january 17 weekly menu | winter table

Farm Fresh

beets, carrots, kale, leeks, mushrooms, potatoes, squash, turnips

What’s for Dinner?

People are always asking me, ‘What the heck do you get in your CSA in the winter?!?” Well, I just may have forgotten to mention that wonderful winter fruit that arrives each week! SO many varieties of tasty local apples and pears. These are not what I plan my dinners around, certainly, but sure do make a nice fruit salad at breakfast, a perfect snack, and an every-day lunch box treat. Not to mention regular dinner-time additions to salads. And PIES! But the mainstay CSA delivery is lots and lots of those gorgeous veggies – sometimes a little less kale and a little more cabbage or chard; sometimes a little less beets and a little more parsnips or celeriac. But the great thing is, we never feel like we’re eating the same thing over and over again. Even with regular dinners like “pizza night” or “sammie night”, the veggie combinations and preparations are endless. This week I’m tossing a bit of citrus in some dishes…a little bit of a de-winterizer. And, with holidays like National Pie Day strewn throughout the year, there is just no room for the same ol’, same ol’.

Friday – old school pizza, tv trays, & movie

old town’s dragon lady (mushrooms, leeks, etc.)

Saturday – ultimate, indeed!

the ultimate winter couscous (Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty)
citrus coho salmon fillet

Sunday  – my apologies, Julia

mushroom bourguignon (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)
braised leeks with lemon (Gourmet)

Monday – whole bowl, homestyle

kale rice bowl (101 Cookbooks)

Tuesday – a little taste of sunshine

kale, beet, & tangerine salad with lime vinaigrette (Gourmet)
roasted chicken

Wednesday – sammie night

roasted beet, gorgonzola, & walnut bread panini (Williams Sonoma)

Thursday – national pie day

beef & stout pie (Pacific Pie Co., Imbibe Magazine)
winter fruit pie with walnut crumb (Rustic Fruit Desserts)


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Friday –  old school pizza, tv trays, movie

old town’s dragon lady (mushrooms, leeks, etc.)

We recently went old school, visiting a pizza joint that has been around for decades. And does not serve anything resembling chichi. Portland’s Old Town Pizza is legendary, both for its straight-forward and delicious pies, as well as its storied past. Complete with a grand old bar, creaky floors, and alleged ghosts, it expresses the soul of old Portland. One of their specialty pizzas is the Dragon Lady, topped with tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, artichoke hearts, and capers. IMG_1084While I just couldn’t steer my family away from The House (loaded with specialty pepperoni, salami, & house made sausage!), I filed the Dragon Lady away for a future home trial. I’ll use my farm fresh mushrooms, sauteed leeks instead of onions, sundried tomatoes, and a good helping of artichoke hearts and capers for an extra special zing. 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. With a traditional red sauce (I’ll use canned Cento) and shredded mozzarella, this ought to tide us over until our next visit to this wonderfully unique local institution.

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 – ultimate, indeed!

the ultimate winter couscous (Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty)
citrus coho salmon fillet

I just can’t stop flipping through the pages of my new cookbook! It was made for a CSA. All of the “weird” veggies that come in the box are beautifully brought to life in photos and recipes of Ottolenghi’s  Plenty. This cous cous looked downright dreamy, plus will incorporate my carrots, turnips (I’ll sub for parsnips), leeks (I’ll sub for shallots), and squash. Although the ingredient list looks intimidating, once you set the veggies aside, most of the rest is straight from the pantry. I’ll have to pick up cilantro, star anise, and I might devote two minutes looking for preserved lemon, otherwise I’ll use lemon zest. If you don’t already harissa, a North African chili sauce, put it on your list as a pantry staple. Although the recipe calls for dried apricots, you could use any dried fruit you have on hand. And the great news is, after sorting out the ingredients, the effort required is minimal. Everything just gets added to a big baking pot, letting the various flavors combine, and then served over cous cous. A quick conversion of amounts: 2.5 cups cubed squash, 1/2 cup dried apricots, 1 cup canned chickpeas, 1.5 cups water, 1 cup couscous,1 cup vegetable stock, 3 T butter, 2 T harissa, 1 oz. preserved lemon, 2 cups cilantro (in place of coriander). As a side, I’ll pick up a pound of citrus coho salmon fillets advertised in this week’s New Season’s flyer – this can just pop in the oven during the last 20 minutes of so of veggie roasting. Full meal deal, in refreshingly bright, non-wintery flavors.

Sunday – my apologies, Julia

mushroom bourguignon (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)
braised leeks with lemon (Gourmet)

Even though this bourguignon lacks what some might consider an essential “b” ingredient, I guarantee it is NOT going to feel like any sacrifice! It has all of the indulgence of the Julia Child classic, without the beef. And without the day’s commitment – it’s been brilliantly translated into a weeknight meal, but it seems so special occasion, I’m calling it a sunday supperI’ll use my portabellas &  creminis from the box, and buy the remaining of what I need – whatever type of mushroom looks good, at the market. For the finely diced onion, you could definitely substitute in a chopped leek. Get the pearl onions (classic bourguignon!) in a bag from the freezer case – no one needs to stand peeling a hundred tiny onions. Served over egg noodles with a dollop of sour cream, this is the moment your kids just might declare they love mushrooms! As for the side, I could use all my leeks in this simple, zesty braised version. Last time I made them, we fought over the last creamy bit.

Monday –  whole bowl, homestyle

kale rice bowl (101 Cookbooks)

Everyone needs the “shouldn’t go out again…what can I throw together quickly?” dinner. I think this looks like a great candidate. Reminds me of the Whole Bowl food cart, claiming to serve “love in a bowl”. Monday’s a great day for that! The minimal ingredients and suggested accompaniments are ripe for experimentation with various grains, greens, and, you guessed it, toppings. I’m going to prepare it as written, with my HRO kale, brown rice, and a poached egg. If New Seasons doesn’t carry the Middle Eastern spice blend za’atar, try other small markets – Food Front, People’s Co-Op, Barbur Whole Foods, etc.; it’s a staple I’ve added to my stovetop cooking essentials.

Tuesday – a little taste of sunshine

kale, beet, & tangerine salad with lime vinaigrette (Gourmet)
roasted chicken

If you’re looking to bring a little color to your winter table, as well as the flavors we might associate with a more sunshiny season, this salad looks to be a winner. The recipe is just a guide for a zesty, lime dressing. The salad is straight from the inspiring pages of the New Seasons Market Flyer. Thinly sliced ribbons from a whole head of kale, a couple/few shredded raw (peeled) beets, and as many juicy tangerine slices as you like. Make the salad and dress it first in the line-up of dinner duties  – the kale and beets are hearty and can use a little softening. Add a made-by-someone-else roasted chicken, and maybe a baguette if you’re inclined, and this meal’s on the table in way less than 30 minutes!

Wednesday – sammie night

roasted beet, gorgonzola, & walnut bread panini (Williams Sonoma)

The weekly sammie night routine continues, and no one seems to be complaining! Modify fillings to your heart’s content; just know that beets and gorgonzola (or any type of blue cheese) is a match made in heaven. And it’s another simple night with my beets already roasted and peeled. (Wrap in foil, roast for about an hour at least 400, let cool, and peel. Store in fridge until ready to use!) Lots of bakeries will have a nice walnut bread – Ken’s is wonderful, and so is a new cranberry-walnut one I discovered at Cedar Hills New Seasons recently. These sandwiches will resemble the beet, cheese, & walnut salads you pay big bucks for in a restaurant! But if walnut bread isn’t your thing (or your kids’!), pick whatever, but I do think a heartier, nuttier, whole wheatier bread would taste best in this combo. Forget the mayo, sprinkle with a little balsamic & evoo instead. I don’t have arugula, so I’ll sneak in just a smidgen of thinly ribboned kale. You could easily add some thinly sliced roasted chicken (I’m sure to have some left from last night) and that would fit right in too.

Thursday – national pie day

beef & stout pie (Pacific Pie Co., Imbibe Magazine)
winter fruit pie with walnut crumb (Rustic Fruit Desserts)

Even if you don’t normally celebrate (or even know about) National Pie Day, jump on the best excuse ever to enjoy PIE and PIE for dinner! Last year, my dear “pie friend” (everyone should have such a friend!) Liz and I honored the day at Pacific Pie Co (get your entries into the pie contest for Sunday’s competition!). Not only did we enjoy delectable sweet slices, I discovered their signature Aussie-style savory pie. YUM! I tried a few twists last  year in a home, CSA box rendition: cut the beef in half (at least), add more carrots, plus turnips, and substitute leeks for onions. I won’t bother with the individual ramekins, but will just use any large lasagna-style baking pan that I have. Make it weeknight friendly by prepping the filling on a day you have more time, then all that’s left is plopping the store-bought puff pastry on top for the final baking. This recipe, with its very unique  ingredients of rehydrated dried prunes and stout beer, is incredibly rich and flavorful; it could easily be made vegetarian by omitting the beef and substituting equal amounts of your-choice veggies. Any of the veggies I received in my box this week would be great contenders.

And for the dessert…homemade pie is the most fun and fabulous, of course! IIMG_4507‘m going to try my best to squeeze in the winter fruit pie from that fabulous cookbook Rustic Fruit Desserts from Corey Schreiber and Julie Richardson. It has a delightful combination of pears & apples (got those!), fresh cranberries, and dried figs. With the sweet and nutty crumb topping, this pie is out of this world. BUT, given life’s obligations and complications, might be more realistic to let someone else do the baking for you! Good thing we live in a pie town! Here are some local favs:  (Sweet Dreams of Portland Pies, OregonLive) , (Delicious Fillings, Portland’s 5 Perfect Pies, Mix Magazine). The Tahitian Vanilla Sugar Salted Caramel Apple AND the 3 Chocolate Cream from Random Order Coffeehouse & Bakery are calling my name. A great night to find some impromptu guests – the beef & stout pie is PLENTY for a crowd, and then you can absolutely bring home two pies!

“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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2 responses to “january 17 weekly menu | winter table”

  1. Jennifer bamer says :

    I love checking your site. We also belong to SIO and love the fresh veggies! Is your winter share through HRO? Where did that great bowl of fruit come from??

    • Teri Simpson says :

      Thanks, Jennifer. Yes, my winter share is through Hood River Organic. I get wonderful veggies each week, as well as a huge variety of apples and pears. Their weekly share is fully customizable, and you can even include add-ons such as eggs, bread, cheese, pear butter, etc. AND I live in an area where it is delivered right to my doorstep…maybe you do too!

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