June 21 weekly menu | summer table

Farm Fresh

beets, broccoli, gourmet greens, lettuce, mustard greens, scallions, spinach, turnips

What’s for Dinner?

We’re celebrating the summer solstice with all sorts of farm fresh treats. Grilled pizzas, local cherry clafoutis, spinach in a pie, we-can-pickle-anything turnips, pesto minus the basil, a bright red beet spread, and slaw with a surprise main ingredient.  I also marked the occasion by changing my oil cloth to “summer” and treating myself to my very own cherry pitter! Thank you, Sauvie Island Organics, for this table toppling with bounty…and it’s only just begun.

Friday – grilled pizza fest

roasted beet pizza (Cooking Light)
gourmet greens with balsamic vinaigrette (Mark Bittman, NYT)

Saturday – clafoutis celebration

mustard greens caesar (Bon Appetit)
grilled veggie burgers

cherry clafoutis (Julia Child)

Sunday –  spinach pie

spanikopita (greek spinach pie) (SIO Farm Blog, Wk. 4 2011)
simple greek salad (Epicurious)

Monday – we can pickle that

pickled turnips (SIO Farm Blog, Wk. 6 2012)
sauteed turnip greens (Fiddler’s Green Farm)
grilled asian salmon (Cooking Light)
rice

Tuesday – beyond basil

sandwiches with broccoli pesto (Bon Appetit)
chips

Wednesday –  unbeetable spread

pureed beets with yogurt & za’atar (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog Wk. 4)
wild greens salad with hard boiled eggs (Cooking San Francisco)
salted toasty bread

Thursday –  surprise slaw

broccoli slaw (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)
grilled flank steak (Simply Recipes)

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Friday –   grilled pizza fest

roasted beet pizza (Cooking Light)
gourmet greens with balsamic vinaigrette (Mark Bittman, NYT)

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!  I tested the waters once before with pizza night featuring thinly sliced golden winter beets; the pizzas were gobbled up.  I’m OK with my pizza turning a little red, so this week I’m giving it a shot again, this time with my deep red beets.  This is a sauceless version, with just a sprinkling of feta (or any cheese sprinkling you want).  I’ll probably skip the shallots and toss some green onions around the top when the pizza is almost done.  This Serious Eats to guide to grilled pizza seems pretty fool proof.  For a simpler version, grab your dough from Hot Lips, New Seasons, or nearly any favorite pizza place. The ingredients should be at-the-ready, as the dough cooks lickety-split on the grill.  These Friday night grilled pizza parties will be this season’s mainstay!  I can’t wait to see the summer bounty that will grace the tops.Remember to roast all of your beets at once (hot oven, wrapped in foil, for about an hour) to have them at the ready for the “unbeetable” spread to come…

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
pizza bianca with goat cheese & chard

Saturday – clafoutis celebration

mustard greens caesar (Bon Appetit)
grilled veggie burgers

cherry clafoutis (Julia Child)

One of my favorite go-to dinners in the summer is a grilled burger and salad.  Most times, we opt for the Chez Gourmet by Marie veggie burger. Not necessarily because it’s better for you, but because it’s so darned good!  Years ago, at a Burgerville visit, I discovered that I actually preferred this burger to a more traditional hamburger.  The spicy anasazi “burger” is just the right mix of black rice, beans, carrots, peppers and wonderfully spicy seasonings – perfect with those yummy fries and a seasonal berry shake! 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.  You can pick them up in the freezer section of most stores now; I always have a box on hand to toss on the BBQ in the summer.  Since I’ve got no potatoes this week, I’ll go to a caesar salad instead of the fries –  a burger and a caesar always seem to go well together.  This Bon Appetit recipe uses raw mustard greens in a caesar-esque kind of way.  I’ll opt for pre-made croutons, and make the dressing with my trusty anchovy paste (1 fillet = 1/2 to 1 tsp. paste).  With the unique twist of gruyere, I can’t wait to give this a shot.  And for the finale, as a summer solstice celebration, I just have to try Julia’s cherry clafoutis.  I was lucky enough to try her Clafoutis aux Pommes (apple clafoutis) once – another Julia aficionado gave it a whirl and generously shared!  I knew I needed to try this amazingly simple French fruit dessert myself.  When I came across the staff pick recipe in the New Seasons weekly flyer, I  knew my time had come!  A clafoutis is a wonderfully light cross between a custard and a cake.  It reminded me of the dutch babies (“puffy pancakes”) we make for breakfast.   And, Happy Summer to Me…I get to buy myself one of those cool cherry pitters I’ve wondered for so long if I needed.  Yes, I do!

Sunday –  spinach pie

spanikopita (greek spinach pie) (SIO Farm Blog, Wk. 4 2011)
simple greek salad (Epicurious)

I love this layperson’s recipe for spanikopita.  It may not be exactly the most authentic, but it retains the general idea and flavors.  Instead of 20 or more layers of phyllo dough (and steps!), it has only a few, bringing the labor factor down significantly.  Much of the butter in most recipes is replaced with olive oil, and there’s not a whole lot of cheese.  This recipe also suggests the addition of beet greens and turnip greens to the spinach…I used all three of those in my last rendition, and it was just delicious.  As if this isn’t enough greens, I’ll probably add a very simple greek salad with one of my heads of lettuce as a side.  Grilled chicken & red onion kebabs would be another great choice to go with this Greek-inspired spinach pie.

Monday –  we can pickle that

pickled turnips (SIO Farm Blog, Wk. 6 2012)
sauteed turnip greens (Fiddler’s Green Farm)
grilled asian salmon (Cooking Light)
rice

These quick pickled turnips are really the best.  Salt, rice vinegar, and sugar – that, plus an hour of marinating (sapporo time?), and you’ve got a delicious rendition of the yummy, crunchy salad served at many Japanese restaurants.  I’ll skip the carrots, and use all of my turnips, thinly sliced – I’m just certain they’ll all be devoured.  Don’t worry if you don’t have a mandolin…by hand is fine.  I’ll saute up some turnip greens (or spinach…whatever I’ve got) in sesame oil and garlic for an easy green side.  With a BBQ’d salmon fillet (that, depending on time and motivation, just might get the Yoshida’s marinade treatment), and maybe some Bob’s Red Mill sweet brown rice, we’ve got a weeknight asian feast.

Tuesday – beyond basil

sandwiches with broccoli pesto (Bon Appetit)
chips

What an idea…broccoli pesto!  Feels like I’ve done pesto with about every other green on earth, but not broccoli.  Since I’ve got standard broccoli, and not broccoli rabe, I’m going to simplify and skip the boil ahead step.  Just put your broccoli pieces in a high-sided saute pan with a bit of water and simmer, covered, until it is soft.  Remove the cover, boil off any excess water, and proceed with the recipe adding the olive oil, garlic, and chili flakes until fragrant and then further mashing or chopping the broccoli in the pan until it feels like a pesto you can envision on a sandwich.  Spread on a hearty bakery bread, with your favorite cheese and cured meat (or not), this is sure to be one delicious grilled panini.  If the pesto seems less spreadable and more heap-able, just pile it on the bread and stick the whole thing in the oven for an open-faced melt instead.

Wednesday – unbeetable spread

pureed beets with yogurt & za’atar (SIO Farm Blog, Wk. 4 2013)
wild greens salad with hard boiled eggs (Cooking San Francisco)
salted toasty bread

I just love the color of this amazing-looking beet spread.  Plus it has so many other delicious and good-for-you ingredients (hazelnuts, yogurt, goat cheese) it really could stand on it’s own as lunch or dinner.  I’m going to lightly brush some good, hearty bakery bread with some EVOO, sprinkle it with crunchy salt, and serve it alongside the beet spread. Add a salad made with any number of my gorgeous SIO greens, as well as a few hard-boiled eggs, and it’s a full-meal-deal.  The vibrant red beet spread would also be a stellar candidate for that everyone-brings-something summer gathering…featured in a low wide bowl, surrounded by that ready to be spread upon salty bread – YUM!

Thursday –  surprise slaw

broccoli slaw (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)
grilled flank steak (Simply Recipes)

Any good slaw temps me as a potluck potential too.  I’ve brought this wonderful Deb Perlman broccoli version to any number of gatherings, making sure there’s refrigeration potential during the waiting time.  It’s a fun surprise, and a great texture, to have the broccoli (I use stems and all) sliced thinly like a traditional cabbage slaw.  The crunchy, sweet, nutty combo in this dish is just perfect; it’s also ripe for your own tweaking…any dried fruit, any toasty nut, and maybe even just my green onions this week, instead of the red.  I also usually prefer to use a good plain yogurt instead of mayo – either works great in this tangy dressing.  If you’re just enjoying this at home, add some slices of a super simple grilled flank as a side.

“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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