June 7 weekly menu | spring table

Farm Fresh

chard, gourmet greens, lettuce, mizuna, mustard greens, scallions, turnips 

What’s for Dinner?

And that photo is without my gourmet greens!  It’s salad week at my house! The spring greens are in full swing, and with the nice weather, this makes for perfect salad-for-dinner evenings.  Don’t worry…no one will go hungry. These are hearty salads to say the least – Asian pasta and white bean salads (with greens); bread, taco, and steak salads (atop greens) and a classic chicken Caesar.  We’ll ease into this salad craze, though, with pizza and national doughnut day celebrating on Friday!

Friday – homemade pizza + national doughnut day

pizza bianca with goat cheese & chard (Bon Appetit)
gourmet greens with balsamic vinaigrette (Mark Bittman, NYT)

doughuts & strawberry dipping sauce (Bon Appetit)

Saturday – peanut butter salad?!?

peanut sesame noodle salad with mizuna (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)
hoisin glazed salmon (Simply Recipes)

Sunday – zany for zuni

Zuni café bread salad over mustard greens (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)
roast chicken

Monday – the perfect caesar

classic (chicken) Caesar salad (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog)
baguette

Tuesday – taco tuesday

taco salad (Cook’s Illustrated 30-Minute Meals)

Wednesday – beans & greens, take 53

white bean and turnip salad (Bon Appetit)
crusty bakery bread

Thursday –  steak! (+ salad)

 steak salad (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog)

____________________________________________________

Friday –   homemade pizza + national doughnut day

pizza bianca with goat cheese & chard (Bon Appetit)
gourmet greens with balsamic vinaigrette (Mark Bittman, NYT)

donuts & strawberry dipping sauce (Bon Appetit)

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 can’t wait to try this no-sauce pizza featuring our farm-fresh chard.  I’ll use my tried and true New Basics crust recipe (see Pizza Night link above), making one of the pizzas of the more “traditional” variety.  The kids do the choosing on this – pepperoni & olive, canadian bacon & pineapple, sausage & mushroom, etc.  It’s funny, though, how often there’s leftover of that one, and not a sliver of the farm fresh “weird” one.  Tonight’s looks not at all weird to me – chard, mozzarella, goat cheese, and a little bit of that seasoned olive oil brushed on the crust edges.  YUM!  I’ve got greens coming out my ears this week, and I’ll start to make a dent in them with a very basic salad using my giant bag of gourmet greens I get from SIO each week.  It’s hard to believe I choose the “extra greens” option; this mixture of delicate and gorgeous salad greens we receive throughout the growing season, though, would be missed so much.  Some nights I literally just take a few handfuls, toss them into a bowl, and drizzle a couple tablespoons of vinegar and olive oil over the top.  The essential finishing touch…a crumbling of some good quality flake salt.  The flavors of these mixed greens more than makes up for my lack of effort in the dressing department!  For dessert, doughnuts! It’s National Doughnut Day, and I’ll just say it.  I love doughnuts.  Most any kind, really, but I’m especially partial to the maple bar.  I think I’ll have already had one in the morning, so for my family (who coincidentally also enjoys a good doughnut!), maybe we’ll go with a few basic fluffy, glazed, cut into pieces, and dipped in a super simple Oregon strawberry sauce.  Gives the sinful doughnut just a bit of a farm-fresh flair.

Other pizza combinations:

winter squash and wild mushroom 
potato and rosemary 
leek, crimini mushroom, and prosciutto
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
shaved asparagus & parmesan pizza
leek, chard, & corn flatbread
kale, sundried tomato, & feta pizza
pizza with green garlic & arugula

Saturday – peanut butter salad?!?

peanut sesame noodle salad with mizuna (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)
hoisin glazed salmon (Simply Recipes)

I love a good peanut noodle recipe.  Haven’t tried this one, but it looks great, and follows the rule in making it one that the entire family will adore – lots of peanut butter!  You throw a list of simple ingredients (including the essential peanut butter) into a food processor or blender, pour it over any noodles, really, and add what you like.  Scallions (green onions) seem like a must, but I’ll forsake her suggestions of cucumber and peppers and instead use hakurei turnip matchsticks for the wonderful crunch.  I’ll also use my bunch or two of mizuna, a mildly peppery and spicy Japanese green.  Tossing thinly sliced mizuna with the just-drained and dressed noodles, it will wilt to the perfect texture.  Add a baked or grilled salmon with this easy Asian marinade (or a store-bought one!).

Sunday – zany for zuni

Zuni café bread salad over mustard greens (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)
roast chicken

If you’ve lived in San Francisco, or visited San Francisco, or heard of San Francisco, you very likely have also tasted or dreamed of the roasted chicken and bread salad from the Zuni Cafe.  Truly one of the must-tries of the city!  Deb Perlman has adapted their recipe; I’m going to focus my energies on just the salad part, and leave the roasting of the chicken to someone else.  Zuni describes their salad as:  “Sort of a scrappy extramural stuffing, it is a warm mix of crispy, tender, and chewy chunks of bread, a little slivered garlic and scallion, a scatter of currants and pine nuts, and a handful of greens, all moistened with vinaigrette and chicken drippings.”  Sounds just amazing!  While my made-by-someone-else roast chicken is warming in the oven, I’ll be using my fresh scallions and mustard greens in creating this masterpiece.  I’m going with the option of putting the bread salad briefly into the oven, to make it perfectly warm and crispy in all the right places, before tossing it with my greens.  My chicken won’t be quite Zuni-like, I’m sure, but the bread salad just might come close!

Monday –  the perfect caesar

classic (chicken) Caesar salad (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog)
baguette

Everyone loves a good Caesar.  But there are so many bad Caesars out there!  Over-dressed, over-anchovied, wilted, soggy, lettuce, mushy croutons…there’s a lot of ways it can go wrong.  But when you make it yourself, it can be absolutely perfect, especially when you’re using just-picked romaine.  This dinner, start to finish, really can’t take more than a few minutes to prepare.  All of the dressing ingredients can go directly into the food processor.  (Instead of anchovy filets, I keep anchovy paste on hand to substitute.  Or, skip it all together!)  I’ll toss the dressing, parmesan, and croutons (local bakeries do them so well…) with an entire head of my fresh romaine.  Add some chicken from the non-Zuni one last night, and a chewy baguette, and it’s a full-meal-deal in a flash.  Bright, crispy, tangy…your own perfect caesar.

Tuesday – taco tuesday

taco salad (Cook’s Illustrated 30-Minute Meals)

In good conscience, it’s hard for me to really call this dinner a “salad”.  But it’s really fabulous!  Leave it to Cook’s Illustrated, even the 30-minute version, to make things look more complicated than they are.  The only real cooking part is the ground beef (or chicken, or turkey, or black bean…) mixture.  The rest is chopping and shredding – ANOTHER giant head of romaine, more scallions, grated cheese, avocado, olives, cilantro, tortilla chips…whatever you like!  Two giant time-savers:  buy a bottle of some sort of southwest/lime/vinaigrette (the CI version is really good, though, and worth it if you have a few minutes), and skip the entire fussy “final assembly” section.  Just throw the romaine and the beef mixture together in a large bowl, and let everyone make their own perfect, personalized taco salad at the toppings bar.  My son’s “taco salad” often amounts to a pile of chips, cheese, and olives.  And sometimes dressing.

Wednesday – beans & greens, take 53

white bean and turnip salad (Bon Appetit)
crusty bakery bread

Well, the recipe actually calls for radishes, but I’m going to use my turnips instead.  Yes, radishes were prettier.  Turnips will provide the same crunchy, slightly peppery effect.  I may skip the anchovies, or just use a little paste in the dressing instead.  This salad looks to be ripe for some sliced hard-boiled eggs.  I’ll probably warm the beans a bit before tossing with the dressing; at the same time I’ll throw in some greens – thinly sliced mizuna, mustard, or chard – for added flavor, texture, and “salad-ness”.  Add your favorite crusty bakery bread, and maybe some delicious soft cheese – yum!

Thursday – steak! (+ salad)

steak salad (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog)

Can you stand it…another salad?  With steak as the centerpiece, it’ll all be O.K.  Katherine’s recipe fits nicely with my potpourri concept of the Thursday night refrigerator clean-out!  The greens in this salad can come from a variety of sources, and in fact, it will be better that way.  Whatever you’ve got in your fridge, greens and herb-wise, use it!  And we’ll polish off our turnips and scallions too! Your biggest decision is whether to grill or fry the steak. The meal is finished with an easy dijon vinaigrette drizzled over the thinly sliced steak and mass of farm fresh produce.  Somehow I don’t think I’ll feel cheated in any way at the end of this salad week!

“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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One response to “June 7 weekly menu | spring table”

  1. Jill Dutt says :

    All the salads look fabulous for our warm summer dinners on the patio! I like the format of this post with the comments (musings) right with the menu…

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