march 6 weekly menu | winter table

Farm Fresh

beets, kale, kale raab, leeks, mushrooms, sunchokes, winter squash

What’s for Dinner?

Just when we’re FINISHED with potatoes and parsnips, a new root seems to be a mainstay in my CSA box line-up. I had to refresh my memory as to what the heck a sun choke was exactly! It’s also known as a Jerusalem artichoke, looks a bit like a knobby ginger root, has a sweet, nutty flavor a bit reminiscent of an artichoke, and can be eaten raw or cooked. It gives the perfect hint of fresh artichokes, which are just around the seasonal bend. It’s a funny-looking “tuber”, and has a nickname I’d rather forget (starts with an “f”; rhymes with artichoke.) So for dinner this week, in addition to some simple yet gourmet homemade pizza, a seafood cioppino feast, a(nother) German celebration, a couple mid-week south-of-the-border sensations, I’ll do some culinary exploration of the sunchoke. I’m hungry already.

Friday – homemade pizza, TV trays, movie

mushroom & pecorino tartufo pizza (Lovely’s Fifty Fifty)

Saturday – seafood aplenty

kale & beet salad (ABC, The Chew)
cioppino (Gourmet)
crusty italian bread

Sunday – across state lines rouladen

german beer

sautéed kale raab (Global Post)
roasted sunchokes (The Kitchn)
rouladen (Gustav’s)

apple sharlotka (Deb Perelman, The Smitten Kitchen)

Monday – whole bowl, real deal

the whole bowl + tali sauce (Sweet Phi)

Tuesday – beans & greens go Mexican

beans ‘n greens burritos (Mark Bittman, Food Matters)

Wednesday – cream of mushroom soup

hungarian mushroom soup (Mollie Katzen, The Moosewood Cookbook)
roasted chicken
baguette

Thursday – more tubers

sunchoke and artichoke heart linguine (Diane Morgan, Roots)

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Friday – homemade pizza, TV trays, movie

mushroom & pecorino tartufo pizza (Lovely’s Fifty Fifty)

IMG_1084

For this week’s pizza inspiration, I looked no further than the Lovely’s Fifty Fifty menu – one of our favorite local pizza joints. They take full advantage of all of our local farm fresh produce, not only for their salads, but for their creative and inspiring pizzas as well. I’m going super simple, and highlighting my just-delivered HRO mushrooms. I like mushrooms on pizza to be pre-sauteed – gives them a nice browning, and gets the moisture out before they hit the pizza. Whatever type mushrooms strike your fancy work great – just cut up into uniform sized pieces. Sounds decadent on this pecorino tartufo cheese base! It’s a raw sheep’s milk, speckled with flakes of black and white truffles. Spread a light layer of sauce (or could be a sauceless version), followed by thin slices of cheese, sprinkled with the sautéed mushrooms. YUM! Of course, many other toppings would be right at home here, including caramelized leeks, sautéed kale, or browned sausage. Let your imagination be your guide, as well as this prior Pizza Night post for a 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!

Saturday – seafood aplenty

kale & beet salad (ABC, The Chew)
cioppino (Gourmet)

Sometimes it’s not the veggies in the box that inspires my dinner choice. Sometimes it’s coming across an old, hand-written, food-stained recipe. One that’s been made approximately once a year, over the past twenty years – in honor of the seafood we are surrounded by, in honor of a special occasion, or sometimes, like tonight, in honor of nothing at all except a fabulous family dinner together. I do not know where my recipe originated…I remember being on vacation somewhere, and being so inspired to make it, I wrote it verbatim on some scratch paper (where it still resides.) This Gourmet version is a close approximation. The fresh seafood is what matters most, and I’m in luck! New Seasons is featuring mussels, shrimp, and halibut this week. I’ll use peeled and deveined shrimp, mussels instead of clams, and skip the crab (I’ve heard this year was a crab bust!) You can vary it however you want, depending on your seafood tastes, what’s on special, and your diners. The broth is the key ingredient. I’m going to use my leeks in place of the onion, but I won’t substitute the green pepper – essential! My recipe also includes a tablespoon of dried basil, oregano, sugar, and lemon juice, and a teaspoon of dried thyme. The part that always surprises me, is that after the broth is simmered, it calls for me to chill for at least twelve hours. If you forget to whip this broth up in the morning, go for the quick Gourmet version; if you made time for chilling, I think it’s well worth it for an unbelievable deep, flavorful broth. The cioppino is served immediately with a hearty sourdough or crusty Italian bread – the dipping is one of the delights of this meal! With a simple red wine vinaigrette dressed kale and sliced beet salad (I’ll skip whatever additions I don’t have on hand), this is a meal fit for any special occasion. Including a quiet Saturday at home with the family.

Sunday – across state lines rouladen

german beer

sautéed kale raab (Global Post)
roasted sunchokes (The Kitchn)
rouladen (Gustav’s)

apple sharlotka (Deb Perelman, The Smitten Kitchen)

When you receive a call asking if Grandma-from-Germany can bring rouladen for Sunday Supper, what do you say? “Why, yes, of course! I’ll cook up the veggies!” Rouladen is a very traditional German dish, and is simply mustard, pickles, bacon, and onion rolled up in thinly sliced beef and cooked. For years, I’ve watched the relatives assemble it this way, securing it all with a toothpick, and baking. This fancied-up version ala Gustav’s consists of browning and cooking in a red wine veggie sauce, which is quite good also. Leeks could easily stand in for the onions. I’ll serve Grandma’s version  – simple buttered egg noodles or red potatoes make a traditional accompaniment. For a veggie side, I’ll make this quick sautéed kale raab, using both bunches I received this week. It’s a go-to side with anything really, considering how easy it is. Add a sprinkling of apple cider or red wine vinegar, and it’ll be right at home in this German dinner. I’ll also roast up some sunchokes – no need to peel, crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, with a fabulous nutty, artichokey flavor. For dessert, this amazing apple cake. It’s actually sort of a combination of cake, pie, pancake, and clafoutis, and the best part is that it really couldn’t be easier. AND it’s pretty darned healthy, as cakes go. No butter, little sugar, mostly apples. I’m going for it, with whatever northwest apples land in my CSA box this week.

Monday – whole bowl, real deal

the whole bowl + tali sauce (Sweet Phi)

Everyone needs the “shouldn’t go out again…what can I throw together quickly?” dinner. AND, where several simple and healthy pieces come together in a perfect union. For me, this is it. And now I’ve finally found the unofficial recipe for Portland’s famous Whole Bowl food cart, claiming to serve “love in a bowl.” Monday’s a great day for that! These one bowl dinners are the best. The minimal ingredients and suggested accompaniments are ripe for experimentation with various grains, beans, veggies, and toppings. I’ll have the rice at-the-ready, in the rice cooker. And in addition to the listed ingredients, I’ll saute/braise some kale or collard greens in a little olive oil and garlic until bright green and no longer bitter. I’ll also cook up my spaghetti squash, and after it’s extracted “noodle-like” from its peel, set that out as a bowl addition as well. Sliced sautéed portabellos would be another fabulous addition. I’ll set out all of the possibilities, and invite diners to “build their own bowl” as their taste buds desire! But of course, topping with the unique, delicious, and easy to make tali sauce that makes it the real deal.

Tuesday – beans & greens go Mexican

beans ‘n greens burritos (Mark Bittman, Food Matters)

This is one of those weeknight recipes that lends itself to all sorts of whims and wishes. For the greens, I’ll use kale and maybe some collard greens as well. What looks like an absolute TON of greens wilts way down upon cooking, and you’ll want to end up with enough to stuff at least four of those giant tortillas wrapped up in a nice burrito package.  Add in a toppings bar for people to customize as they wish. The great news is, there should be plenty of veggies left from our whole bowl feast last night. Sautéed greens and mushrooms, spaghetti squash, and of course standard burrito fillings like cheese, olives, chopped cilantro and avocado, and a favorite ready-made salsa will be in the line-up for us.

Wednesday – cream of mushroom soup

hungarian mushroom soup (Mollie Katzen, The Moosewood Cookbook)
roasted chicken
baguette

I’m sure many of you may have eaten the creamy mushroom soup at the New Seasons deli – it’s one of their very popular standards. It’s a far cry from the molded-into-a-can-shape soup that I remember “cooking” as a child. This modern version is wonderful way to put our mushrooms to use this week. I’ll use a mixture of crimini, shitake, and portabellos – use any type of mushrooms you love. If you’ve got leeks left, use these instead of the onion. As for the paprika, this is considered the national spice of Hungary. Hungarian paprika is made from peppers that are harvested and then sorted, toasted, and blended to create different varieties. All Hungarian paprikas have some degree of rich, sweet red pepper flavor, but they range in pungency and heat. Let your taste buds be your guide. Here are the modifications that New Seasons makes to this Mollie Katzen recipe, if you want it exactly how they prepare it:  double the broth, butter, and mushrooms; add 2 T dill; skip the parsley, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Add a warm, soft baguette, and maybe a made-by-someone-else roasted chicken for a full meal deal.

Thursday – more tubers

sunchoke and artichoke heart linguine (Diane Morgan, Roots)

End of the veggie week, I’m going for this straightforward Diane Morgan pasta recipe, using my leeks instead of red onions. Canned artichoke hearts bring out the sunchoke’s unique flavor; I’ll add some sliced chicken left from last night to make a healthy, hearty one-pot main course.

“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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