july 3 weekly menu | summer table

Farm Fresh

broccoli, fava beans, gourmet greens, kale, lettuce, parsley, new potatoes

What’s for Dinner?

Well, a festive all-American holiday meal, to begin with. It’ll be chock full of tried-and-true Independence Day food traditions, and surely some red, white, and blue. Lots of other reasons to celebrate as well, beginning with twelve pounds of fava beans awaiting their turn at dinner. Yes, that’s right, twelve pounds. I lost my mind last week, letting half of these favas sit in my fridge, just awaiting the company of the many more pounds that arrived today. So, what else to do, but declare it fava week, a week in which they’ll grace each and every dinner table in several forms and fashions.

Friday – pizza night, on the grill + favas

fava bean pizza (Italian Food Forever)
gourmet greens salad

Saturday – red, white, blue & green

watermelon
grilled fava beans (101 Cookbooks)

best (and simplest) potato salad (Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything)
red, white & blueberry salad (Aviva Goldfarb, pbs.org)
grilled brats

mixed berry crisp (Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone)
homemade vanilla ice cream (Cuisinart)

Sunday  – burger night, fava style

fava bean burgers (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog)
crispy broccoli with lemon & garlic (Smitten Kitchen)

Monday – bruschetta, hold the tomatoes

fava bean bruschetta (Food and Wine)
simple greek salad (Epicurious)

Tuesday –  cacio e pepe

cacio e pepe with peas & favas (New York Times)
shredded kale salad (Serious Eats)

Wednesday – parsley inspiration

tabbouleh salad (Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food)
fava bean hummus (Deborah Madison, Vegetable Literacy)
grilled chicken kebabs (Epicurious)
pitas

Thursday – sammies with fava spread

kale sandwiches with favas & avocado (Self)
broccoli & fava bean hummus


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Friday – pizza night, on the grill +favas

fava bean pizza (Italian Food Forever)
gourmet greens salad

IMG_1084

Super fun, interactive, and delicious way to use those veggies, even in the summer –Pizza Night! With this heat, I certainly go more to grilling the pizza outdoors, which is festive and fun. This Serious Eats guide to grilled pizza seems pretty fool proof. What better way to kick off the veggie week than with favas on our pizza! This very Italian inspired recipe uses both fava bean pesto as well as whole favas – a good start in using those many pounds. You could certainly use a pre-made basil pesto for an easier option; the flavors would meld nicely. I’ll do a vegetarian version, using the mozzarella and telleggio cheeses and a sprinkling of kalamatas. 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 fancier is needed.

Saturday – red, white, blue & green

watermelon
grilled fava beans (101 Cookbooks)

best (and simplest) potato salad (Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything)
red, white & blueberry salad (Aviva Goldfarb, pbs.org)
grilled brats

mixed berry crisp (Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone)
homemade vanilla ice cream (Cuisinart)

A 4th of July celebratory feast, that’s both all-American festive and stays within the beat-the-heat theme. To start, the sweetest most delicious watermelon to be found,  straight from Hermiston, Oregon. And in the spirit of my rid-the-fridge-of-favas mission, I’ll also set out a giant bowl of grilled favas, sprinkled with salt, red pepper flakes, and mint from my herb pot – they make quite fun finger food snacks. For dinner, in this heat the last thing I want is a mayo-based potato salad. Instead, I’ll make a lighter, simpler, vinaigrette-dressed version. These are also easier to travel with, not worrying so much about refrigeration, etc. I’ll use my new potatoes, skins on, and dressed just after boiling with a yummy mustardy vinaigrette. My farm fresh parsley will be delicious chopped and sprinkled in, as would hard-boiled eggs, olives, pickles, and any number of family favorites. With our local berries in full force, this light, healthy, and perfect-for-the-4th-or-any-time berry and greens salad is a must. I’ll use my gourmet greens, and have fun perusing the farmer’s market for whatever red(ish) and blue(ish) berries catch my eye. Use pine nuts, hazelnuts, whatever nuts, and a favorite fresh farmer’s cheese. Toss the brats on the barbie, set out a mustard sampling, and celebrate in fine foodie style. The perfect ending? A straight-from-the-market mixed berry crisp. Homey, rustic, and best of all EASY. You really just can’t beat a fresh fruit crisp served with homemade ice cream. We’ll go with vanilla tonight, but experimentation is half the fun and makes any evening feel special occasion.

Sunday –  burger night, fava style

fava bean burgers (Katherine Deumling, SIO Blog)
crispy broccoli with lemon & garlic (Smitten Kitchen)

I look for any excuse for a good veggie burger. Chez Marie from the frozen section is my usual go-to, but I’ll also try my hand at any delicious and do-able sounding recipe. This one was originally created by Yotam Ottolenghi, and is a dandy! It uses a bunch of our kale (I’ll substitute for spinach), potatoes, and fava beans from this week’s gold mine of veggies. I’m going to simplify it even further, using just one pan – first to wilt the kale; next to blanch the favas (makes removing the skins on each bean a breeze); and then, in the same water, to boil the potatoes. I’ll add the rest of the ingredients to the same pan, (including the now wilted kale) and mash them all up with a potato masher.  Shape them into whatever size patties you want – larger ones if you want more of a traditional burger size, possibly on a bun. I’ll make them smaller, and toss them  on a lightly oiled grill (skipping the hot indoor frying) and serve them in pitas with the lemony yogurt sauce and some chopped lettuce greens. Ultra fresh, flavorful, and summery! As for the broccoli, I’ll sacrifice a little kitchen heat, because the very best way to make lightly browned, crispy-edged broccoli is roasted in a hot oven. But it sure doesn’t take long! This “recipe” from Smitten Kitchen keeps the ingredients minimal and lets the veggie speak for itself. In this case, flavors are merely enhanced with my fresh garlic, lemon juice, and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes. I’ll cook up my entire batch of broccoli, knowing that what we don’t enjoy fresh out of the oven tonight, I’ll save in the fridge for ready-made beautifully seasoned crudites.

Monday –  bruschetta, hold the tomatoes

fava bean bruschetta (Food and Wine)
simple greek salad (Epicurious)

A giant platter of grilled baguette spread with a fava bean smash (with olive oil, lemon, & garlic) topped with fresh mozzarella and chopped mint? Clearly says “summer dinner” to me! I’ll add a very simple greek salad with one of my heads of lettuce and a healthy sprinkling of fresh parsley. Grilled chicken & red onion kebabs would be another great choice to go with this bruschetta.

Tuesday – cacio e pepe

cacio e pepe with peas & favas (New York Times)
shredded kale salad (Serious Eats)

Literally, “cache e pepe” translates to cheese and pepper. It’s a fabulous Italian minimalist pasta, that we’ll just improve upon with, you guessed it, fava beans. This combination of peppery, cheesy (two kinds!), and fresh favas (I’ll skip the peas) is downright delish. I’ll double the recipe for a family of four (and to use MORE favas). I’ll add a nearly effortless kale salad. I use the basic formula again and again – kale, the very few dressing ingredients, toasted hazelnuts (or any nuts), and a farmer’s market cheese. I pre-dress the chopped kale a bit before dinner time, to soften it up. A glass of prosecco complete this nod to Italy quite nicely.

Wednesday – parsley inspiration

tabbouleh salad (Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food)
fava bean hummus (Deborah Madison, Vegetable Literacy)
grilled chicken kebabs (Epicurious)
pitas

Most times I receive giant bunches of parsley in the summer, I jump straight to making chimichurri. Because it’s flexible, fabulous, and works with nearly anything grilled. I wondered recently, as I was eating tabbouleh at a restaurant, why I never make this gem of a salad. It’s a Lebanese no-cook salad, with minimal additions beyond the fresh parsley and bulgar. I’ll go to this Alice Waters recipe, which just calls for a couple tomatoes and lots of fresh mint to be added to the parsley and a lemony vinaigrette. The Mediterranean theme continues…more fun with favas, in this super simple fava bean pesto. A very few ingredients in the food processor, and you’ve got a unique and fabulous hummus to accompany lemony chicken kabobs and freshly made pitas I’ll pick up at World Foods.

Thursday –  sammies with fava spread

kale sandwiches with favas & avocado (Self)
broccoli & fava bean hummus

One last fava bean hoorah – find that friend just one more time, for the shelling of the favas. Or if you’re done, done, done with that, buy a can of chickpeas – they’d be a dandy stand-in. This healthy, fresh sandwich is summer dinner at its finest.  Whole grain bread is spread with a simple fava bean paste, smooshed avocados, and topped with what amounts to a simply dressed kale salad. They could certainly be served open-faced, if you’re anything like me, where the sandwich will be piled just a bit too high with the salad part. As a side, leftover delight – surely there’ll be some fava bean hummus left for the dipping of the lemony, crispy broccoli made earlier in the week.

 “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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