april 8 weekly menu | spring table

Farm Fresh

beets, broccoli, green cabbage, cabbage raab, chard, chives, garlic, leeks, mushrooms, rhubarb, spring salad mix

What’s for Dinner?

After settling back in from spring break (aka kitchen leave) and recovering from a house-full of unseasonable sickness, it’s time to peek back into the box and see what the season is delivering. Each week, a little less winter, and a little more spring. This week, fresh chives were added to the mix. I smelled them before I spotted them! And this is how it works…those small but mighty gestures of spring allow us to view those hearty winter greens and roots in a whole new light. Fresh and zesty chives sprinkled over nearly everything? Makes all those root vegetables seem so lively! Delicate, spring-flavored raab? Perks up a plain old pasta dinner in a flash! And rhubarb?!? Imagine the fun trying to solve “Is it a fruit, or is it a vegetable?” Enjoy this week’s menu; peruse the farmers market if you can, to get a sneak peek of the spring treats headed our way soon.

Friday – break out the grill, shake shack style

chard salad (Food52)
shake shack burgers (Deb Perleman, The Smitten Kitchen)

strawberry rhubarb pie (Deb Perleman, The Smitten Kitchen)

Saturday – buy the whole fish!

wheat berry salad with beets & fennel (Dishing Up the Dirt)
simple spring greens
grilled halibut

Sunday  – pork + rhubarb, two ways
pork chops with tangy rhubarb chutney (Real Simple)
roasted purple sprouted broccoli (Penny’s Recipes)
spring green salad (Williams Sonoma)

rhubarb crumb bars (Martha Stewart)

Monday – toss it all in stir-fry

vegetable stir fry with glass noodles (Food Network)

Tuesday –  nat’l grilled cheese sammie day

chicken panini with chard and leeks (Castellon’s Kitchen)

Wednesday – one pot, 20 minutes

pasta with garlicky cabbage raab (Deb Perelman, Smitten Kitchen)
roasted chicken

Thursday – weeknight risotto

leek and mushroom risotto (The Kitchn)
beet salad with goat cheese (Jennifer Segal, Serious Eats)


__________________________________________________

Friday – break out the grill, shake shack style

chard salad (Food52)
shake shack burgers (Deb Perleman, The Smitten Kitchen)

strawberry rhubarb pie (Deb Perleman, The Smitten Kitchen)

When in New York, do as the New Yorkers do…eat burgers at Shake Shack (better from hot dogs from a stand, if you ask me!). This New York-based chain, originally a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park, is now a fixture all up and down the East coast, billed as a modern day classic roadside burger stand. It’s a smash-style burger, starting out as a tall plump puck, then squished nearly flat before caramelizing to a perfect, salty, crisp. Served with buttered, browned potato roll buns, with a special sauce?!? The do-it-at-home “recipe” is simple; I will indeed take an extra five minutes for the special sauce. Other toppings will include cheese of choice, pickles, lettuce leaves, and caramelized leeks. The accompanying chard salad has earned a coveted place at our dining table, turning into a “most-requested”, which I don’t mind a bit. I adore this Food52 recipe…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. For dessert, a classic strawberry rhubarb pie. I’ve learned that while baking your own pie may seem daunting, it’s really a breeze! Especially when you rely on some place like Grand Central Bakery to prepare a perfect crust, every time!. Sold straight from their freezer, your only job is a trip to the farmer’s market for the freshest local fruit. Grab a tub of our own Northwest Tillamook Old Fashioned Vanilla and Oregon Strawberry ice cream for classic a la mode selections.

Saturday – buy the whole fish!

wheat berry salad with beets & fennel (Dishing Up the Dirt)
simple spring greens
grilled halibut

When New Seasons advertises a whole halibut at $13.99 per pound, and they’ll do the cleaning and filleting, how can you resist? I bought the whole darned fish! They cut it nicely into dinner-sized portions; we’ll go for round one tonight, and freeze the rest, making the perfect springtime dinner treat in waiting. Taking full advantage of the sunshine, we’ll grill outdoors again, and try to slightly atone for our Friday burger madness with a beautiful fillet of halibut. When it’s the first-of-the-season, so sweet and mild, direct from Alaska, it’s truly worth every penny, even at full price. I usually just rub it with a bit of olive oil, some salt and pepper, and maybe a sprinkling of lemon juice and fresh chives or other herbs. Grill on each side for five or so minutes, making sure to remove it just as it turns opaque. To go with the fish, this hearty and tasty wheat berry, beet and fennel salad. I’ll pre-roast all of my beets (wrap tightly in foil, 400 degrees for forty-five minutes to an hour), using some tonight and saving the rest. I’ll cut the fennel into bite-sized pieces, toss with a bit of olive oil and salt, and roast right next to the beets. The recipe does not mention peeling the beets, but I sure would, after they’re cool, and cut them into pieces to match the fennel. With a mix-in of sliced almonds (or whatever nuts), feta, and a honey-lemon-dijon dressing, this salad has it all. Chewy, protein-packed wheat berries, sensational spring veggies, and a zesty dressing. I could even stand as a main meal, with an artisanal loaf of bread and sweet butter. I’ll use any excess dressing to mix in to another round of my delicate spring greens for a simple side salad, opting not to mix in the greens to the wheat berry salad because of the leftovers I’m sure there’ll be. Greens are at their very best just-dressed, table-side.

Sunday – pork + rhubarb, two ways

pork chops with tangy rhubarb chutney (Real Simple)
roasted purple sprouted broccoli (Penny’s Recipes)
spring green salad (Williams Sonoma)

rhubarb crumb bars (Martha Stewart)

So here’s our rhubarb-as-a-veggie dinner (veggie side?  kind of…).  To the grill again,this time with a classic combination of pork and cooked rhubarb.  Don’t tell, but the fancy-sounding rhubarb chutney is just chunked rhubarb-reduced-in-a-pan. You could literally do this with just rhubarb, a little water, and sugar to taste. Here we get fancy and add a red onion and some vinegar. Grill those pork chops up on the BBQ, and serve alongside the rhubarb chutney, a combination you’ll not soon forget. I’ll skip the butter lettuce salad side, and add my own simple spring greens salad with the beautiful mix I got this week. As a bonus veggie, I’ll roast this gorgeous purple sprouted broccoli, with just a sprinkling of olive oil and salt and pepper. For dessert, these perfect-for-breakfast-lunch-or-dinner rhubarb bars. Combined with a scoop (or two) of Ruby Jewell ice cream…Oregon Strawberry, Singing Dog Vanilla Bean, or Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp?!? If per chance there are any rhubarb bars left, in the morning I call it rhubarb coffee cake, and with thirty seconds in the microwave and a hot cup of joe, you’ve got a perfect start!

Monday –  toss it all in stir-fry

vegetable stir fry with glass noodles (Food Network)

My pantry has plentiful evidence of the couple of Asian-themed dinners I’ve had in the last couple months. Making a stab at clearing just a bit of it, I’ll make this versatile and delicious stir-fry, all tossed with bean thread noodles (also called glass noodles). The recipe is merely a guide; choose whatever spring veggies you have and love. I’ll be using mushrooms, leeks, and thinly sliced cabbage from my farm box, adding edamame for some extra texture and protein. With so many fresh mushrooms, I’ll skip the dried and use chicken broth for any required liquid. I’ll double the noodles, knowing I’ve got noodle-hounds at my table. Serve with a good sprinkling of chopped chives and your favorite sriracha chile sauce. Easy, healthy, scrumptious!

Tuesday – nat’l grilled cheese sammie day

chicken panini with chard and leeks (Castellon’s Kitchen)

Who knew there was a day dedicated to one of my favorite weeknight meals? In my house, it’s more like grilled veggie surprise. But something got to stick those pieces of toast bread together…cheese does play a very important role. This week, in the good ol’ cast iron pan, I’ll first sauté up thinly sliced rainbow chard, leeks, and garlic. This pan will also serve as the panini cooker, placing lightly buttered or olive oiled bread right on the hot surface to begin building the paninis. These have the chard/leek mixture, any cheese you love, and thin slices of a roasted-by-someone-else chicken. You really can’t go wrong. I just make sure my bread is hearty enough not fall apart in the process, and solid enough so cheese isn’t dripping out every opening. Happy National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day!

Wednesday – one pot, 20 minutes

pasta with garlicky cabbage raab (Deb Perelman, Smitten Kitchen)
roasted chicken

In this Smitten Kitchen post, Deb highlights an end-of-the-farmers-market-day meager bunch of broccoli raab. It’s a perfectly detailed run though of how to create something big, bold and beautiful from nearly nothing. I’ve got a large bunch of gorgeous cabbage raab from HRO that is far from “nearly nothing”, that’s for sure! Raab (or any variety) is available only in the spring, when over-wintered plants in the brassica family (such as cabbage, brussels sprouts, collards, kale, and broccoli) begin to flower and send out seed shoots. When the plant flowers, the stalks lengthen, and the leaves change shape and become very tender and sweet. Raab is most tender before the florets actually flower, and is wonderful sautéed, braised, stir fried, grilled, or raw in hearty salads. In this recipe, a short, chunky, clever-shaped pasta of your choice is combined with our flavorful cabbage raab and just four other miracle ingredients that together make a sensational and complete one pot, 20 minute meal – olive oil, garlic (lots of it!), red pepper flakes, and salt. That’s it. Taste it and you’ll see why I love our local farmers, Deb Perelman, and the kitchen! Add some sliced chicken left from last night, and everyone’s happy.

Thursday – weeknight risotto

leek and mushroom risotto (The Kitchn)
beet salad with goat cheese (Jennifer Segal, Serious Eats)

I’ve never put risotto in the “weekend only” category. With a little pre-chopping of whatever is going in it, the actual cooking is a breeze. I’ll skip the dried mushrooms in this recipe, relying on the fabulous flavor of my fresh mushrooms and leeks, and using chicken broth as the liquid. I try not to get all caught up in the proportions or timing of the broth adding and stirring of risotto. Heck, I don’t even heat the broth first. After the leeks, mushrooms, and rice are sauteed in the butter, I just add a little broth, cook a little, add a little broth, cook a little, etc., until the rice is just done. Stir in the parmesan to taste at the end, serving some at the table for extra sprinkling. With my beets roasted and at-the-ready (key step…miss this and you’re doomed on a weeknight!) this traditional beet salad with a honey dijon vinaigrette is a perfect accompaniment. In the winter, we often enjoy this beet salad with no greens at all, just lots of favorite nuts and cheese. With spring having sprung, I’m so happy this week to serve it on a bed of fresh spring greens!

 “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.)

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Urban Farm Table

using your local bounty every day

Epicurious.com: New Recipes

using your local bounty every day

101 Cookbooks

using your local bounty every day

Cook With What You Have

Cook delicious & healthy food every day

Sauvie Island Organics Farm Blog

using your local bounty every day

using your local bounty every day

Simply Recipes

using your local bounty every day

America's Test Kitchen

using your local bounty every day

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: