may 27 weekly menu | spring table

Farm Fresh

asparagus, chard, collard greens, mushrooms, green onions, radishes, kale, spicy greens, spinach

What’s for Dinner?

I’m kicking off the week with the crazies. The food crazies, that is. A couple foodie friends who, along with myself, go downright embarrassingly overboard in preparing themed dinners. This time around, it’s to Spain we go… a veritable feast of traditional tapas, a Valencian spring paella, and of course the requisite flan. And we certainly won’t forget the sangria, cava, txakoli, and rioja! I’ve also got a Memorial Day BBQ full of delicious traditional grill items, plus some non-traditional (think collard greens, in the raw). Adding some laughs to the veggie week, I’ll do my darndest to figure out how to use the TEN bunches of farm fresh scallions that were in my box this week!

Friday – tapas & spring paella

marinated spanish olives & cheese
bacon wrapped dates with marcona almonds (John Gorham, Toro Bravo)
sangria

gambas al ajillo (traditional garlic shrimp) (Jose Andres)
champinones rellenos de chorus (chorizo stuffed mushrooms) (Saveur)
espinaca a la catalan (catalan-style spinach) (Jose Andres, Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America)
stuffed piquillo peppers
green peas, romesco sauce, &  mint
cava, txakoli
toro bravo radicchio salad (Food 52)
spring paella with artichokes, asparagus, & fava beans
rioja
flan
licor 43

Saturday – beans & greens go Mexican

beans ‘n greens burritos (Mark Bittman, Food Matters)
radish salsa (Martha Stewart)

Sunday – pizza & game night

grilled pizza with asparagus, scallions & fontina (Food and Wine)

Monday – foot-long franks and singing dogs

collard green slaw (The Kitchn)
grilled scallions & asparagus (Simply Recipes)
grilled beef & mushroom burgers (Simply Recipes)
olympic provisions frankfurters

rhubarb crumb bars & ice cream (Martha Stewart)

Tuesday – move over noodles

lasagna with collard greens (Martha Rose Schulman, NYT)

Wednesday – shitakes & chop sticks

stir-fry with mushrooms & mustard greens (Bon Appetit)
brown rice

Thursday –  torta in no time

chard & onion torta (Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Suppers)

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Friday – tapas & spring paella

marinated spanish olives & cheese
bacon wrapped dates with marcona almonds (John Gorham, Toro Bravo)
sangria

gambas al ajillo (traditional garlic shrimp) (Jose Andres)
champinones rellenos de chorus (chorizo stuffed mushrooms) (Saveur)
espinaca a la catalan (catalan-style spinach) (Jose Andres, Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America)
stuffed piquillo peppers
green peas, romesco sauce, &  mint
cava, txakoli
toro bravo radicchio salad (Food 52)
spring paella with artichokes, asparagus, & fava beans
rioja
flan
licor 43

Mmmm…a Gourmet Group dedicated to mastering the art of paella. Sounds amazing to me, especially since I’m not the one in charge of this oh-so-tricky-to-perfect dish. The rest of the evening will be direct from a tapas bar in Spain. I found so many uses for my farm-fresh veggies! I’ll start with the sweetest pop-in-your-mouth, bite-sized treat ever. I’ve got the next best thing to Spanish dates…direct from our own date capital, Palm Springs. It’s a very simple task to pit and stuff each date, then wrap it with a half piece of thinly sliced bacon. On their own, these are a taste treat for sure, but smothered in John Gotham’s honey-lemon-pimenton (or Spanish paprika), they are out of this world. No tapas feast is complete without garlic shrimp, and these couldn’t be easier. Again, with pimenton as the stand-out flavor, complimented by garlic and chiles (I used dried flakes). After these two dishes, my veggies got to star. Two gorgeous bunches of spinach are featured in this traditional, Catalan region dish. The key is to not overcook the spinach, just letting the flavors meld as it slightly wilts with the cooked apple, raisins and pine nuts.  The sum becomes much more than the parts, for sure! In Spain, they would eat this on little fried bread toasts. I’ll go simple, skip the fried, and use a sliced and lightly salted and toasted baguette. My final contribution will be my crimini mushrooms, stuffed with a delightful mixture of chorizo and Spanish cheese, and I’ll also sneak in some green onions. I am not in charge of the salad, but have certainly made this one before, when my box graced me with radicchio – a crunchy, tangy counterpoint to nearly any hot Spanish dish. Cheers to the next-best-thing to enjoying sangria and tapas al fresco in Madrid!

Saturday –  beans & greens go Mexican

beans ‘n greens burritos (Mark Bittman, Food Matters)
radish salsa (Martha Stewart)

This is one of those weeknight recipes that lends itself to all sorts of whims and wishes. For the greens, I’ll use my HRO braising mix and maybe some collards and kale too. What looks like an absolute TON of greens wilts way down upon cooking, and you’ll want to end up with enough to stuff at least four of those giant tortillas wrapped up in a nice burrito package. Add shredded chicken or sautéed ground beef if you like. And certainly lots of beans, any kind will work. Combine the burritos with this fresh, crunchy, and delicious radish salsa – I’m including the whole Martha taco recipe, but only using the avocado/radish salsa part tonight. Add in a toppings bar for people to customize as they wish – sauteed mushrooms, cheese, olives, chopped cilantro, scallions, and our favorite ready-made salsas will be in the line-up for us.

Sunday – pizza & game night

grilled pizza with asparagus, scallions & fontina (Food and Wine)

IMG_1084

Well, the Blazers are out, but that doesn’t meant we can’t use the basketball playoffs as a decent excuse to eat pizza in front of the TV! Recently we gave Deb Perleman’s version of asparagus pizza a shot. Piled high with “tangled asparagus,” minimally dressed underneath with just cheese and chives, it was a real winner. This one from Food and Wine is similar, but with grilled asparagus instead of tangled, and fontina and pecorino instead of mozzarella and parmesan. And lucky for me, I’ve got a pile of green onions work with. Let this prior Pizza Night post be your step-by-step guide for easy homemade crust, or pick up a ready-made version from your local pizzeria or market. I’d double this recipe, making two pizzas. All that’s left is a quick grilling of the green onions and asparagus, some workers at the pizza station. Be sure to have some chopped scallions or chives handy for a final sprinkling on the hot pies.

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 with green garlic & arugula
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
pizza with kale raab, leeks, and olives 
pizza with fennel sausage, braising greens and chives
egg, ham, and spinach pizza
shaved asparagus pizza 

Monday –  foot-long franks and singing dogs

collard green slaw (The Kitchn)
grilled scallions & asparagus (Simply Recipes)
grilled beef & mushroom burgers (Simply Recipes)
olympic provisions frankfurters

rhubarb crumb bars & ice cream (Martha Stewart)

Memorial Day seems to mark the official start of grilling season. We’ll kick it off with a bang, with some fancy-pants hamburgers and some truly over-the-top Olympic Provisions frankfurters. For the burgers, I’m going to slice a mixture of portabella and crimini mushrooms, and saute them until lightly browned in my cast iron with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Really, a perfect burger topper., along with your favorite cheese. I’m not a real hot dog kind of gal, but these are really good! No matter what buns you get, they’ll stick out a few inches on either end – perfect little nibbles! And as long as we’re grilling, I’lll just toss on some lightly oiled and salted asparagus and scallions. The grilled green onions are delicious on their own, and we’ll also use them on the burgers. For a healthy and tasty salad, I’ll use my collard greens in this slaw, perfect for a barbecue. Make your own modifications based on what you have and what sounds good – it’s really a no fail recipe. This week, I’ll use a few chopped green onions, some dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds. The tahini based dressing is quite simple; I cut the tahini using half olive oil. For dessert, these rhubarb bars – really the perfect bar.  Combined with a scoop of Ruby Jewell ice cream…Oregon Strawberry or Singing Dog Vanilla Bean seem to fit the bill perfectly!

Tuesday – move over noodles

lasagna with collard greens (Martha Rose Schulman, NYT)

Using no-boil noodles, canned sauce, and barely blanched collard green leaves, this lasagna is quite simple to assemble (as lasagnas go…). And healthy to boot – the collards stand in for the additional pasta that is usually used, and the recipe is light on the cheese front. Choose your favorite pre-made marinara sauce – if you have a  hankering for italian sausage, saute it up and throw it in with the sauce! I also love to assemble lasagnas over the weekend, then just throw it in the oven on that crazy, busy weeknight! It’s also been a proven crowd-please at any number of gatherings…the end of the school year is ripe for these!

Wednesday – shitakes & chop sticks

stir-fry with mushrooms & mustard greens (Bon Appetit)
brown rice

I’ve gotten a bit of push-back on the mustard greens salad. The taste is not for everyone, I guess. I love the greens in their raw state, peppery and full-bodied for sure. But I can see how some consider them ultra spicy, or bitter, or something that doesn’t quite belong in their salad. So, I’ll cook them up this week, toning them down in the process. This Bon Appetit recipe originally included snap peas. But that’s the great thing about stir-fry – it’s so easily adaptable to what you like and what you’ve got. I’ll use my shitake mushrooms, spicy greens, add some sliced radishes, and very likely substitute chicken for tofu. And of course, a good sprinkling of chopped green onions over the finished dish. Bob’s Red Mill sweet and sticky brown rice is perfect with any Asian dish –  especially good for breaking out those chop sticks for some weeknight fun!

Thursday – torta in no time

chard & onion torta (Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Suppers)

Calling this baked egg dish a “torta” I think just means it has a crust. But not to worry…the crust is simply breadcrumbs pressed into a buttered dish. This renders it “fancy weeknight”, in really no time at all. I’ve got my HRO baguette for those crumbs, but luckily many stores carry great ones at their bakery.  The rest of the recipe calls for sauteing up your chard and onions (plus mushrooms?) with a little butter, mixing in the eggs and cheese, and pouring it in the pan. Use whatever cheese and herbs you happen to have on hand and love. And of course, you couldn’t go wrong with a little bacon, pancetta, or sausage added in the mix…

“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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