june 19 weekly menu | summer table

Farm Fresh

broccoli, cabbage, chard, fennel, garlic, gourmet greens, romaine, parsley

What’s for Dinner?

I call it vacation veggie overload; returning just a day or two post farm drop off can cause quite a backup! So, with a short veggie week upon me, dinnertime will be filled with main-meal romaine and cabbage salads, using entire gargantuan heads; with complete bunches of parsley plus a salad; and with loads of broccoli, fennel and chard, all in one fold-over pizza dinner.  The great news is, anything I just can’t quite squeeze in generally finds an eager home with a friend or neighbor.

Sunday  – fathers’ faves

grilled steak with chimichurri sauce (Serious Eats)
gourmet greens salad
grilled garlic bread (Epicurious)

Monday – caesar, oregon style

caesar salad with grilled salmon (Cooking Light)

Tuesday –  top ramen memories

chinese chicken salad (Epicurious)

Wednesday – salad, south of the border

taco salad (Cook’s Illustrated 30-Minute Meals)

Thursday – fold-over pizzas

broccoli & fennel calzones (Martha Stewart, Everyday Food)
chard salad (Food52)


Sunday –  fathers’ faves

grilled steak with chimichurri sauce (Serious Eats)
mixed greens salad
grilled garlic bread (Epicurious)

A two-for-one celebration…our Father’s Day and Welcome Summer dinner is built around all of this pretty parsley! When I get a bunch (beware, these can become GIANT as the season progresses…) my favorite thing to do is to get out the food processor and make a batch of chimichurri sauce. There’s usually so much parsley, I can reserve a handful or two for the sprinklings I’ll need throughout the week, and still have plenty for this amazing Argentinian sauce. The basics:  parsley, garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes (make it as spicy or not spicy as you’d like). You can easily freeze this sauce also, if you won’t be using it right away. Grill up any steak on the barbecue (I’m using New York, featured at New Seasons) slice into thin strips on a serving platter, and drizzle heartily with this fresh and fragrant chimichurri sauce. If there’s extra sauce, it’s wonderful on sandwiches, wraps, and eggs of any sort. I can’t resist garlic bread using mine fresh from the farm. Use any of your favorite bakery bread – I’m using a big, hearty Como loaf. It all works the same, but the larger the loaf, the less slicing, brushing, and turning on the grill. Add a salad of mixed greens sprinkled lightly with olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper. A dinner any father would appreciate, and a perfect welcome to the new season.

Monday –  caesar, oregon style

caesar salad with grilled salmon (Cooking Light)

What better way to use one humongous head of romaine than in a main-meal caesar salad, bumped up a notch with the addition of grilled salmon. This Cooking Light dressing recipe uses plain yogurt as its base. Buy your favorite bottled brand, and this meal is nothing more than chopping the romaine and grilling a piece of salmon. Don’t forget a sprinkling of crunchy, delicious croutons as a fabulous final touch.

Tuesday – top ramen memories

chinese chicken salad (Epicurious)

I often go to a summer slaw when I receive cabbage, but with this head of Napa cabbage I’m doing another hearty dinner salad. I’ll use the entire head, which surely will be plenty. But I do have an excess of romaine, if I decide to mix the greens. Instead of snow peas, I’ll chop some broccoli into small pieces – it will add the same vibrant color, plus great crunch and texture. I’ll make this weeknight simple, buying a pre-roasted chicken at the market, and shredding it for the salad. (Any chicken remaining will be a fabulous lunchtime treat on a sandwich with chimichurri…) Instead of (labor-intensive) fried wontons, I’ll opt to go retro with a package of broken up instant ramen noodles. Dress the salad a bit ahead of time to allow the noodles to soak up some dressing, but still retain a bit of crunch. Sliced almonds add another delicious crunch too.

Wednesday – salad, south of the border 

taco salad (Cook’s Illustrated 30-Minute Meals)

In good conscience, it’s hard for me to really call this dinner a “salad”. But it’s really fabulous! Leave it to Cook’s Illustrated, even the 30-minute version, to make things look more complicated than they really are. The only real cooking part is the ground beef (or chicken, or turkey, or black bean…) mixture. The rest is chopping and shredding – ANOTHER giant head of romaine, plus scallions, cheese, avocado, olives, cilantro, tortilla chips…whatever you like! Two time-savers:  buy a bottle of some sort of southwest/lime/vinaigrette (the CI version is really good, though, and worth it if you have a few minutes), and skip the entire fussy “final assembly” section. I just make a gargantuan bowl of shredded lettuce, and all else sits on the toppings bar, allowing everyone create their own perfect, personalized taco salad.

Thursday –  fold-over pizzas

broccoli & fennel calzones (Martha Stewart, Everyday Food)
chard salad (Food52)

When you get five pounds of broccoli, you start getting creative. Beyond roasted or steamed, beyond stir-fry, beyond all of the tried-and-true ways of enjoying broccoli. I started by gifting some; that hardly made a dent. These calzones are both simple and delicious. I’ll use a couple pounds of my broccoli, chopped into small pieces. Instead of onions, I’ll caramelize a bulb of fennel before adding the broccoli and garlic, combining with the cheese mixture, and assembling the calzones. The combination of ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella is just right with the broccoli. I swear by this Basic Pizza Dough in the New Basics cookbook – takes just a few minutes in the mixer in the morning, and you’ll have homemade pizza dough awaiting you in your fridge come dinnertime. Or, grab your favorite pre-made dough from nearly any market or pizza joint. I’m not sure why Martha keeps the pizza sauce separate here; I’ve usually spread a thin layer on the bottom of the calzone before assembling. But these are equally delicious as a no-sauce alternative. I adore this Food52 chard salad…the perfect balance of crunchy, garlicky, and zesty. I buy pre-made bakery breadcrumbs, then just sauté those lightly in a little more olive oil and garlic. It’s literally a two minute process. I do not use the full quantity of breadcrumbs suggested, maybe half that amount instead, just enough for a good crunch and flavor throughout the 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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One response to “june 19 weekly menu | summer table”

  1. Claudia McNeil says :

    Sweet Superwoman , How do you do it all?

    Where was. Vacation This time? You always Have a blast. Happy Summer. Love, Claudia

    Claudia Lacey McNeil cmcneil@realtytrust.com 503-329-3569

    Sent from my iPhone

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