June 28 weekly menu | summer table

Farm Fresh

bok choy, gourmet greens, lettuce, cabbage, parsley, radishes, green onions, spinach

What’s for Dinner?

Now this looks like the real deal…summer, along with the weather we dream about, is officially here.  Sauvie Island Organics has provided a table-ful, to be sure!  And I can’t wait to dive into this bounty, especially after a recent trip to Seattle.  Not only did I eat to my heart’s (and belly’s) content at a number of foodie destinations, but I garnered ideas to bring home to my own table.  It’s a rare occasion that I don’t push, shove, and modify to get what my farm delivers into something I’ve enjoyed immensely, maybe in a little bit different manner.  This week, a nod to Tom Douglas and the restaurant empire he’s created in Seattle.  Watch out veggies…Serious Pie, and Serious Biscuit are headed your way.  

Friday – grilled pizza fest, serious pie style

mixed greens with radishes and muscatel vinaigrette
clams, pancetta, green onion & chili pizza

Saturday – seriously… biscuits for dinner?

ham, egg, beecher’s cheddar, green onion biscuits (Tom Douglas, The Splendid Table)
simple spinach salad

Sunday –  chimichurri, hold the beef

spring salad (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog Wk. 1 2013)
grilled halibut w/ chimichurri sauce (Gourmet)
grilled bread (Bon Appetit)

Monday – zesty slaw 

tequila lime chicken + green onion slaw (Deb Perelman, Smitten Kitchen)

Tuesday – two minute stir-fry

stir fried bok choy (Martha Rose Schulman, NYT)
korean bbq beef short ribs
rice

Wednesday –  diva pita pockets

romaine, radish, & tahini salad (Gourmet)
pitas

Thursday –  potpourri fried rice

bok choy fried rice (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog Wk. 5 2013)

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Friday –   grilled pizza fest, Serious Pie style

mixed greens with radishes and muscatel vinaigrette
clams, pancetta, green onion & chili pizza

This week, a small tribute to one of the best pizza places around (kind of)…Tom Douglas’ Serious Pie in Seattle.  I was lucky enough to immerse myself in the Seattle foodie culture for a few days last week!  I’m not sure how many awards this pizza has won – best pizza in the Northwest, the USA, probably the world.

lWithout enrolling in the Tom Douglas school of pizza-making, I won’t even pretend to know the secrets to those pies that arrive perfectly blistered, with the balance of crunch and chew absolutely mastered. This is not to mention the unbelievable topping combinations, complete with delicious house made charcuterie, gourmet cheeses from around the world, and farm fresh veggies.  This time we gave the penn cove clam pizza a shot – really out of this world.  Local Washington state clams (simply steam them open first), melt-in-your-mouth pancetta, and perfectly spicy red chili flakes adorned a crust I believe was just brushed lightly with high quality olive oil and sprinkled with a flakey salt.  With some clams from New Seasons, a carefully chosen pancetta, a sprinkling of dried red chiles, and my SIO green onions (just because I thought they sounded good here), I’m going to create my own rendition.  I’ll do what I know, and make my Basic Pizza Dough from the New Basics cookbook.  And since we’re headed for the 90s, instead of the Serious Pie stone-encased applewood burning oven, I’ll follow this Serious Eats guide to grilled pizza, and throw individual ones on the barby.  At the very least, I can create individual pies in that cool not-quite-rectangular, and not-quite oval shape.  And, since I’ve been in the market for some new ones anyways, here’s the perfect time…Serious Pie serves their pizzas on these wonderful Epicurean eco friendly cutting boards.  Dual purpose – I love it!  By day, fabulous, high-functioning, easy-to-clean cutting boards; by (Friday pizza) night, pizza pie serving plates!  I do know I should be able to create a very close approximation to their simple mixed baby lettuce salad.  I’ll use my beautiful bag of gourmet greens, a bunch of sliced radishes, and a simple vinaigrette of good quality olive oil and muscatel vinegar (plus garlic and salt and pepper if you want.)

Other farm-fresh 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
roasted beet pizza

Saturday – seriously…biscuits for dinner?

ham, egg, beecher’s cheddar, green onion biscuits (Tom Douglas, The Splendid Table)
simple spinach salad

OK, I realize this doesn’t fit the summer dinner mold perfectly.  But after indulging in Seattle’s Serious Pie, we were compelled to see what the related Tom Douglas Serious Biscuit cafe was all about.  In a nutshell, it was about crazy-good biscuits…crunchy outside, pillowy inside, just perfect. And unlike the pizza crust, which I don’t really have a hope of ever emulating, I think I can do these biscuits!  I’m going to halve this recipe, and think I’ll still have enough for some breakfast biscuits with butter and honey or strawberry jam, as well as dinner biscuits that we’ll use in kind of a sandwich night.  I’ll keep the cooking to a minimum, purchasing some sliced Neiman Ranch ham and maybe tossing it in the cast iron pan just briefly, for a little browning and crisp, before cooking up an any-way-you-like-it fried egg sandwich filling.  Although you may not be able to get Tom Douglas’ homemade ham, nearly anyone can get the famous Beecher’s flagship cheddar cheese.  To say this is a worthwhile mission is an understatement – with its best in show win, it literally is the best cheese in North America. Among my very occasional Costco foodie finds, this was one of them – a GIANT triangular brick of this famous Northwest cheese.  Of course, you can get it in a more restrained size at nearly any local market.  I’ll grate a pile, sprinkle it generously atop the warm ham and eggs, and watch it melt deliciously over the whole kit and kaboodle.  Final step – some farm fresh green onions scattered on before the beautiful biscuit top.  As a side, I’m going to make a big, super simple, spinach salad.  Spinach, green onions, and avocado seem to fit the bill here.  Olive oil, vinegar of choice, salt & pepper. Now we can call it dinner.  If you were making this instead for breakfast/brunch, you could saute a bunch of that farm fresh spinach in just a little olive oil until it wilts – another delicious biscuit sandwich addition!

Sunday –  chimichurri, hold the beef

spring salad (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog Wk. 1 2013)
grilled halibut w/ chimichurri sauce (Gourmet)
grilled bread (Bon Appetit)

This week, with pancetta in the past, and korean beef short ribs in the future, thought I’d be just a little health-conscious and try my chimichurri with fish.  I almost always serve it alongside grilled beef, but with this Gourmet recipe adding lemon juice instead of the standard red wine vinegar, I think it will be a delicious halibut accompaniment.  With my mounds of parsley, I’m going to be very generous with it, and even double the recipe.  Forget the by-hand part – I’ll throw everything in the Magimix (food processor), and lickety-split I’ll have chimichurri for tonight, and chimichurri in the freezer and at-the-ready for another night (or for breakfast over eggs, or for lunch on a sandwich!).  I’ve got enough lettuces for 18 spring salads!  I’ll use whatever combination strikes me – mixed gourmet greens, romaine, spinach – plus some sliced radishes, toasted nuts or seeds, and maybe a sprinkling of farmer’s cheese.  Be sure to, at the very least, have your favorite sliced bakery bread at the table – otherwise you’ll be licking up those last drippings of chimichurri with your fingers!  I’ll either lightly olive oil some slices, grill it lightly, and sprinkle with salt, or maybe even have some of this bon appetite extra special suggestion:  grilled, smeared with butter, topped with thinly sliced radishes and sea salt.  Any way you look at it, simple and delicious!

Monday –  zesty slaw 

tequila lime chicken + green onion slaw (Deb Perelman, Smitten Kitchen)

I picked this recipe purely for the green onion slaw, knowing it looked like a wonderful use for a whole bunch of my green onions and my entire head of Napa cabbage.  Of course, it would be a tad more fetching if my cabbage were purple, but any cabbage will taste delicious and add just right crunch. This slaw looks amazingly light, (only 2 T of mayo; I may even substitute plain yogurt) fresh, & tangy, but with a definite serrano kick.  If it seems like too much to dress your cabbage, use it all week as a lunchtime dip for your radishes.  The color, with the green onions and cilantro, is the prettiest of light greens.  Deb accompanies this salad with Ina Garten tequila lime chicken breasts, which are marinated overnight in a wonderful-sounding combination of lime juice, orange juice, tequila, peppers, & garlic.  If I’m feeling lazy, or hot, or both, I may just opt for the pre-grilled chipotle-lime chicken breasts featured at New Seasons this week.  Sliced thinly, you could add these to the slaw for a main dish salad.  Any number of grilled fish or meats would shine alongside this green onion slaw.  It also has the stay-crispy qualities essential for a perfect picnic or potluck salad.

Tuesday – two minute stir-fry

stir-fried bok choy (Martha Rose Schulman, NYT)
korean bbq beef short ribs
rice

During this week of potential record-breaking heat, I figured the stove could be on for less than two minutes to quickly stir-fry a head of my bok choy in a super easy garlic, ginger, soy sauce.  The rest of the dinner prep is throwing some rice in my rice cooker (and pushing the button), and hitting the outdoor grill to cook these made-by-someone else Korean BBQ’d beef short ribs (featured this week at New Seasons).  Most markets have several BBQ-ready Asian selections – pick your favorite!  Be sure to make lots of extra rice…I’m using mine in a couple days for the farm fresh stir-fried rice.

Wednesday – diva pita pockets

romaine, radish, & tahini salad (Gourmet)
pitas

I’ll use my giant heads of romaine, vibrant radishes, & slightly spicy scallions in this main dish Mediterranean-inspired salad.  Tahini (sesame paste) is creamy and nutty, and the lemon juice with add the zest.  I can’t wait to head to the farmer’s market Saturday to pick up some of these diva cucumbers.  Tiny, sweet, & crunchy, with a name like this, they’ve got to go into my salad.  I’ll add a can of garbanzo beans to the recipe, buy some good quality pita bread, and for another take on summer sammy night, stuff the pitas with this crunchy, hearty salad.  

Thursday –  potpourri fried rice

bok choy fried rice (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog Wk. 5 2013)

This fried rice is intentionally at the end of my week.  Looks like a good candidate for the potpourri treatment…whatever’s left in the fridge, see if I can squeeze it into this delicious looking fried rice.  It will feature my other head of bok choy and lots of green onions, but radishes, spinach, and even cabbage would all be fabulous additions to this one-pot meal.  And with this heat, my herb pots are sure to have lots of great options to provide a good sprinkling of flavor.

“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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