the right kick.  I’ve added a handful of walnuts before, both for a wonderful taste and texture complement as well as for additional protein.  Or toss in the shredded chicken leftover from last night’s roast chicken.  This recipe makes a large batch – if you don’t use all of it on your pasta dinner, refrigerate or freeze it for a delicious spread on fish or chicken in another dinner, or on a lightly toasted, salted baguette for a guaranteed winner of an appetizer.

Tuesday –  puffy popover pie

mushroom popover pie (Mollie Katzen, Get Cooking)
mixed green salad

Springtime mushrooms (shitakes!), butter, leeks & a few fresh herbs.  Make a popover pie out of it for dinner with eggs?  This is the way the brilliant Mollie Katzen has inspired much of the world to think – using seasonal vegetables in uncomplicated, approachable, healthy dishes.  And the puffiness of a popover pie is merely a fun slant on the go-to weeknight, use-what-you-have frittata.  Add a mixed green salad with a simple balsamic vinaigrette and you’re set.

Wednesday portabellas & homegrown hero

roasted potatoes (Simply Recipes)
veggie burgers with grilled portabellas

I am just certain I’m not the only one out there that goes to Burgerville and orders the veggie burger (plus fries and a chocolate shake, please!)  That spicy anasazi “burger” with just the right mix of black rice, beans, carrots, peppers and perfectly spicy seasonings – it’s really the best thing on the menu.  And the greatest news was when Burgerville (so the story goes) took Marie (of Chez Marie) out of her garage and into large scale production and veggie burger business.  Her healthy and delectable patties are now available at many local stores and businesses, and come in lots of tasty and unique flavor combinations, with more on the horizon.  I pick them up in the freezer section of New Seasons, and always have a box on hand for a quick and healthy oven, skillet, or BBQ dinner.  This week, let them shine with the HRO portabellas.  Add a toppings bar of Rogue River blue cheese, Tillamook cheddar, pickles, chopped chives, and even caramilized leeks if you’re feeling fancy.  Roast up those oven potatoes until they’re golden brown, sprinkle with chives, and pass the ketchup!

Thursday – LQLACSD, love it!

pasta with garlicky kale raab (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)

Lightning-Quick Lazy And Completely Satisfying Dinner, Deb coins it.  For those of you who delight in food and cooking (even just thinking about it) and don’t know Deb Perlman, you should.  She’s funny, and she makes the kitchen fun.  This posting of hers, wherein she highlights an end-of-the-farmers-market-day meager bunch of broccoli raab, is a perfectly detailed run though of how to create something big, bold and beautiful from nearly nothing.  That large bunch of gorgeous kale raab from HRO is far from “nearly nothing”, that’s for sure!  Raab is available only in the spring, when over-wintered plants in the brassica family (such as cabbage, brussels sprouts, collards, kale, and broccoli) begin to flower and send out seed shoots. When the kale flowers, the stalks lengthen, and the leaves change shape and become very tender and sweet. Raab is most tender before the florets actually flower, and is wonderful sautéed, braised, stir fried, grilled, or raw in hearty salads.  In this recipe, a short, chunky, clever-shaped pasta of your choice is combined with our kale raab and just four other miracle ingredients that together make a sensational and complete one pot, 20 minute meal – olive oil, garlic (lots of it!), red pepper flakes, and salt. That’s it.  Taste it and you’ll see why I love our local farmers, Deb Perlman, and the kitchen!

“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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2 responses to “march 22 weekly menu | spring table”

  1. Jill Dutt says :

    Great new and inspiring photo of all those colorful (& no doubt delicious) veggies and fruits!

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