april 4 weekly menu | spring table

Farm Fresh

braising mix, chives, collard greens, kale raab, kale, leeks, micro greens, mushrooms, potatoes, sunchokes

What’s for Dinner?

After a spring break for all (including some fine kitchen leave!), it’s time to peek back into the box and see what the season is delivering. Each week, a little less winter, and a little more spring. This week, fresh chives were added to the mix. I smelled them before I spotted them! And this is how it works…those small but mighty gestures of spring allow us to view those hearty winter greens and roots in a whole new light. A fresh and zesty chive pesto over fish? Oven browned potatoes don’t seem quite so ho-hum now! Delicate, spring-flavored micro greens? Perks up a dinner with roasted roots in a flash! Enjoy this week’s menu; peruse the farmers market if you can, to get a sneak peek of the spring treats headed our way soon.

Friday – pizza, TV trays, & movie

pizza with kale raab, leeks, and olives (Deb Perelman, The Smitten Kitchen)

Saturday – braised greens minus the boring

braised greens & mushroom tacos (Serious Eats, Rick Bayless)
mexican beans

cool mojitos (Sunset)

Sunday  – kicked up greens

chile potato soup with greens and chorizo (Rick Bayless)
crispy, cheesy quesadillas (theKitchn)

Monday – break out the grill

roasted sunchokes with chives (Mark’s Daily Apple)
grilled veggie burgers with micro greens

Tuesday –  farm fresh pesto, take #1

garlic roasted potatoes (Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Parties)
grilled cod with chive pesto (A Garden for the House)

Wednesday – farm fresh pesto, take #2

pasta with collard green olive pesto (Danny Toma, Gourmet)

Thursday – sammie night

italian sandwiches with kale butter (Ashley Gartland, Dishing Up Oregon)
kettle chips


__________________________________________________

Friday – pizza, TV trays, & movie

pizza with kale raab, leeks, and olives (Deb Perelman, The Smitten Kitchen)

IMG_1084

No better way to get back into the routine than Pizza Night! Let this prior post be your inspiration and step-by-step instructional for pizza making. Friday is the perfect night for this, not only as an end-of-the-week celebration, but because I can literally pick and choose veggies off my table to top the pizzas. This week, kale raab pizza. Sound crazy? I don’t think so – Alice Waters (where this recipe originally came from) had it right when she dreamt up this loose combination where she used brocolli raab and onions. I’ll make two of these pizzas, adjusting the toppings accordingly. Instead of roasting the onions, I’ll caramelize the leeks slowly in olive oil, then use the same pan to proceed with the raab. With the nicoise olives, and a bit of mozzarella, any bitterness of the kale raab will quickly be replaced by a divine combination of fresh spring greens, sweet soft leeks, and perfectly salty olives and cheese. Put some Olympic Provisions salami on the toppings bar, and you might be surprised who thinks kale raab might be a cool addition to their creation too!

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

Saturday – braised greens minus the boring

braised greens & mushroom tacos (Serious Eats, Rick Bayless)
mexican beans

cool mojitos (Sunset)

Nothing makes braised greens sound truly exciting like some ideas from Rick Bayless. An American cooking genius, he’s gained fame and fortune through his culinary devotion to the truest, most authentic Mexican food and how to best deliver that to the public. His restaurants, hands-on teaching, television series, and prepared foods line have all done just that. This is not to mention his great commitment to environmentally sound agricultural practices and avid support of the local farmer – he’s the full package. Next time you’re in Chicago, make Frontera Grill or Topolobampo (or both!) must stops! In the meantime, here’s a simple and delicious interpretation of his braised greens tacos. I’ll use half of my braising greens, and caramelize leeks instead of onion. Some of those sauteed mushrooms would add a little meatiness to the tacos. I’ll skip the homemade salsa, and let everyone choose a favorite Frontera jar from the store – a Rick Bayless salsa sampling! And since it’s Saturday, I’ll stray from the can, and slowly cook these out-of-this-world Mexican beans. Each time I make them I wonder why oh why I ever use canned beans. It’s really ridiculous how simple they are:  soak a pound of beans (any kind – I’m using the black beans I got as a surprise from HRO last week) overnight (or use the quick soak method), cover with chicken broth about one inch above the beans, add one half of a white onion, a couple whole cloves of garlic and 1 tsp. of salt. After bringing to a boil, cover the pot and cook very slowly (on low or warm) for an hour. Test them at this point, but I usually add a bit more salt and cook for another half hour or even more. Use them for Mexican night, then either freeze the rest, or use them again this week. Beans, sauteed greens, and an egg on top? Yum! Add a minty mojito, which is easily translated into a virgin version with just ginger ale or sparkling water. Celebrate that spring has sprung…the farmer’s markets are sure to be bursting with the scent of fresh mint!

Sunday – kicked up greens

chile potato soup with greens and chorizo (Rick Bayless)
crispy, cheesy quesadillas (theKitchn)

Following up on the prior night’s Mexican theme (who can ever get too much?), a Rick Bayless soup packed with farm fresh goodness. Plus chorizo! This soup looks divine. I’ll skip the roasted chiles (unless the farmer’s market has them going – then I’m in!) and use canned. The other half of my mountain of braising greens will be my choice of greens. While the soup is cooking, whip up some crispy quesadillas, stuffed with your favorite cheese, and beans left from last night. Don’t forget a hearty sprinkling of bright and zesty cilantro. My hunch is no one will be complaining about two-nights-in-a-row Mexican.

Monday –  break out the grill

roasted sunchokes with chives (Mark’s Daily Apple)
grilled veggie burgers with micro greens

The sun is shining, and the temps are on the rise. At least this is the prediction. I’ll bank on it, and plan an easy weeknight dinner of veggie burgers on the BBQ. Chez Marie burgers are our choice…not necessarily because they’re better for you than a traditional meat burger, but because they taste so darned good! Years ago, at a Burgerville visit, I discovered that I actually preferred this burger to a more traditional hamburger. The spicy anasazi “burger” is just the right mix of black rice, beans, carrots, peppers and wonderfully spicy seasonings. 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. You can pick them up in the freezer section of most stores now; I always have a box on hand to toss on the BBQ when the sun is shining, but there’s not of time for planning. Some oven-roasted sunchokes, sprinkled with our fresh and fragrant chives, will be a perfect accompaniment. Think fries, minus the potatoes, minus the fried.

Tuesday – farm fresh pesto, take #1

garlic roasted potatoes (Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Parties)
grilled cod with chive pesto (A Garden for the House)

Taking full advantage of day number two of brilliant sunshine, I’ll be grilling again. New Season’s cod is featured this week at a fabulous price. A healthy and tasty choice, especially when topped with this vibrant and zesty chive pesto. If you don’t use all of it on tonight’s dinner, refrigerate or freeze it for a delicious spread on fish or chicken another time, or spread it on a lightly toasted, salted baguette for a guaranteed winner of an appetizer. Ina’s straight-forward garlic roasted potatoes round out the meal in a sunny and scrumptious way.

Wednesday – farm fresh pesto, take #2

pasta with collard green olive pesto (Danny Toma, Gourmet)

Want your kids (or other) to try collard greens without knowing they’re trying collard greens? This is the recipe! It’s a take on the tried-and-true pesto (something green, something garlicky, something cheesy) so nothing is too unfamiliar. But the way these flavors blend is truly unique, combining the peppery, slightly bitter taste of the greens so well known and used in the south with the essence of Italy – Parmigiano, olive oil, and garlic. The green olives, balsamic, and dash of cayenne add just the right kick. I’ve added a handful of walnuts before, both for a wonderful taste and texture complement as well as for a punch of protein. This recipe makes a large batch – see above for leftover pesto suggestions.

Thursday – sammie night

italian sandwiches with kale butter (Ashley Gartland, Dishing Up Oregon)
kettle chips

She had me hooked at “butter”, the first time I discovered this recipe, searching for a winning kale-as-the-star panini. You won’t believe how the kale and onion (could be leeks…) cook until they are literally the consistency of butter. Pile that on your favorite bakery bread, add a good dose of cheese, and bake until warm and melty. It’s an easy meal to have a selection of farm fresh goodies to garnish as desired – fresh chives, micro greens, and sautéed mushrooms now; in the height of summer, slices of just-picked tomatoes! Add the bowl (bag) of local Kettle chips and everyone’s happy. I’m going with the new sriracha 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.)

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Urban Farm Table

using your local bounty every day

Epicurious.com: New Recipes

using your local bounty every day

101 Cookbooks

using your local bounty every day

Cook With What You Have

Classes and resources for healthy, delicious, and quick meals

Sauvie Island Organics Farm Blog

using your local bounty every day

using your local bounty every day

Simply Recipes

using your local bounty every day

America's Test Kitchen

using your local bounty every day

smitten kitchen

Fearless cooking from a tiny NYC kitchen.

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: