November 15 weekly menu | fall table

Farm Fresh

cabbage, carrots, chicory, onions, parsley, parsnips, winter squash

What’s for Dinner?

Think you have to say good-bye to fresh, local salads in the colder Pacific Northwest months? Not so. We continue to get beautiful hearty greens, just not in quite the light, tender, summer forms we got used to. This week, a head of savoy cabbage and two heads of Italian castelfranco chicory. Castelfranco is a cross between red-leafed chicory and endive, and has gorgeous, pale green leaves with streaks ranging from red wine to purple. Both cabbage and chicory make wonderful, robust salads. And both shine in cooked dishes as well – soups, braises, stir-fries, you name it. This week has a smattering of raw, and cooked, in and amongst the other autumn treats. Parsnip fries anyone?

Friday – TV trays, movie, & pizza

roasted acorn squash & gorgonzola pizza (Deb Perleman, Smitten Kitchen)
chicory salad with mustard vinaigrette  (Gourmet)

Saturday – soup’s on

minestrone soup (Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food)
country bread

Sunday  – maple-rosemary butter, oh my!

maple roasted chicken with acorn squash (Ivy Manning)
cabbage salad with apples & pecans (Bon Appetit)

Monday – the cutest little ears

orecchiette with sausage & chicory (Food and Wine)

Tuesday – grab your chopsticks

yakisoba with pork and cabbage (NYT)

Wednesday –  rich & creamy farro fest

farro risotto with chicory (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog, Wk. 25)
roast chicken

Thursday –  panini & fries

caramelized onion, chicken, & fontina panini (Huffington Post)
roasted parsnips with parsley (Bon Appetit)


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Friday –  TV trays, movie, & pizza

roasted acorn squash & gorgonzola pizza (Deb Perleman, Smitten Kitchen)
chicory salad with mustard vinaigrette  (Gourmet)

IMG_1084I really can think of no better place for one of my cute little acorns than atop pizza! Follow this previous Pizza Night post for a no-fail dough recipe I rely on each week. It makes enough for two pizzas, even three if rolled out in the super thin, best-for-crispy-pizza style. If you’re short on time & energy, pick up a couple of pre-made doughs from your local pizza joint or grocery store. Sprinkle the crust with some mozzarella and some gorgonzola (or other favorite blue), bake until crispy & golden, then decorate with your slices of pre-roasted slightly spicy, slightly sweet winter squash half-moon slices. I might even caramelize an onion (sliced thin, a little oil, a little water, and low and slow until golden and soft) – some for a pizza, some for the week! I’ve got no arugula, but a sprinkling of finely chopped parsley over the final pizza would sure be pretty (and tasty!). And give this simple chicory salad a shot (I skip the endive), adding nuts, dried fruit, & cheese to your heart’s content.

Other pizza combinations:

winter squash and wild mushroom 
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
pizza with green garlic & arugula
pizza bianca with goat cheese & chard
fresh ricotta and red onion pizza
sweet onion pizza
pizza with grilled fennel and parmesan
eggplant & tomato pizza
caramelized onion, kale, & corn flatbread
pizza bianca with goat cheese & chard 
classic margherita pizza
caramelized fennel, onion, and sweet pepper pizza 
pizza with red and yellow peppers
potato & rosemary pizza
kale, sundried tomato, & feta pizza
ricotta and gremolata pizza
parsley pesto & potato pizza 
roasted red potato pizza with taleggio, roasted leeks & pancetta

Saturday – soup’s on

minestrone soup (Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food)
country bread

Kind of starting things backwards this week. Normally I’d put a soup like this at the end of my CSA week, in a “use what you have left” fashion. Minestrone soup is great for that! But we had so much fun last Saturday, with a warm soup and family game night, we’re going at it again. Nothing to pass at the table, not too many dinner parts and pieces, just a serve-yourself style soup station, grabbing a hunk of bread on the way to the game table. I’ll have my pick-of-the-veggie litter when assembling this soup! In looking at Alice’s recipe, I’ll probably add another carrot or two, use canned tomatoes instead of fresh, skip the summer green beans and zucchini, and instead of spinach, I’ll chop up a half a head of either chicory or cabbage. Her recipe is adaptable to the season – truly whatever you’ve got and like, keeping beans, veggie, and broth proportions in mind. If I didn’t think that three nights in a row of acorn squash might put people over the edge, I’d be putting that in there too! Be sure to finish with a good-sized handful of fresh chopped parsley along with that grated parm!

Sunday – maple-rosemary butter, oh my!

maple roasted chicken with acorn squash (Ivy Manning)
cabbage salad with apples & pecans (Bon Appetit)

This is a one-pan chicken dish in the spirit of the super simple roasted chicken, apples, & leeks that I posted last week. It requires that you slice and pre-roast the squash & onions just a bit, before layering on the maple-rosemary-buttered chicken pieces. If you want to add a salad, give this cabbage apple one a shot, using just our savoy cabbage. Apples, dried cherries, and sweet & spicy pecans (I’ll be purchasing mine!) make it an autumn go-to when I’ve got cabbage.

Monday –  the cutest little ears

orecchiette with sausage & chicory (Food and Wine)

A funny thing about kids, and adults actually. With a scrumptious garlicky, cheesy pasta as a base, not much can really mess it up. In this one, your favorite sweet Italian sausage is mixed with braised chicory, and the whole kit-and-caboodle tossed with this fun, perfect-for-sauce-gathering, ear-shaped pasta and yummy pecorino cheese. My mint might be done for…if so, parsley is a lovely garnish.

Tuesday – grab your chopsticks

yakisoba with pork and cabbage (NYT)

Asian egg noodles, mixed with a simple sauce and quickly stir-fried pork (or chicken, or shrimp, or tofu…), cabbage, & carrots, make a fast and fabulous weeknight yakisoba. With farm-fresh carrots and cabbage, it’s sure to be tastier than the more expensive take-out version, and be on the table in no time flat. Break out the chopsticks for some added flair!

Wednesday – rich & creamy farro fest

farro risotto with chicory (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog, Wk. 25)
roast chicken

As I may have mentioned before, I am just not afraid of risotto on a busy weeknight anymore. Especially when I pair it with a made-by-someone-else roast chicken! I think of it as an exercise in stirring, for sure. But one that can be accomplished amidst the chopping and grating of whatever will end up in the pot. I cheat too – I never warm the broth ahead of time. Dirties another pan, just doesn’t seem worth it, as it’s always turned out just fine in my add-from-the-box way. This risotto with farro is amazingly rich and earthy. Adding the creamy butter and parmesan, and the slightly bitter chicory, makes a true flavor and texture explosion. I’d probably stop with the risotto, maybe adding a can of white beans to the mix. But a pre-made roast chicken is a perfectly wonderful, zero-effort side. Plus, you’ll then have your chicken for tomorrow’s paninis!

Thursday – sammie & fries

caramelized onion, chicken, & fontina panini (Huffington Post)
roasted parsnips with parsley (Bon Appetit)

Sliced leftover chicken, pre-made caramelized onions from pizza night, and some slices of cheese…what could be simpler? Choose your favorite sturdy bread, brush the outside with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, and go to town in a good old-fashioned cast iron skillet (or whatever pan you like!) cooking up paninis for all. Make these simple roasted parsnips for someone who has always wrinkled their nose at the word “parsnip” – I think you’ll change their tune.  I call them “parsnip fries”, which is a stretch I realize, but everyone seems to devour them!

“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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