april 3 weekly menu | spring table

Farm Fresh

beets, collard greens, dandelion greens, kale, kale raab, mushrooms, radishes, sunchokes, winter squash

What’s for Dinner?

Eggs. Easter eggs, that is. We don’t eat enough of them in my house, so here’s the perfect excuse to go crazy. I’m devoting the week to eggs for dinner, every-which-way. And all of this goodness from the gorge will go a long way in in making a fabulous Easter (and pre and post-Easter) celebration!

Friday – pizza night, Easter style

egg, ham, and kale raab pizza (Food Network)

Saturday – dinner in a (skillet) basket

baked eggs with greens and mushrooms (Smitten Kitchen, Deb Perelman)
baked winter squash (The Kitchn)

Sunday  – Easter celebration, many ways

brunch:

strata with collards, gruyere, and sausage (Gourmet/Eggs On Sunday)
coconut bread  (Deb Perleman, Smitten Kitchen)
fruit salad

dinner:

asparagus stuffed deviled eggs (Smitten Kitchen, Deb Perleman)
local cheese and salami selection
baguette

sunchoke and leek soup (Green Kitchen Stories)

dandelion greens with warm balsamic vinaigrette (Whole Foods Market)
simple potato gratin (Deb Perleman, Smitten Kitchen)
grilled local leg of lamb with rosemary and garlic

sweet coconut creation  (Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa)

Monday – kicked up egg salad

curried egg salad sandwiches with radishes (Real Simple)

Tuesday –  leftovers never looked so fresh

leftover Easter ham (or Easter whatever…)
kale salad with warm bacon vinaigrette (Smitten Kitchen, Deb Perleman)

Wednesday – beans & greens (+ eggs)

white bean and radish salad (Bon Appetit)
crusty bakery bread

Thursday – potpourri cobb

kale cobb salad (Deb Perleman, Smitten Kitchen)
baguette


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Friday – pizza night, Easter style

egg, ham, and kale raab pizza (Food Network)

IMG_1084

Ham & eggs is not just for brunch…we’re embarking on Easter Weekend Pizza Night! I’ll make two of these pizzas, topped with farm fresh kale raab, prosciutto, and lo-and-behold…eggs! I’ll saute the kale raab in a little olive oil and garlic, until it’s tender, then use it just like the spinich called for in the recipe. The egg will cook right along with the crust, making a known and delightful flavor combination, atop our pizza pie! I’ll make my own crust, just because it’s so easy, making two and doubling this topping recipe. In a rush? Purchase dough from your local market or pizza joint.

Other recent 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
pizza bianca with goat cheese & chard
classic margherita pizza
kale, sundried tomato, & feta pizza
sausage, leek, & shitake pizza
potato & rosemary pizza 
old town’s dragon lady (mushrooms, leeks, etc.)
pizza with kale raab, leeks, and olives 

Saturday – dinner in a (skillet) basket

baked eggs with greens and mushrooms (Smitten Kitchen, Deb Perelman)
baked winter squash (The Kitchn)

Who can resist dinner in a basket, on this special weekend? A ton of spring greens, mushrooms, and eggs, all shaped and maneuvered to resemble an Easter basket. Since I’m not making this for a crowd, I’ll halve the recipe, using six eggs and a pound of greens (either collard greens or kale – just increase the cooking time compared to spinach). I’ll also make the skillet version, where it’s baked directly in the pan as opposed to transferring to a baking dish. Added ingredients: butter, parmesan, garlic, and a tad bit of cream. Not much could go wrong here!  I’ll add a classic baked squash as a side, forgoing the maple syrup and brown sugar. Maybe it’ll seem more spring-ey with some some butter and a sprinkling of sea salt. When will the winter (squash) end?!?

Sunday – Easter celebration, many ways

brunch:

strata with collards, gruyere, and sausage (Gourmet/Eggs On Sunday)
coconut bread  (Deb Perleman, Smitten Kitchen)
fruit salad

dinner:

asparagus stuffed deviled eggs (Smitten Kitchen, Deb Perleman)
local cheese and salami selection
baguette

sunchoke and leek soup (Green Kitchen Stories)

dandelion greens with warm balsamic vinaigrette (Whole Foods Market)
simple potato gratin (Deb Perleman, Smitten Kitchen)
grilled local leg of lamb with rosemary and garlic

sweet coconut creation (Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa)

So, this is how it usually works at my house. The Easter Bunny brings (too) many pounds of peanut butter eggs, peeps, and chocolate bunnies. This, plus a cup of strong coffee, starts the day. Then, we’re on our way to two complete holiday feasts. I say pace yourself, start early, and it’ll work out gorgeously!

I love a breakfast strata for these brunch celebrations. Assemble it the night before, let it sit and soak and meld flavors overnight, and the morning is simple – just throw it in the oven to bake. Stratas are the perfect opportunity to be creative. Bread, milk, and eggs are the base, but then just add whatever you think sounds wonderful. Any cheese, any breakfast meat (or not), any veggie. Always looking for a creative use for my collards, this will be my green of choice. A perfectly lovely Easter brunch with the seasonal veggie strata as the centerpiece, flanked by a luscious fruit salad and a gorgeous spring coconut bread (sounds maybe just a tad healthier than calling it what it really is – cake!). Coconut, cinnamon, browned butter, vanilla?!? No wonder it’s become a mainstay on my Easter brunch table. 

So, brunch was early, right? After munching a few more jelly beans, having a hard-boiled egg (you know, for protein), it’s already time for Easter dinner! We are continuing our beloved tradition of going to our friends’ family farm and winery for the big affair. The wine-maker is from Italy, so we do it like Italians, whole grilled spring lamb (neighbor’s!) and all. (I close my eyes for this part.) IMG_3681The other wonderful Italian part is the gorgeous appetizer platter with sliced hard boiled eggs, an array of cheeses and salamis, a sliced baguette and some quince paste. And Easter is not complete without some special-event deviled eggs –  chives would add a beautiful green sprinkling over the top of these extra special ones featuring spring asparagus. Sitting on the deck, overlooking the vineyards and mountains, sipping a beautiful Apolloni sparkling rose, and watching the kids hunt for Easter eggs – couldn’t get much better than this. Then, believe it or not, comes the actual feast part. I’ll bring a simple but oh-so flavorful spring jerusalem artichoke (sunchoke) and leek soup. It was met with rave reviews last year, and given my kids have abandoned the sunchoke(!), I’ll take them where they’re appreciated. I’ll also contribute a dandelion greens salad. Tossed just before serving with a warm garlic-infused vinaigrette, this salad is truly outstanding. Any bitterness is toned down, and the greens become just slightly wilted. After tossing with the warm dressing, I’ll sprinkle the salad with thinly sliced radishes and a good farmer’s cheese. At the giant table, there’s always a unique and wonderful au gratin potato dish as well– this one looks perfectly simple and less heavy than many. DSCN0090You could easily incorporate some of those fresh mushrooms here. Feel free to use any potatoes you might have – some may fall apart more easily, but who cares? For dessert, (since we only had “bread” this morning) I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a coconut bunny cake or coconut chick cupcakes, both of which have made past appearances. Ina’s coconut cake recipe, along with the rich and luscious cream cheese frosting, is the perfect base for your own Easter creativity and whims!

Monday –  kicked up egg salad

curried egg salad sandwiches with radishes (Real Simple)

After lots of cooking and feasting yesterday, sandwiches are the perfect, simple, start-of-the-week dinner. Not to mention the satisfaction of using eight of our beautiful pastel (or more likely marbled, glittered, tie-dyed, tattooed or stickered) dyed eggs. Spice up the tried-and-true egg salad sandwich with a little curry powder and fresh chives. The recipe suggests pumpernickel bread; use what you like. I’ll use some of the hearty multi-grain sandwich bread. Thinly sliced radishes will make a peppery, wonderfully crunchy addition to this sandwich. Serve with some everyone-loves Kettle chips, and maybe a slice of leftover bunny cake!

Tuesday – leftovers never looked so fresh

leftover Easter ham (or Easter whatever…)
kale salad with warm bacon vinaigrette (Smitten Kitchen, Deb Perleman)

Ham, lamb, salmon, whatever starred in your own Easter feast, most likely there’s some left. Put it on a fresh platter, and add a big, gorgeous kale salad. The recipe was originally designed for a spinach salad, but thinly sliced kale will be just as scrumptious. It’s packed with lots of our at-the-ready Easter eggs, plus our farm-fresh mushrooms. Skip the warm bacon vinaigrette if you don’t want the hassle of bacon-frying, but it sure is good! (You would mix olive oil with the dijon and vinegar instead.) This is a salad that could easily stand on it’s own as a heart-healthy and delicious dinner.

Wednesday – beans & greens (+ eggs)

white bean and radish salad (Bon Appetit)
crusty bakery bread

This main dish salad is a wonderful way to highlight the week’s radish crop. The crunchy and slightly peppery texture and flavors are beautifully contrasted by the soft and creamy white beans. I may skip the anchovies, or just use a little paste in the dressing instead. This salad looks ripe for some sliced hard-boiled eggs for sure. I’ll probably warm the beans a bit before tossing with the dressing; at the same time I’ll throw in some greens – thinly sliced kale or collards – for added flavor, texture, and “salad-ness”. Add your favorite crusty bakery bread, and maybe some delicious soft cheese – yum! A made-by-someone-else roasted chicken would go nicely here as well.

Thursday – potpourri cobb

kale cobb salad (Deb Perleman, Smitten Kitchen)
baguette

I’m going to muck with the classic cobb, and make it just a little chewier than normal. Use very thinly sliced kale leaves, and dress the salad a bit ahead of serving it to give the kale a chance to soften up a bit. Choose any of the rest of the ingredients that make a cobb perfect to you. Again, we’re using up those Easter eggs! I’ll skip the tomatoes and add some pre-roasted, sliced beets for a unique twist on the red. I may skip the chicken or bacon, and make up for it with a potpourri of whatever I’ve got left in the crisper – maybe even some sliced, roasted sunchokes or chunks of roasted squash. Add a crusty baguette and dinner is served!

 “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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