march 7 weekly menu | winter table

Farm Fresh

beets, leeks, micro greens, mushrooms, parsnips, pumpkin, potatoes

What’s for Dinner?

A little bit of everything this week. Fall, winter, and spring – nearly all of the seasons stand out in this week’s box. Two mini pumpkins, reminding me of my favorite time to cook. Lots of hearty winter roots. And a smattering of spring, with the delicate micro greens, and earthy mushrooms. The nights’ dinners are just as varied – something for everyone, I call it. Enjoy!

Friday – pizza, TV trays, & movie

roasted red potato pizza with taleggio, roasted leeks & pancetta

Saturday – winter margs

winter squash & mushroom enchiladas (Pinch of Yum)
blood orange margaritas (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)

Sunday  – steak night

parsnip puree (Traci Des Jardins, Jardiniere)
micro green salad
grilled rib-eye steak

Monday – puffy popover pie

mushroom popover pie (Mollie Katzen, Get Cooking)
micro green salad

Tuesday – mardi gras, cont.

red beans and rice (Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything)
beet salad (Serious Eats)

Wednesday – seasonal confusion

roasted squash and pear soup (The Daily Green)
baguette

Thursday – BLBs

bacon, micro green, & beet sammies (Food Geeks)
garlic roasted potatoes (Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Parties)


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Friday – pizza, TV trays, & movie

roasted red potato pizza with taleggio, roasted leeks & pancetta

Pizza Night inspiration again came in the form of the Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty pizza menu (this particular one from a while back…it made an impression!). Their northwest seasonal pies are always creative, but not so much that they’re downright weird. In this one, just roast some thinly sliced potatoes and leeks
IMG_1084with a little olive oil in a hot oven, stirring occasionally, until everything seems lightly golden and soft. Tellegio, a highly stinky but mild-flavored cheese (produced only in the autumn and winter when the cows are tired!) is the perfect Italian match. Plus pancetta…pizza heaven! 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.

Saturday – winter margs

winter squash & mushroom enchiladas (Pinch of Yum)
blood orange margaritas (Deb Perlman, Smitten Kitchen)

I’ve gotten these cute little “pie pumpkins” the past couple weeks in my CSA box. While I haven’t been motivated to whip up a pumpkin pie, I sure have loved using them as just another type of winter squash. I’ll use one this week in these lickety-split vegetarian enchiladas. I’ll skip the homemade tomatillo sauce, and pick up a favorite jarred version from the store. I’ll substitute leeks for the onion, and skip the green pepper, adding a can of drained and rinsed black beans instead. Chopped chicken would be a welcome addition too, either in place of the black beans, or right alongside. Toppings will include freshly chopped cilantro, a couple types of salsa, and maybe some sour cream or plain yogurt. And I can’t resist making these winter margaritas again –  blood oranges are still in winter abundance, juicy, sweet, and brilliantly colored.

Sunday – steak night

parsnip puree (Traci Des Jardins, Jardiniere)
micro green salad
grilled rib-eye steak

Parsnip puree is just different enough from mashed potatoes to make it extra special. I’ll halve this recipe, and use just enough butter to tip it into the rich and creamy category (but not so much that it’s sinful). Add a salad made with micro greens, crumbled blue cheese, and a  simple balsamic vinaigrette and you’re set. Both of these veggie dishes are winners with grilled steak. Maybe just a bit of olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper on the steak (and balsamic vinegar or red wine if you want more flavor). And heck, if the rain by chance lets up, break out the barbecue. Otherwise, indoor grilling works just dandy. Along with our parsnips and micro greens, the steak becomes a side, sliced thinly, and passed around the table. One pound is plenty for four of us. Little tricks like this, and steak night feels downright healthy and responsible!

Monday –  puffy popover pie

mushroom popover pie (Mollie Katzen, Get Cooking)
micro green salad

Springtime mushrooms, butter, leeks & a few fresh herbs. Make a popover pie out of it for dinner with eggs? This is the way the brilliant Mollie Katzen has inspired much of the world to think – using seasonal vegetables in uncomplicated, approachable, healthy dishes. And the puffiness of a popover pie is merely a fun slant on the go-to weeknight, use-what-you-have frittata. As we await the arrival of our delicate salad greens, a good option would again be micro greens, crumbled blue cheese, and a  simple balsamic vinaigrette.

Tuesday – mardi gras, cont.

red beans and rice (Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything)
beet salad (Serious Eats)

After enjoying our red beans and rice on Fat Tuesday last week, one or both of my kids said “Can we have this more?!?”. Maybe it was the King Cake that they were really referring to, but either way, I’ve decided to extend the Mardi Gras celebration for another week. The red beans and rice were just so easy, and comforting, and scrumptious. I’m going out on a limb, straying from my tried-and-true New Basics recipe, as I wanted to give a vegetarian version a shot. This rendition from Mark Bittman would make the New Orleans foodie purists hoppin’ mad. No meat, and includes, of all things, coconut milk! But I trust Serious Eats, and she gives it two thumbs up. I’ll soak my beans overnight, but canned would make a good weekday choice, adjusting the cooking times accordingly. A can of fire roasted chopped tomatoes will be my choice here, and I’ve got bits of celeriac hanging out from last week, so this will go in as the celery. As for the salad, as the recipe says, don’t be intimidated by roasted beets. Nothing could be easier (see recipe). I even skip the oil, and they turn out fine. When I receive beets, I try to roast, cool, peel, and slice them at the beginning of the week. That way they are all ready for whatever recipe I want to use them in. Beet salad with chevre is a classic, and can accompany so many menu items. Serve it with or without the nuts and greens. Instead of traditional greens, I’ll use my micro greens as a nice sprinkling over a platter of dressed beets.

Wednesday – seasonal confusion

roasted squash and pear soup (The Daily Green)
baguette

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Or something like that. I didn’t get lemons, but I sure did not get the kale raab the farm had predicted. What I got instead were pumpkins and pears. The season seems to be shifting backward to fall, not forward to spring! But I’m going with it, especially as I remembered this amazing winter squash and pear soup, as squash, pears, and leeks all showed up on my doorstep. I’ve made it before with butternut squash, and can’t wait to compare a pumpkin version. It is hearty, and oh-so flavorful with the mixture of carrots, squash, leeks, and pears (plus wine and fresh ginger!). I’ll skip the garnish of crystalized ginger (don’t have) and pomegranates (too Christmassy!). Maybe finely chopped hazelnuts instead?

Thursday – BLBs

bacon, micro green, & beet sammies (Food Geeks)
garlic roasted potatoes (Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Parties)

I’d never really heard of a “BLB” (Bacon, Lettuce, and Beets), but why not? Fresh tomatoes are not even worth dreaming about right now, but I’ve got beets coming out my ears. Even better, the beets will be ready to use, having set aside some pre-roasted from last night. Substitute lettuce with micro greens, and spread your favorite goat cheese upon these sammies, and I think they’ll be a hit. I don’t have a panini press, but rather than toasting the bread, I like to use a lightly buttered or oiled cast iron pan to make paninis like this. No fancy equipment needed – just weigh down the sammies with another heavy pan while the bottom side cooks. Add these simple garlic roasted potatoes for a delicious french fry (without the “fry”) 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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