may 10 weekly menu | spring table

Farm Fresh

asparagus, chard, cilantro, kale, leeks, mushrooms, pea shoots, radishes, spinach

What’s for Dinner?

Spring asparagus!  I got a giant bunch in my box, and am so happy.  Look for it highlighted in two, maybe three meals here.  The weather’s been so amazingly warm!  I’ve got to go plant my tomatoes!

Friday –  TV trays, movie, & homemade pizza

shaved asparagus & parmesan pizza (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)

Saturday – pesto gone crazy + steak(y)

pea shoot pesto pasta (Edible Portland)
grilled asparagus (Simply Recipes)
grilled portabellas (allrecipes.com)

Sunday – queen for a day

breakfast in bed:

tall, vanilla, non-fat, extra-hot latte
strawberry yogurt parfaits
sausage & swiss chard strata (Martha Stewart)

no-fuss dinner:

pasta with brie, mushrooms, and spinach (Real Simple)
shrimp skewers

strawberry shortcake (Simply Recipes)

Monday – curried chard

curried red lentil & swiss chard stew (Bon Appetit)

Tuesday – kale butter?!?

italian sandwiches with kale butter (Ashley Gartland, Dishing Up Oregon)
chips

Wednesday – lime + cilantro = salsa verde

fish tacos with salsa verde & radish salad (Martha Stewart)
black beans

Thursday –  whole bowl

mixed veggie rice bowl

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Friday –  TV trays, movie, & homemade pizza

shaved asparagus & parmesan pizza (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)

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!  This week, I’m celebrating my first spring CSA delivery of farm fresh asparagus – thank you Hood River Organic!  I can’t wait to dive into it, so our pizza tonight will be piled with thinly shaved asparagus, which becomes just lightly charred in the oven.  I’ll add a sprinkling of chives – still plenty of those on hand!  Just a little olive oil, salt & pepper, and a sprinkling of two cheeses…it looks really amazing.  Deb Perlman describes it as “tangled asparagus” atop pizza – I love it. I’ll make one pizza exactly as the recipe states, wanting to taste the simplicity of the no-sauce, asparagus, and cheese.  Other options abound for the more traditional pizza-eaters – I’ll have some red sauce and pepperoni on hand, which would be right at home with some of this week’s mushrooms.

winter squash and wild mushroom 
potato and rosemary 
leek, crimini mushroom, and prosciutto
kale, sundried tomato, & feta
portabella mushroom & roasted red pepper
shitake mushroom
leek, sundried tomato, and goat cheese
caramelized leek, mushroom and Italian sausage pizza
pizza with kale raab, leeks, and olives 
pizza with fennel sausage, braising greens and rosemary
dandelion greens, Italian sausage, and fontina cheese pizza
spinach and chive pizza
grilled pizza with kale, mushroom, & sausage

Saturday – pesto gone crazy + steak(y)

pea shoot pesto pasta (Edible Portland)
grilled asparagus (Simply Recipes)
grilled portabellas (allrecipes.com)

Who doesn’t like “pesto pasta”?!?  Amazingly, it’s one of those green things on the dinner table that is always received with open arms and a wide smile.  This is whether the standard base of olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, toasted nuts, and cheese is packed with tried-and-true basil, or something a tad bit less traditional.  The Portland Farmers Market blog has a dandy write-up on the virtues of pesto, and includes a yummy-looking version w/ parsley, mint, & any number of greens.  I’ve included this one from Edible Portland, which uses our pea shoots – I have to admit, I never would have thought of this. Mix with the family-favorite pasta shape, (as well as nearly any other grilled, sauteed, or broiled veggie, poultry, or fish you can think of!) pass some additional parmesan, I can’t wait.  If there’s leftover pesto, spread it on a sandwich, or include it in lunch boxes with baguette slices and salami.  The pesto pasta will be perfect with some simple grilled asparagus and portabellas.  And really nothing could be easier than an olive oil, balsamic marinade for the mushrooms – I’ll skip the onions, but will for sure include a sprinkling of fresh rosemary, which is just a match made in heaven with “steaky” portabellas.

Sunday – queen for a day

breakfast in bed:

tall, vanilla, non-fat, extra-hot latte
strawberry yogurt parfaits
sausage & swiss chard strata (Martha Stewart)

no-fuss dinner:

pasta with brie, mushrooms, and spinach (Real Simple)
shrimp skewers

strawberry shortcake (Simply Recipes)

One can dream, right?  Well, if there’s even a remote chance of such a morning indulgence, here’s a menu anyone could accomplish!  Yes, the fancified latte may have to be replaced by a plain old cup of joe.  Fine by me! And with a trip to the farmers market to grab those sweet, early strawberries, what fun to put them in a dessert glass or bowl, layering with yogurt-o-choice (a little honey and real vanilla bean go far in making plain yogurt extra special!). The strata might be the only stretch, but with just a few minutes, it can all be prepared the night before and ready to pop in the oven in the morning.  With or without sausage, leeks instead of shallots?, bakers’ choice cheese, and a perfect use for our HRO baguette!  Other Mother’s Day, start-the-day options abound…a close second (and third) for me might include brunch at Simpatica (really, the best), or just a couple good old fashioned, sweet-as-sin doughnuts.

My no-mom-in-the-kitchen dinner choice includes a pasta my kids will be highly motivated to make.  They just beg for this – where you put the chunks of brie into the warmed pasta at the end, and it melts and oozes and spreads throughout the dish.  I might suggest they use our leeks instead of the onion, or our spinach instead of the arugula…we’ll see what happens.  Could end up just pasta and melty brie.  Who’s complaining?  Throw on a side of grilled shrimp skewers (already skewered & on special at New Seasons)!  And don’t forget dessert.  I’ll not-so-slyly suggest the simplest version of strawberry shortcake ever.   Strawberries, a little sugar, made-by-someone-else shortcakes or pound cake, and whipped cream from the can!  I just think it would be hard to find a kid who refused to make that!  Actually, I’m hard pressed to choose this over another dessert that’s recently been on my mind, during this grand stretch of sunshine:  the incomparable Ruby Jewell ice cream sandwich.  There’s four new unbelievable flavors being debuted at the farmers market this weekend.  One of each, please.  I take this queen-for-a-day thing seriously.

Monday –  curried chard

curried red lentil & swiss chard stew (Bon Appetit)

It’s spring…let’s not call it stew.  Maybe soup.  Or dahl.  Whatever you call it, it’s healthy, delicious, and weeknight simple.  A go-to of mine when I have a hankering for Indian food and have greens on hand.  Any will work – spinach, kale, chard, whatever.  Add a sprinkling of our fresh cilantro, and a side of warm naan from your favorite Indian restaurant or food cart…Bombay Chat House is our favorite!

Tuesday – kale butter?!?  

italian sandwiches with kale butter (Ashley Gartland, Dishing Up Oregon)
potato chips

I have declared any recipe with the word “butter” in the title worth investigating.  And kale butter?!?  Right up my alley!  We love sandwich & chip night.  Casual, quick, and everyone can tweak it how they like it.  This recipe, inspired by local farmers & their CSA members, cooks kale and onion (could be leeks…) until they are literally the consistency of butter.  Pile that on your favorite bakery bread, add a good dose of cheese, and bake until warm and melty.  It’s an easy meal to have a selection of farm fresh goodies to garnish as desired – fresh herbs, sauteed mushrooms or radishes now, and in the height of summer, slices of just-picked tomatoes!  Plus olives, always olives at our house.  Add the bowl (bag) of chips – everyone’s happy!

Wednesday – lime + cilantro = salsa verde

fish tacos with salsa verde & radish salad (Martha Stewart)
black beans

When you get radishes and cilantro in one week, you really can’t not make tacos!  Any tacos you dream up are great, but fish tacos are especially fresh and bright for spring and summer.  This recipe takes a different approach to salsa verde, which is traditionally a tomatillo-based (green tomato) salsa.  Here, the whole bunch of cilantro is used with minimal other ingredients to create super zingy, zesty salsa.  Use the cilantro in the salsa, & keep a little for the radish “salad”, and as a taco sprinkling.  Last week I mashed up an avocado with the radishes – delicious!  I’m going to add a pot of black beans, just because.  Because they’re so scrumptious, mostly.  But also because I got black beans in my CSA box, and they’re perfect with this meal, as well as tomorrow’s!  A two-fer!  See “minty mojito” night” from this prior post for your guide to easy-peasy homemade beans.

Thursday – whole bowl

mixed veggie rice bowl

Thursday, “potpourri night” again at my house, and the concept of the “whole bowl” lends itself beautifully here!  Think of the beloved Whole Bowl food cart, where their motto is “love in a bowl”.  Grains, greens, and toppings at my whole bowl.  And beans!  I’ll just saute up any of what I have hanging around at the end of my veggie week – maybe little bits of asparagus and some spinach, chard, or kale?  Possibly even some mushrooms.  In a butter/olive oil combo, with some garlic and salt and pepper.  That’s it!  Start each bowl out with some brown rice, black beans, and the veggie combo, then let everyone go crazy with their own southwestern-ish toppings:  diced avocado, grated cheese, sour cream, olives, salsas, cilantro, chives, etc.  I might even sneak a lunch in at the Whole Bowl, hoping to return home with some of their amazing, secret weapon Tali Sauce.

“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 “may 10 weekly menu | spring table”

  1. Sue says :

    wait a second…you’re going to PLANT TOMATOES?? 🙂

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