may 30 weekly menu | spring table

Farm Fresh

bok choy, fennel, gourmet greens, green garlic, lettuce, kale, radishes

What’s for Dinner?

Nope, that’s not an optical illusion. My veggies this week literally nearly cover the entire kitchen table.  Sauvie Island Organics (SIO), my “summer CSA,” has officially launched its season! And despite receiving an email ahead of time, detailing each of the farm fresh items I was to receive, it really wasn’t until I lay my own eyes and hands on this giant bunch of produce did it come full force. I’ve got my cooking work cut out for me this week…this is a job I’ll take on any time!

Friday – pizza, tv trays, & movie

pizza with green garlic & arugula (Martha Rose Shulman, NYT)
salad with radishes & sunflower seeds (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog)

Saturday – James Beard spring fling

canapes & cocktails:
radishes with whipped butter & sea salt (Williams-Sonoma)
broiche en surprise (onion sandwiches) (James Beard)

main dish:
poached salmon with beurre blanc (James Beard)

dessert:
pound cake (James Beard)
oregon strawberry fool

Sunday  – potluck mania

pasta with fennel and greens (Cooks Illustrated)

Monday – oh joi!

joi choi, radish, and broccoli stir-fry (Asparagus to Zucchini, SIO Blog)
rice

Tuesday –  farm fresh frittata

green garlic & kale frittata (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog)

Wednesday – bok choy with a twist

mediterranean bok choy (Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything)
chicken skewers
grilled bread (Bon Appetit)

Thursday – summer sammie

kale sandwiches with avocado (Mark Bittman)
radish crudites, pita chips, & hummus


__________________________________________________

Friday – pizza, tv trays, & movie

pizza with green garlic & arugula (Martha Rose Shulman, NYT)
salad with radishes & sunflower seeds (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog)

IMG_1084

Even with the weather turned nice, I still try to keep Friday Pizza Night alive. It’s perfect for an end-of-the-week celebration, and can even become a go-to on the grill. Just make them about half-sized, and slip them onto the oiled grill instead of onto the pizza stone. I literally pick and choose farm fresh goodies off my table to top the pizzas each Friday. Super fun, interactive, and delicious way to use those veggies! This week, I can’t resist the simplicity of using my first farm-fresh green garlic in this easy sauce (basically just saute it with canned tomatoes!). Either follow this recipe for a good looking whole wheat crust, refer to the Pizza Night link above for my favorite go-to crust, or pick up ready-to-bake one at your local store or pizzeria. This one is topped minimally with torn fresh mozzarella –  quintessential, rustic Italian. And despite the fridge FULL of veggies, I will indeed pick up some fresh arugula for a pizza-topper. It really makes the pizza, especially a simple one like this. Some people think it odd to pile a salad on top of their pizza, but I think it’s delicious, with its peppery but mildly sweet taste! Put the arugula on the pizza just after it’s out of the oven. And really, don’t be shy, pile it on and sprinkle some good quality salt on top. Of course, for those still not quite convinced of the salad-on-pizza concept, serving it atop individual slices works too. I’ll also serve a very simple salad using my mountain of gourmet greens. I receive a giant bag each week through SIO, so it’s a rare meal that we don’t have a gorgeous green salad gracing the table. Tonight I’ll keep it simple as Katherine suggests, slicing some radishes to mix in, and tossing in some sunflower seeds before sprinkling with olive oil and lemon juice. The night of two salads – one atop pizza, one aside!

More seasonal pizza ideas:

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
dandelion greens, Italian sausage, and fontina cheese pizza
spinach and chive pizza
grilled pizza with kale, mushroom, & sausage
pizza with green garlic & arugula
pizza bianca with goat cheese & chard
classic margherita pizza
kale, sundried tomato, & feta pizza
roasted red potato pizza with taleggio, roasted leeks & pancetta
sausage, leek, & shitake pizza
potato & rosemary pizza 
old town’s dragon lady (mushrooms, leeks, etc.)
pizza with kale raab, leeks, and olives 
pizza with fennel sausage, braising greens and chives
egg, ham, and spinach pizza
shaved asparagus pizza 
dandelion greens, Italian sausage, & fontina cheese pizza
grilled pizza with asparagus, scallions & fontina

Saturday – James Beard spring fling

canapes & cocktails:
radishes with whipped butter & sea salt (Williams-Sonoma)
broiche en surprise (onion sandwiches) (James Beard)

main dish:
poached salmon with beurre blanc (James Beard)

dessert:
pound cake (James Beard)
oregon strawberry fool

How lucky I am to have friends with whom I’ll create a springtime dinner honoring Oregon’s own legendary James Beard. With a James Beard Public Market in the works, as well as the Northwest spring bounty in full throttle, what better time to celebrate! He was a sucker for the hors d’oeuvres & canapes; as a matter of fact, he wrote a book on just that! A 1960’s take on all things cocktail party. I’m going with elegant simplicity, a theme he spoke of often. How could I not go for a favorite of Beard’s, crispy radishes alongside whipped butter and a sprinkling of sea salt. I’ll also try these famous onion sandwiches, spread with homemade mayo. His favorite vegetable was the onion, and he absolutely adored a good cocktail sandwich! Beard’s catering company introduced these to the New York City social scene in 1938; popularity was instant! Our main course will highlight the first of the season Copper River salmon, prepared James Beard style, with beurre blanc (a rich white wine/butter sauce). This seemed right up Beard’s alley, using the finest of what our geography brings us, and making it extra special with a classic French sauce. For dessert, with local strawberries bursting into the scene, I’m going with a fool – nothing more than the very best in-season fruit folded into top-notch heavy cream. Simply make a fruit puree by mashing the berries by hand or in a processor, and add sugar to taste. Beard suggests 1 1/2 cups strawberries to 1/2 cup sugar, with a drop or two of lemon juice, to just accent the flavor. Whip 1 cup of cream until stiff, fold into the berry puree, and chill until serving. This can be made with any seasonal fruit – rhubarb would be wonderful now, also. I can’t wait to serve it alongside a piece of this decadent, old fashioned pound cake. Beard once stated, “Every homemaker in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century kept a loaf or two of this cake in the pantry to serve to unexpected callers.” Sounds a bit ridiculous, for sure, but am willing to give it a whirl for a special occasion! No skimping here – a whole pound of butter (thus the name!). And James’ secret ingredient…cognac.

Sunday –  potluck mania

pasta with fennel and greens (Cooks Illustrated)

Welcome to the last two weeks of school. AKA, potluck time. Performances, plays, and portfolio sharings; jump-ups, graduations, and musicals. You name it, there’s an event, many of which come along with a potluck dinner. This pasta dish is a go-to for me…a scrumptious pasta and fennel combo. Kid eaters and adult eaters, served hot or room temperature, along with grilled items, or not. This seasonal offering seems to satisfy it all! Any time I get a bulb of fennel, I think of this. It’s the healthier version of another go-to pasta dish we all know and love. (With the tomatoes, basil, and loads of melty brie.) Well, this take on a favorite is just as well-received, and a quite a bit less sinful, given the added greens and lack of triple cream cheese. The fennel is caramelized with olive oil and onion until it’s super soft and nearly spreadable. The greens (ANY will be great!) are thrown in the boiling water along with the pasta. Mix the whole lot together (with a can of white beans if you’re making it a full-meal-deal,) add some freshly grated parmesan, and off you go, potluck after potluck. My kids often request that I make it “just for us”, surely so they can eat more, share less.  

Monday –  oh joi!

joi choi, radish, and broccoli stir-fry (Asparagus to Zucchini, SIO Blog)
rice

Bok choy, joi choi, I’m not exactly sure of the difference. Both are basically a super nutrient-rich form of Chinese cabbage. You get two very different textures from one crazy large plant. I tend to cut my choi into one inch or so ribbons, then separate it into two piles – leaves, and stalk. I put the leaves in at the very end of the cooking, even after the pan is off, stirring them to incorporate with the sauce, other veggies, etc. This way they are cooked ever so slightly, and don’t become a mushy mess. The stalks get sauteed a bit more, and are light, sweet, and crisp, very similar to other cabbages. In this loose recipe posted on the SIO blog years ago (some things, like stir fries, never go out of style!) I’ll use one of my giant heads of joi choi, a bunch of my radishes, and my green garlic, but skip the broccoli since (thank goodness!) I didn’t receive any this week.  Instead, maybe some shrimp? Or frozen edamame? Any way you look at it, stir fry is a healthy, easy, flexible weeknight meal. That’s good; my hunch is I’ve got a lot more joi choi headed my way!

Tuesday – farm fresh frittata 

green garlic & kale frittata (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog)

Frittatas are our year-round friend. But I especially enjoy them in the spring, when there are so many just-arriving veggies to add to the mix. Also, they are really meant to be tinkered with – eggs, cheese, and whatever vegetable combo appeals to you. This week, I’ll use my kale, but it could just as easily be chard, broccoli, whatever. I also love frittatas in the warm weather because they cook in a flash (so don’t heat up the kitchen) and can really be served at any temperature – just-out-of-the-oven hot, luke warm, or even room temperature. Add a very simple green salad – think lettuce, oil, any vinegar, and a sprinkling of sea salt. Any other additions are delicious (pine nuts, avocado, cheese, etc.) but unnecessary, with the luxury of ultra flavorful farm fresh greens. An amazingly delicious and satisfying spring supper that I’ll go to again and again.

Wednesday – bok choy with a twist

mediterranean bok choy (Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything)
chicken skewers
grilled bread (Bon Appetit)

It’s coming back to me already…as soon as I saw that giant bok choy, I remembered. Bok choy a-plenty in the Oregon springtime, that’s for sure. It lends itself to so many amazing Asian stir-fries, noodle dishes, soups, etc. But I thought I’d use my second head of bok choy this week on something decidedly non-Asian, reminding myself of those possibilities as well. Bittman’s original version does not include the chard – I’ll skip it. The capers, olives, and balsamic vinegar (or lemon juice) give it a very distinctive Mediterranean flair. With a choices o’plenty in the pre-made skewer department at nearly every market now, this makes a really no-fuss meal. Don’t forget the bread, to soak up the juicy broth – either a simple grilled version, brushed lightly with olive oil, rubbed with our fresh green garlic and sprinkled with salt, or maybe one of these fancier ones. The smear of fresh ricotta with lemon juice, or the buttered, thinly sliced radish versions are speaking to me!

Thursday – summer sammie

kale sandwiches with avocado (Mark Bittman)
radish crudites, pita chips, & hummus

I’m not talking about the afterthought, it’s-all-we-have-in-the-house sandwiches. Although, nothing does beat a good PB&J in a pinch! Another warm-weather meal that keeps your kitchen cool and your dinner plans healthy and simple are farm fresh sandwiches. Think wraps, grilled (or not) paninis, or just traditional on good whole grain bread. Encase it however you love; the headliner is what’s inside. And SIO provides some truly delectable veggie filling options…this week, red ursa kale! With a quick bean spread, the thinly chopped kale will be hearty and delicious. Chicken or bacon would be a winning choice in these sandwiches too, for the meat-lovers in your house. Buy your favorite hummus to accompany any radish crudités that might be left, and of course some pita chips – the sides are a cinch.

 “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

Cook delicious & healthy food every day

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

The WordPress.com Blog

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

%d bloggers like this: