November 7 weekly menu | fall table

Farm Fresh

carrots, celeriac, chard, chicory, gourmet greens, onions, parsnips, winter squash

What’s for Dinner?

Think you have to say good-bye to fresh, local greens in the colder Pacific Northwest months? Nope. We continue to get beautiful hearty greens, just not in quite the light, tender, summer forms we got used to. This week, two bunches of chard and two heads of Italian castelfranco chicory. Castelfranco is a cross between red-leafed chicory and endive, and has gorgeous, pale green leaves with streaks ranging from red wine to purple. Both chard and chicory make wonderful, robust salads. And both shine in cooked dishes as well – soups, braises, stir-fries, you name it. This week has a smattering of raw, and cooked, in and amongst the other autumn treats. Velvety celery root soup, or golden parsnip fries anyone?

Friday – pizza, TV trays, & movie

pizza bianca with goat cheese & chard (Bon Appetit)

Saturday – smooth, creamy…carrots?

roasted carrot and cumin puree (Food and Wine)
salmon cakes (Whole Foods Market)
gourmet greens salad

Sunday – pot pie, hold the chicken

pancetta, white bean & chard pot pie (Deb Perleman, The Smitten Kitchen)

Monday – one pot chicory wonder

orecchiette with sausage & chicory (Food and Wine)

Tuesday fancy toast

radicchio salad with pear (The Food Network)
squash toasts with ricotta (Deb Perleman, The Smitten Kitchen)

Wednesday – knobby & bulbous no more

celery root bisque (Bon Appetit)
roasted chicken
crusty bread

Thursday – panini & fries

caramelized onion, chicken, & fontina panini (Huffington Post)
roasted parsnips with parsley (Bon Appetit)

____________________________________________________

Friday – pizza, TV trays, & movie

pizza bianca with goat cheese & chard (Bon Appetit)

Try it once, you may not go back. Greens are pizza are fabulous! This week I’ll liven up pizza night, with this amazing no-sauce, farm-fresh chard rendition. Skip the boiling, and sauté the chard in the olive oil with some garlic. Spread on a crust smeared with seasoned olive oil, then topped with mozzarella and goat IMG_1084cheese…YUM!  I’ll use my tried and true New Basics crust recipe (see Pizza Night), making one of the pizzas of the more “traditional” variety. The kids do the choosing on this – pepperoni & olive, canadian bacon & pineapple, sausage & mushroom, etc.  Make it ultra-simple by picking up pre-made dough from any number of markets or pizza restaurants.

Other pizza combinations:

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
fennel sausage & onion pizza 
roasted red potato pizza with taleggio, roasted leeks & pancetta

Saturday – smooth, creamy…carrots?

roasted carrot and cumin puree (Food and Wine)
salmon cakes (Whole Foods Market)
gourmet greens salad

Take a break from crunchy carrots, and give this tart, sweet, and smokey flavored puree a try. It’s silky and smooth, and a perfect autumn side for any number of meat or fish dishes. Tonight I’m putting it with these simple homemade salmon cakes, improvising to use a pound of baked salmon and the veggies I have on hand, most likely just chopped parsley and onions. With a straight-forward tossed salad with my gourmet greens, a sprinkling of olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt, it’s a dinner gussied up for the weekend, but certainly no all day affair in the kitchen.

Sunday – pot pie, hold the chicken

pancetta, white bean & chard pot pie (Deb Perleman, The Smitten Kitchen)

This is like an earthy fall veggie-laden stew with a lid. Who cares about chicken pot pie when you can make swiss chard pot pie? Not to mention that it calls for carrots, celery (iac), and onion, making a giant dent in my veggie mountain. Use any green you’ve got – spinach, kale, collard greens, etc. Omitting the pancetta, the dish would maintain its rich, indulgent qualities, and be vegetarian-friendly. And although it’s Sunday, I’ll skimp and save on the assembly, making one giant pot pie in an oval baker, using canned white beans, and topping it with a store-bought puff pastry. I often cut these into eight squares, just to kind of apportion the servings visibly on top and make it easier to scoop out. The homemade crust would put it over the top, in a very good way!

Monday – one pot chicory wonder 

orecchiette with sausage & chicory (Food and Wine)

With a scrumptious garlicky, cheesy pasta as a base, not much can really mess this dinner up. It’s Monday-friendly, for sure. Tonight I’ll use one of my beautiful heads of castelfranco chicory. Any bitterness is taken away in the cooking. Here, your favorite sweet Italian sausage is mixed with braised chicory, and the whole kit-and-caboodle tossed with this fun, perfect-for-sauce-gathering, ear-shaped pasta and yummy pecorino cheese. Parsley, or nearly any fresh herb, is a lovely garnish.

Tuesday – fancy toast

radicchio salad with pear (The Food Network)
squash toasts with ricotta (Deb Perleman, The Smitten Kitchen)

Deb puts these in the category of “meals masquerading as toasts”. This is my kind of dinner! While the winter squash is roasting (any type, really) you are caramelizing the thinly sliced onions with cider vinegar and maple syrup until it’s spreadable like jam. Important tip: double the onions here, using half tonight and saving half for paninis on Thursday – you’ll be glad you did! This is roughly mashed with the cooked squash,then piled atop lightly toasted bread with ricotta and goat cheese (or cheese of your choice). Minimal ingredients, maximal flavor. I’ll use the other head of my radicchio in a hearty fall salad, chock full of northwest pears at their peak. I’ll good quality bakery croutons, skipping the effort of homemade. I’ll either mix my radicchio with any gourmet greens I’ve got left, or just let it stand alone. If you’re prone to think radicchio is bitter, soak it for a bit before-hand in ice water – this really does this trick.

Wednesday – knobby & bulbous no more

celery root bisque (Bon Appetit)
roasted chicken
crusty bread

This celery root bisque is a simple cook it, purree it, cream it process, resulting in a rich, velvety, decadent concoction. On a weeknight, no less! This is where an immersion blender really is indispensable! No back and forth, pot to blender, etc. While the celeriac and shallots (I’ll use my red onion) are softening for an inactive half hour, get the made-by-someone else roasted chicken, as well as the bakery bread, sliced and ready to roll. All that’s left is the in-pot blending for a warm and hearty homemade soup night. The flavors of bright, fresh celery and parsley will shine, giving much-deserved credit to this under appreciated, and yes, somewhat unattractive, fabulous fall veggie.

Thursday – sammie & fries

caramelized onion, chicken, & fontina panini (Huffington Post)
roasted parsnips with parsley (Bon Appetit)

Sliced leftover chicken, pre-made caramelized onions, and some slices of cheese…what could be simpler? Choose your favorite sturdy bread, brush the outside with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, and go to town in a good old-fashioned cast iron skillet (or whatever pan you like!) cooking up paninis for all. Make these simple roasted parsnips for someone who has always wrinkled their nose at the word “parsnip” – I think you’ll change their tune.  I call them “parsnip fries”, which is a stretch, but everyone seems to devour them!

“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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One response to “November 7 weekly menu | fall table”

  1. Kerstin says :

    Thanks Teri for this wonderful food blog! I’m receiving the same farm share as you and your fabulous recipes make delicious meals out of all these seasonal veggies (some ordinary and some not-so-ordinary! 🙂 I make several of your recipes each week and I’ve loved them all!

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