October 3 weekly menu | fall table

Farm Fresh

gourmet greens, kale, lettuce, onions, parsley, potatoes, sweet peppers, winter squash

What’s for Dinner?

A just-in-time delivery of deep green kale in celebration of a day (week) in its honor. National Kale Day (a little-known early October holiday) is dedicated to celebrating this dark, leafy green, superfood superstar. Talk about a nutritional powerhouse – loads of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, and a whole host of other good-for-body-and-soul stuff. And the great news is, just as we are lamenting the gradual disappearance of our beloved late summer veggies, kale is here to stay; it thrives in the cooler pacific northwest “dark months”. So stock up on those favorite go-to recipes – raw, cooked, smoothies, salads, chips…the possibilities are endless. My first fall delivery of winter squash (darling delicatas!), the end of a stellar sweet pepper season, and an ode to kale…all perfectly ripe reasons to celebrate! Enjoy this kale-a-day week!

Friday – TV trays, movie, & pizza

kale, roasted pepper, & feta pizza (Annie’s Eats)
caesar salad (Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food)

Saturday – fall at its finest

apple kale slaw (Alicia Ross, Kitchen Scoop)
roasted winter squash halves (Cook’s Illustrated, The New Best Recipe)
pork tenderloin with maple glaze (Bon Appetit)

Sunday – back to the grill

kale salad (Simply Recipes)
garlic roasted potatoes (Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Parties!)
salsa verde (+grilled steak) (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog)

Monday – sammie night

kale chips (Eating Well)
sammies with beef & balsamic onion marmalade (Serious Eats)

Tuesday eggs & toast

blueberry kale smoothie (My Recipes)
baked kale & eggs (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog)
salted toasty bread

Wednesday – potluck perfect

pastaworks farro + kale salad (Pastaworks)

Thursday – soup’s on

kale and white bean soup (Gourmet)
gourmet greens with red wine vinaigrette (Martha Stewart)
provolone toasts (Gourmet)

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Friday – TV trays, movie, & pizza

kale, roasted pepper, & feta pizza (Annie’s Eats)
caesar salad (Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food)

This week, to kick off our kale celebration, on the pizza it goes! Follow this previous Pizza Night post for a no-fail dough recipe I rely on each week. It makes IMG_1084enough for two pizzas, even three if rolled out in the super thin, best-for-crispy-pizza style. I’ll double the topping requirements here, and use some roasted sweet peppers instead of the sun dried tomatoes called for in the recipe. I’m going to roast and peel all of my sweet peppers right when I get them, to have them at the ready this week. This is a “no sauce” pizza; the garlic and red pepper infused oil (simple!) provides the base instead. If you have kids (or adults) that just might not buy into the idea of kale on pizza, throw some pepperoni and olives on the toppings bar – see what happens. Just maybe they’ll find the pizza prettier with some green.  I’ll use one head of romaine for an Alice Waters caesar. I’ll even substitute a squeeze or two of anchovy paste, and some good-as-homemade store bought croutons to make it even more Friday night simple.

Other seasonal pizza combinations:

spinach and chive pizza
leek, chard, & corn flatbread
kale, sundried tomato, & feta pizza
pizza with green garlic & arugula
pizza bianca with goat cheese & chard
zucchini, sliced tomato, & leek pizza 
grilled pizza with kale, mushroom, & sausage
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
potato & rosemary pizza
pizza with red and yellow peppers

Saturday – fall at its finest

apple kale slaw (Alicia Ross, Kitchen Scoop)
roasted winter squash halves (Cook’s Illustrated, The New Best Recipe)
pork tenderloin with maple glaze (Bon Appetit)

Apples (+kale!), winter squash, and maple-ey pork…fall is here! I’ll put it all together in a Saturday Supper, that really is fairly effortless. The recipe for the apple kale slaw is crunchy, fresh, and delicious. When I use kale in a salad (raw), I always chop it in super skinny ribbons. This trick, along with dressing the salad ahead of time, helps to make the chewy texture of the raw kale salad really wonderful, instead of a difficult-to-get-down deterrent. This is my favorite go-to recipe for delicata squash. I’ll cook it for less time, as a delicata is quicker to soften than an acorn (or any other winter squash). I keep it relatively healthy by cutting down on the butter, but still doing a bit of browning with some fresh sage (if you’ve got it). I’ll use the fresh sage on the pork too, cooking it all up in my trusty cast iron skillet.

Sunday – back to the grill

kale salad (Simply Recipes)
garlic roasted potatoes (Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Parties!)
salsa verde (+grilled steak) (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog)

Truthfully, I was kind of done with summer grilling for a while. I relish in those cloudy, drizzly days with the pot of soup on the stove. With temperatures forecasted in the 80s, I just have to forgo soup, and go with the grill. When I saw Katherine’s recipe for salsa verde, I knew grilled steak was the answer. This salsa verde is awfully reminiscent of the chimichurri I so know and love. I’ve learned it’s the classic green sauce of Italy, with lemon zest, capers, and olive oil combining with lots of fresh parsley. It’ll be wonderful over grilled steak of any kind; it’s also nice over grilled veggies or fish, or in one of many of Katherine’s suggestions (eggs, sandwiches, soup, dressing, etc.). I’m certain I’ll double the recipe, and freeze a batch for those soon-to-come winter evenings when nothing would be better than a taste of summer.These simple garlic roasted potatoes make a straight-forward and delicious side. And let’s not forget our National Kale Week celebration…a simple kale salad it is! I love this honey, balsamic vinaigrette, and so many combinations of nuts, seeds, cheeses, and fruits are possible. With steak, I think I’ll go dried cranberries, chopped hazelnuts, and blue cheese crumbles.

Monday – sammie night

kale chips (Eating Well)
sammies with beef & balsamic onion marmalade (Serious Eats)

Kicking off the week with a sammie night, taking full advantage of the extra grilled steak from Sunday. When I tried to think of the best veggie to marry with the steak in a panini, the onions jumped front and center. Let images of sweet and chunky caramelized onion dance in your head. Thinly slicing the onions is the only “work”. The rest is ultra slow cooking, with a little sugar and vinegar, stovetop time. What you’ll have in the end the most flavorful jam (or chutney, or condiment) ever. I’ll toss any extra into a lidded glass container and into the freezer. In addition to a sandwich filling, it’s an excellent pizza topping, toasty bread spread, pasta mix-in, and egg sidekick. Kale makes its appearance tonight in the form of three-ingredient “chips” – kale leaves, salt & olive oil. Whip up your own kale chips, save an absolute bundle compared to the bag at the market, and be amazed at the pleas for more.

Tuesday – breakfast for dinner

blueberry kale smoothie (My Recipes)
baked kale & eggs (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog)
salted toasty bread

Sometimes you just have to mix things up, and do breakfast for dinner. This hearty kale, tomato, and egg dish hardly counts – savory dishes like this can really go either way. Katherine’s recipe had me at “this takes about seven minutes to pull together.” She took a version from Food52 (a personal fav), and with a few tweaks and modifications, transformed it into a weeknight wonder for the whole family. Plus the dish makes great use of my (mounds of!) kale this week. I’ll use regular garlic, and suggest a generous sprinkling of chives or green onions. With fire roasted tomatoes and smoked paprika, along with cooked-to-your-own-liking eggs, the flavors are delicious, satisfying, and complex. Don’t forget some favorite bakery bread, brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, then lightly toasted – perfect for soaking up the juices. With the super powers of a kale smoothie as a side, you could just as easily have your main course be pancakes or waffles (apple? pumpkin?), oatmeal, french toast, or a bowl of cereal. With some frozen blueberries (or any berries!) and kale leaves, you can whip up tasty smoothies in no time – adjust quantities for however many smoothie drinkers you have. I’ll skip the almond butter and wheat germ, keeping it simple. The dinner is really just one step beyond eggs ‘n toast – one giant, scrumptious step.

Wednesday – potluck perfect

pastaworks farro + kale salad (Pastaworks)

As for salad number two, this Pastaworks farro salad serves as a blank canvas for me often. And it’s ideal for a potluck, as it’s ultra hearty, travels well, and pleases the vegetarians in the crowd. Farro is a virtual nutritional goldmine, and offers a wonderful full-bodied texture and flavor. So many veggies could stand in for kale…use what you have and love. The dish holds a divine combination of earthy, sweet, tart, and spicy – adjust the harissa to your own personal spicy barometer. Have fun trying different nut, seed, and dried fruit combinations here as well. I’m going with what our own region specializes in…dried cranberries and hazelnuts.

Thursday – soup’s on

kale and white bean soup (Gourmet)
gourmet greens with red wine vinaigrette (Martha Stewart)
provolone toasts (Gourmet)

I see a cloud in the forecast for Thursday – I’m making soup! That, along with late kids’ soccer games, seal the deal! Kale and white beans are just a match made in heaven. I’ll hope to remember to soak the beans overnight Wednesday; canned white beans will work just fine as well. And it just doesn’t matter what type of kale you use…lacinato is what the recipe calls for, and is probably easiest to chop. But as long as you remove the thick stalks and chop away, any kale is super (and a superfood!). Using kielbasa (already cooked/smoked sausage) is a great time-saver, but you could saute up any sausage you love. Serve with a yummy cheesy bread (or just a good crusty loaf) and a simple green salad.

“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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