january 22 weekly menu | winter table

Farm Fresh

beets, cabbage, carrots, leeks, mushrooms, parsnips, turnips, winter squash

What’s for Dinner?

I’ll kick off the dinner week with National Pie Day. Who knew that day could include the likes of beets, mushrooms, and parsnips?!? Followed of course by chocolate cream, key lime, apple, or wherever your sweet tooth takes you. The magic of mushrooms is just the cherry on top.

Friday – pizza, tv trays, movie

winter squash pizza (Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Vegetables)

Saturday –  pie + pie

chicken and root vegetable pot pie (Cooking Light)

buyer’s choice sweet pie

Sunday – mediterranean feast

the ultimate winter couscous (Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty)
grilled chicken, red onion, and mint kebabs (Bon Appetit)
pitas & hummus

Monday – steak & salad

roasted winter vegetable composed salad (Martha Stewart Living)
new york steak
garlic bread

Tuesday – weeknight veggie tacos

portabella mushroom & cabbage tacos (Vegetarian Times)
better bean cuban black beans

Wednesday – potluck-worthy cabbage

date, feta, and red cabbage salad (Smitten Kitchen)

Thursday – sammie night, sriracha style

banh mi sandwiches with sriracha mayo (Inquiring Chef)
quick-pickled turnips (Andrew Cohen, High Ground Organics)

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Friday – pizza, tv trays, movie

winter squash pizza (Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Vegetables)

Dinner tonight will be the result of a recent trip to the Eastside’s Roman Candle Baking Co. I think their Roman style flatbread pizzas are outstanding, especially one I just had. It was quite simple – no sauce, thinly sliced delicata squash, some sautéed leeks and garlic, and a light sprinkling of cheese. This amazing winter pizza from Alice Waters is a close approximation. This week I’m lucky enough to have delicata, but any squash will do. If you’ve got a thicker-peeled squash, pre-bake it a bit (halved, seeds out, face down)before you try to slice and peel – jusIMG_1084t makes the process easier. I think this pizza is perfect with just a garlicky olive oil, fresh ricotta, the squash slices, and a sprinkle of thyme. Crispy sage adds a wonderful flavor and texture, but skip it if it seems fussy. Add mushrooms, sausage, prosciutto, or whatever strikes your fancy. Follow this previous Pizza Night post for a no-fail dough recipe I rely on each week. It makes enough for two pizzas, even three if rolled out in the super thin, best-for-crispy-pizza style.

Other pizza combinations:

winter squash and wild mushroom 
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
pizza with kale raab, leeks, and olives 
pizza with fennel sausage, braising greens and rosemary
dandelion greens, Italian sausage, and fontina cheese pizza
spinach and chive pizza
grilled pizza with kale, mushroom, & sausage
shaved asparagus & parmesan pizza
leek, chard, & corn flatbread
pizza with green garlic & arugula
pizza bianca with goat cheese & chard
fresh ricotta and red onion pizza
sweet onion pizza
pizza with grilled fennel and parmesan
eggplant & tomato pizza
caramelized onion, kale, & corn flatbread
classic margherita pizza
caramelized fennel, onion, and sweet pepper pizza 
pizza with red and yellow peppers
kale, sundried tomato, & feta pizza
ricotta and gremolata pizza
parsley pesto & potato pizza 
roasted red potato pizza with taleggio, roasted leeks & pancetta
roasted acorn squash & gorgonzola pizza 
winter squash pizza 
butternut squash and caramelized onion galette
sausage, leek, & shitake pizza
potato & rosemary pizza 

Saturday – pie + pie

chicken and root vegetable pot pie (Cooking Light)

buyer’s choice sweet pie

Well, that’s an easy answer. Pie plus pie equals Saturday Night Bliss! It’s National Pie Day, and even if you don’t normally celebrate (or know about) this fabulous holiday, jump on the best excuse ever to enjoy pie for dinner!  And given that we are full on into pot pie season, I think a chicken and veggie pot pie is in tall order. This is another recipe ripe to just use what you’ve got, and what you love, taking note of approximate quantities as you go along. My pot pie will have leeks, carrots, mushrooms, parsnips, and turnips –  just packed with farm fresh goodness. And even though it tastes sinfully thick, rich, and delicious, Cooking Light does a remarkable balancing act using just milk and flour as the thickener, and then topping it with the puff pastry treat. And for the dessert…homemade pie is the most fun and fabulous, of course! BUT, given life’s obligations and complications, maybe more realistic to let someone else do the home baking for you!  Here’s a listing of some local favorites (Sweet Dreams of Portland Pies, OregonLive). I would add Baker & Spice to that list for sure. I’m going to be hard pressed not to make the trek to Bipartisan Cafe to bring home one of their out-of-this world chocolate cream pies – truly dreamy! Go crazy…after all, it has been nearly four weeks since Christmas pie!

Sunday – mediterranean feast

the ultimate winter couscous (Yotam Ottolenghi, Plenty)
grilled chicken, leek, and mint kebabs (Bon Appetit)
pitas & hummus

All of my “weird” veggies that come in the box are beautifully brought to life in photos and recipes in Ottolenghi’s Plenty. This cous cous makes a hearty meal on its own, and will incorporate my carrots, parsnips, turnips, leeks (I’ll sub for shallots), and squash. Although the ingredient list looks intimidating, once you set the veggies aside, most of the rest is straight from the pantry. I’ll have to pick up cilantro, star anise, and I might devote two minutes looking for preserved lemon, otherwise I’ll use lemon zest. If you don’t already harissa, a North African chili sauce, put it on your list as a pantry staple. Although the recipe calls for dried apricots, you could use any dried fruit you have on hand. And the great news is, after sorting out the ingredients, the effort required is minimal. Everything just gets added to a big baking pot, letting the various flavors combine, and then served over cous cous. A quick conversion of amounts: 2.5 cups cubed squash, 1/2 cup dried apricots, 1 cup canned chickpeas, 1.5 cups water, 1 cup couscous,1 cup vegetable stock, 3 T butter, 2 T harissa, 1 oz. preserved lemon, 2 cups cilantro (in place of coriander). A simple side would be these grilled minty chicken kebabs. Add some freshly made hummus and pitas from World Foods, and it’s a Sunday Mediterranean feast!

Monday – steak & salad

roasted winter vegetable composed salad (Martha Stewart Living)
new york steak
garlic bread

This winter salad is perfect to improvise with what you’ve got and what you love. I’ll do it this week with every veggie that I received, skipping the cauliflower this time. I’ll serve all those wonderful roasted veggies over a bed of crunchy purple cabbage, drizzled with an extra special dried fig vinaigrette, and sprinkled with blue cheese. I’ll toss a steak and some buttery garlic bread on the grill (or under the broiler) while I assemble the salad. Seems like a special occasion meal, and it’s only Monday!

Tuesday – weeknight veggie tacos

portabella mushroom & cabbage tacos (Vegetarian Times)
better bean cuban black beans

I’ll use this veggie taco recipe as a guide, starting with sliced portabellas. I’ll add thinly sliced pasilla peppers and red onions for extra flavor, and saute it all together until lightly browned. With warmed corn tortillas, and a toppings bar of cilantro, avocado, thinly sliced cabbage, and green salsa, it’s sure to please everyone and is a snap to put together. I’ll add these off-the-shelf very tasty black beans for a full-meal-deal.

Wednesday – potluck-worthy cabbage

date, feta, and red cabbage salad (Smitten Kitchen)

You wouldn’t really think of cabbage as a special veggie to highlight at a potluck. But, in this Smitten Kitchen red cabbage salad with dates, it becomes almost a meal! It is truly the perfect balance of sweet (dates), salty (cheese), and crunchy (cabbage) all wrapped up in one healthy, hearty salad! Some shaved red onion, garbanzo beans, chopped nuts…any number of items could make delicious additions as well.

Thursday – sammie night, sriracha style

banh mi sandwiches with sriracha mayo (Inquiring Chef)
quick-pickled turnips (Andrew Cohen, High Ground Organics)

With turnips in my box, and seeing pork banh mi meatballs advertised at New Seasons this week, I had dinner in the bag! If you’re unfamiliar with banh mi, it’s a specific type of vietnamese sandwich made on a baguette. This strange sounding combination developed when the French colonized Vietnam, thus introducing the baguette. Now they’re a mainstay, available at restaurants and street vendors everywhere. Ingredients vary, but typically include some type of meat, chili peppers, pickled veggies, and a sauce or spread ranging from mild to spicy. To assemble the sandwiches, it’s just sliced, toasted baguettes, baked pre-made banh mi meatballs, the sriracha mayo (or Greek yogurt) spread, and your pickled veggies. I’ll skip the cucumbers, but not the must-have cilantro – makes Vietnamese and Thai dishes out of this world. And I’ll layer in there lots of quick-pickled turnips…soaking sliced turnips in a salt/sugar/vinegar water mixture is zero effort at all, and makes a crunchy, tasty filling.

“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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