june 5 weekly menu | spring table

Farm Fresh

bok choy, chard, fennel, gourmet greens, butter lettuce, radishes, scallions, spinach

What’s for Dinner?

Holey Moley! I am not easily impressed (overwhelmed) by veggie volume, but my pick-up this week definitely inspired a nervous chuckle.  My “summer CSA”, Sauvie Island Organics (SIO), launched its season last week. People often ask me “But what do you do with all of those veggies?!?” I think this is the vision that intimidates them, just a bit. For me, the answer is in a (flexible) plan. I do love to map it all out, at the beginning of my veggie week. Once I see on paper that, yes indeed, that gargantuan mound of produce piled high upon my table has a place at each night’s dinner, I breathe a sigh of relief. And get cooking, one healthy, fabulous meal at a time!

Friday – grilled pizza +  jelly doughnuts

pizza with grilled fennel and parmesan (New York Times)
salad of gourmet greens (Bon Appetit)
doughnuts & strawberry dipping sauce (Bon Appetit)

Saturday – french picnic

chard tart (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog)
radishes with butter & sea salt (Williams Sonoma)
crusty baguette

Sunday  – java-licious

java sauce salmon with wilted spinach (Saucebox)
coconut black rice

Monday – crispy, crunchy fennel

quinoa salad with herbs (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog)
country bread

Tuesday –  pancakes in the pm

butter lettuce with sesame ginger vinaigrette (Five Heart Home)
scallion pancakes (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog)

Wednesday – pot pourri fried rice

bok choy fried rice (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog)

Thursday – sammie night, roll-your-own-wrap

elephant’s shelly wraps (Elephant’s Deli)


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Friday – pizza +  jelly doughnuts

pizza with grilled fennel and parmesan (New York Times)
salad of gourmet greens (Bon Appetit)
doughnuts & strawberry dipping sauce (Bon Appetit)

This week, fennel will star in our at home Pizza Night. Let this prior post be your inspiration and step-by-step instructional for pizza making. Anyone who thinks they don’t like fennel should really give it a shot in it’s amazing golden, caramely, soft, chewy, and sweet state. It’s quite a different animal than when it is raw and crunchy. If you IMG_1084don’t own a veggie grill pan, either keep the fennel more intact by just cutting it in half and slow-grilling it, or just cut it thinly and caramelize it in some olive oil on your stove top (this is what I always do.) You can either follow this NYT recipe for crusts, or this Serious Eats guide to grilled pizza seems pretty fool proof. I’ll use pre-made pizza sauce, let the kids have fun at the olive bar, and probably add some Olympic Provisions or other favorite salami to the topping line-up. Some chopped farm fresh scallions will make an amazing sprinkling over the tops! For an even simpler version, grab your dough from Hot Lips, New Seasons, or nearly any favorite pizza place. Our salad will be a lickety-split version – gourmet greens, sprinkled with balsamic vinegar, high quality olive oil, and salt and pepper. With greens this fresh and delicious, nothing more is needed. For dessert, doughnuts! It’s National Doughnut Day, a completely made up and ridiculous holiday. But, I must admit. I do love a good doughnut. Most any kind, really, but I’m especially partial to the maple bar. But given the irresistible strawberries right now, maybe we’ll go with jelly-filled. Kind of. Grab a few of your favorite basic fluffy, glazed doughnuts, cut them into pieces, and dip into a super simple Oregon strawberry sauce.

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 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 – frenchy picnic

chard tart (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog)
radishes with butter & sea salt (Williams Sonoma)
crusty baguette

Although I’m sure this homemade David Leibovitz tart crust is out-of-this-world, I already skipped it when I purchased the dough from the freezer section at Trader Joe’s. Make it in a tart pan, make it in a pie pan, you can’t go wrong. The chard and onion (I’ll use scallions, barely sautéing) filling will be fabulous, and more than make up for cheating on the crust. I’ve got farm fresh new garlic left from last week, and love that this recipe feels less guilt-inducing because it uses milk instead of cream. The filling’s a snap to put together; bake it during a cooler time of day, and load it in the picnic basket! With some French style radishes, and a crusty baguette, this is all you need for a fabulous outdoor beat-the-heat meal.

Sunday –  java-vicious

java sauce salmon with wilted spinach (Saucebox)
coconut black rice

Customer samples do indeed pay off. At least in my own individual market research, on only myself. I recently sampled a salmon offering at New Seasons that I found truly out of this world. They recreated this menu item from Sauceboat restaurant, where farm fresh spinach, Northwest salmon (I picked up some Copper River!), and this wonderfully sweet, sour, and spicy sauce combine in culinary perfection. I’ll halve the sauce recipe, although looks as if it can be saved and used again quite easily. It’s a simple mixture of kitchen staples – butter, garlic, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, lime juice, and soy sauce. I’ll be grilling the fish, brushing it before placing on the BBQ, and then drizzling it over the finished dish of wilted spinach topped with salmon. New Seasons also introduced me to an out of this world black rice, which had been cooked in coconut milk instead of water…well worth that one extra ingredient. Pretty fancy for a backyard barbecue, with nearly zero effort!

Monday –  crispy, crunchy fennel

quinoa salad with herbs (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog)
country bread

I love a salad that uses fennel in it’s raw, crunchy state. And this one looks so perfect for that salad-for-supper meal, especially with the warm evenings we’ve been having. I’ve got both turnips and radishes I’ll chop up and use, as well as scallions and fennel (along with the fronds!) and whatever herbs come your way. My herb pots will provide cilantro, parsley, mint, and maybe some lemon thyme. I’ll gladly take Katherine’s suggestion to add beans (maybe chick peas, or cannelloni beans), cheese (a good soft farmer’s cheese), and a sprinkling of nuts or seeds of any kind. These final simple additions take an already tasty salad to new heights – in the taste and texture department certainly, but also in the now-I’m-a-full-meal department as well. With some heart country bread and butter, and this dinner starts the week out scrumptiously.

Tuesday – pancakes in the pm

butter lettuce with sesame ginger vinaigrette (Five Heart Home)
scallion pancakes (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog)

For an ultra simple weeknight dinner, give these scallion pancakes a whirl. They are uncomplicated and unmessy, and quickly put to work one entire bunch of scallions. I’ll likely double the pancakes recipe, making it the main course. I’ll also whip up this Asian inspired salad, using the recipe mostly for the sesame soy dressing. I’ll use a head of butter lettuce, sliced radishes, green onions, and toasted almonds. giving You could easily toss some pre-made asian fish or chicken kebabs on the grill too!

Wednesday – pot pour fried rice

bok choy fried rice (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog)

This fried rice is a ripe candidate for the potpourri treatment…whatever veggies lay in waiting, see if I might squeeze bits and pieces into this delicious looking fried rice. It will certainly feature an entire head of bok choy and lots of green onions, but radishes, turnips, chopped chard or spinach would all be fabulous additions to this one-pot meal. And with this heat, my herb pots are sure to have both fresh cilantro and mint to provide that final sprinkling of flavor.

Thursday – sammie night, roll-your-own-wrap

elephant’s shelly wraps (Elephant’s Deli)

This veggie wrap is an ideal Thursday night choice, at least in my house, where these dinners are often a hodge-podge of veggies, desperately trying to clear out the fridge before the Friday CSA delivery. They lend themselves perfectly to that frenzy. As well as the frenzy of the head-out-of-town chaos that certainly ensues any evening before a school’s-out vacation departure. The greens, hazelnuts, apple, and grapes are key ingredients, with the fruit pieces adding just the right sweetness. I’m going to go crazy, and instead of broccoli, carrots, sugar peas and cabbage, I’ll do bits and pieces of whatever I’ve got left. Any of my week’s contenders would add fabulous flavor and texture – an assortment of greens (butter lettuce, spinach, or chard), some green onions, and crunchy radishes and fennel. Whatever veggies you choose, pick up some of those giant spinach tortillas, then take a look at a YouTube instructional on how to wrap the perfect wrap, and just go for it! Make sure that all of your veggies & fruit are chopped very small, to ease in the wrapping part. I’m going to put everything into one big salad bowl, toss it with dressing, and have roll-your-own-wraps-night. A key ingredient is Elephant’s own Stackhouse dressing – with a friendly phone call, you can order this yummy dressing and they’ll have it in their store for you the very next day! Ingredients are:  mustard, tamari, agave, tahini, cider vinegar and oil. If you prefer not to bother with Elephant’s pre-made (although I think it would be a worthwhile purchase, good on many a salad and sandwich!) then create your own vinaigrette with these flavors in mind. With all of that healthy salad goodness, what better side than some delicious Kettle Chips!

 “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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