january 10 weekly menu | winter table

Farm Fresh

beets, cabbage, kale, leeks, micro greens, mushrooms, potatoes, turnips, squash

What’s for Dinner?

Plenty, that’s for sure. Yes, indeed, I received (more than!) plenty of veggies in my box this week. Even more exciting, though, was unwrapping Plenty, the renowned 9781452101248_p0_v1_s260x420Yotam Ottolenghi cookbook, in a post holiday gift exchange. Talk about a new year of cooking inspiration! Ottolenghi’s Israili roots and cross-cultural influences create this masterpiece of bold and exciting flavors. The photos are vibrant and gorgeous, showing fresh, varied, seasonal veggies elevated to superstar status. I’m kicking off the week, Plenty-style, with a couple of dishes I just couldn’t resist. I’ve also planned a Golden Globes celebration (veggies and bubbly do work well together), and several weeknight, veggie-centric meals that can be made in a flash.

Friday – polenta “pizza” 

mushroom & herb polenta (Plenty, Yotam Ottolenghi)

Saturday – not for peasants

beet, orange, & black olive salad (Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty)
savoy cabbage and parmesan soup (The Guardian, Yotam Ottolenghi)

Sunday  – golden globes, short ribs, & champagne

champagne

balsamic & beer braised short ribs, with
parsnip puree (The Smitten Kitchen, Deb Perelman)
whole roasted carrots (Simply Scratch)

Monday – tacos, kind of

southwestern stuffed  squash (Jessie Price, Eating Well in Season)
corn tortillas

Tuesday – weeknight dahl

curried red lentil and greens stew (Bon Appetit)
naan

Wednesday – eggs for supper

leek and goat cheese frittata (Fine Cooking)
micro greens salad (Cranking Kitchen)

Thursday – burger & fries

roasted turnips “fries” with parmesan (Martha Stewart)
veggie burgers + veggies


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Friday –  polenta “pizza”

mushroom & herb polenta (Plenty, Yotam Ottolenghi)

A break from the tried-and-true traditional pizza. The photo sold me…a big pizza board, nearly covered with an abstract shape of set polenta, smattered with golden sautéed mushrooms and melty teleggio cheese. YUM! I’m going to use instant polenta, which cooks in a flash. I’ll double the recipe, and make two “pizzas”.  A quick conversion of his European measurements from the recipe: 4 cups mushrooms, 2.25 cups stock, 1/2 cup polenta, 3 oz. parmesan, 2.5 T butter, and 4 oz. teleggio. I’ll use the crimini and shitake mushrooms from my CSA, but use whatever mix of mushrooms you love – ’tis the season! If I don’t have truffle oil, I’ll skip it (although it would be fabulous), and I’ll add whatever fresh herbs I either have on hand or out my back door. You could either spread the cooked polenta (before topping) on a pizza stone or a cookie sheet, maybe with a sheet of parchment paper underneath just to be safe. Sprinkling some micro greens on top would not only be pretty, but delicious as well!

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
classic margherita pizza
caramelized fennel, onion, and sweet pepper pizza 
pizza with red and yellow peppers
kale, sundried tomato, & feta pizza
ricotta and gremolata pizza
parsley pesto & potato pizza 
roasted red potato pizza with taleggio, roasted leeks & pancetta
roasted acorn squash & gorgonzola pizza 
winter squash pizza 
butternut squash and caramelized onion galette
sausage, leek, & shitake pizza
potato & rosemary pizza 

Saturday – not for peasants

beet, orange, & black olive salad (Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty)
savoy cabbage and parmesan soup (The Guardian, Yotam Ottolenghi)

Yep, more Plenty. As a side salad, I thought this beet, orange and black olive salad sounded just right alongside the velvety, smooth soup. All about simplification, I’ll skip the orange flower water (???) and serve it all on a bed of my micro greens, instead of adding radicchio. And, I swear, he’s the only one that can make cabbage soup look and sound like a downright feast for the king instead of peasant food! I love that it’s pureed after everything is cooked and tender, and then scattered with thin ribbons of cabbage that have been lightly fried with red chili and salt. I’ll skip his homemade croutons, opting for some delicious pre-made bakery ones. Heavy storms coming our way on Saturday? We may not even notice, ensconced inside, warm and comforting soup a-steaming…

Sunday – golden globes, short ribs, & champagne

champagne

balsamic & beer braised short ribs, with
parsnip puree (The Smitten Kitchen, Deb Perelman)
whole roasted carrots (Simply Scratch)

As a movie junkie, the season’s award nights suck me in. No matter if you haven’t seen the movies…who doesn’t want to spend a couple of hours listening to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler do what they do best? And the Golden Globes, well, those include dinner! I’m always trying to sneak a peak at their plates, wanting to know just what the Beverly Hilton’s fancy chefs will be dishing up on this on this night of pomp and glam. This year, I actually found the menu…not everything from their So. Cal. seasonality matched what I might be able to drum up from my box, but some for sure! The highlights? Short ribs, and champagne! I had recently been swooning over this Smitten Kitchen short rib recipe; admittedly, I found it while perusing for something special to do with those piles of parsnips that have somehow accumulated in my fridge. I may not be alone. Well, now I’ve got ample reason to create a short rib dinner! We’ll celebrate like the stars, with special occasion short ribs; mine will be served on a bed of creamy, rich parsnip puree. The ribs are braised, then slow cooked in the oven. And the parsnips are just boiled & mashed with butter, a little cream or half and half, s & p, and kicked up a notch with some horseradish. To keep the special occasion theme going, make these whole roasted carrots (again, piles in the fridge!) as a side. Simply by not removing the whole top, and serving them in their whole state, they become an elegant accompaniment. Especially with the suggested honey balsamic glaze. The Golden Globe attendees will be partaking in some sculptural, 3D dessert masterpiece for dessert. No time for that, if I’m going to actually watch…my special occasion go-to finale: pints of Ruby Jewell ice cream (yes, even in the winter). Tonight feels like a brown sugar cranberry and chocolate orange marzipan kind of night!

Monday –  tacos, kind of

southwestern stuffed  squash (Jessie Price, Eating Well in Season)
corn tortillas

Everyone loves Mexican night, yes? I’ll stuff winter squash halves of any variety, often leaving out the sausage and adding more vegetables. This week, I think what I got was a kabocha squash – larger in variety, with a dense, sweet flesh. I’ll stuff quarters, instead of my usual halves. And I just may be in luck with some leftover shredded beef from the short ribs – can’t think of a better use than giving it some southwest flare and adding it to the stuffing here. The buttercup squash (isn’t that the cutest name?) I received this week will be perfect! You can throw the squash in the oven for roasting anytime (I often do this in the morning!); then all that’s left during the dinnertime rush is the filling and warming. I’ll use carrots instead of the bell peppers, and a can of chopped tomatoes – fresh are still a long way off! Any cheese you usually like with Mexican works here. We love this with some warm corn tortillas, and maybe a bit of sour cream, salsa, and guac. I can’t quite pass it off as “taco night”, but it’s close! Scoop any leftovers out, filling and all, wrap it in a flour tortilla, and it’s a perfect lunchbox burrito!

Tuesday – weeknight dahl

curried red lentil and greens stew (Bon Appetit)
naan

This is a favorite Indian-inspired meal at our house. I’m going to use my gorgeous purple kale; you could also slice up some carrots, sautéing them at the same time as the onion. If you’ve got leeks, they’d be a wonderful substitute for the onions. Add some thinly sliced jalapeños, lime wedges, and sour cream or plain yogurt for everyone to garnish as they wish. Trader Joe’s and New Seasons both have decent packaged naan, but best would be to grab some piping hot from your favorite Indian restaurant or food cart. Fabulous! Heat it up for the kids’ (or your own!) thermos for easy lunches the next day.

Wednesday – 

leek and goat cheese frittata (Fine Cooking)
micro greens salad (Cranking Kitchen)

If you belong to a CSA, the frittata is probably already your friend. It is so versatile – breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and is delicious with pretty much any veggie you can imagine. This simple one here will be perfect for our farm fresh leeks. Add some thinly sliced potatoes if you want to make a potato leek version. With some rich and creamy goat cheese, it’ll be hearty indeed. But if you’re inclined, add a little bacon, prosciutto, or sausage. Add a simple, garlicky micro greens salad and you’ve got a stellar no-fuss meal. With some luck, any leftover frittata will be ready for the breakfast table in the morning!

Thursday – burger & fries

roasted turnips “fries” with parmesan (Martha Stewart)
WOW mushroom veggie burgers + veggies

For my weeknight burger-minus-the-takeout-window, I’m opting for this yummy veggie burger from Chez Marie. As you may know, our own local Burgerville took Marie out of her garage and into big-veggie-burger-business a few years back. 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. I pick them up in the freezer section of New Seasons, and always have a box on hand for a quick and healthy oven, skillet, or BBQ dinner. The WOW mushroom burger was given two thumbs up when we gave it a test run recently. The name says it all. Any of her numerous flavor combinations are stellar, but this one, along with some turnip oven fries, just cried out to me. I’ll opt for the indoor grill (my trusty, ridged cast iron skillet) for the simplest, quickest, and healthiest of weeknight “burger & fries” dinners. If I’ve got five minutes to spare, the toppings bar is always a hit – Rogue River blue cheese, Tillamook cheddar, micro greens, and even caramilized leeks and browned mushrooms if you’re feeling fancy.

“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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