june 10 weekly menu | spring table

Farm Fresh

chard, collard greens, cilantro, dill, garlic scapes, kale, lettuce, mint, mushrooms, radishes, spring salad mix, spinach

What’s for Dinner?

I realize summer’s official start is not until June 21st. But it sure feels like it kicks off the minute school’s out for the year! Meals seem to morph a bit, not only with the change in the season and bounty, but also with the change in the rhythm and pace. A perfect week to celebrate my last gorgeous farm box from Hood River Organic until winter arrives again. Now, although it may appear that this week’s delivery is one giant pile of salad, look closely. There are delicate spring greens and lettuces, hearty chard and kale, and sweet, wonderful chard and spinach. Also intermixed, a glorious variety of fragrant farm fresh herbs. Not to mention those squirrelly, curly green stalks with the tiny garlic bud on top! Next week…hello to a brand new CSA for me, Gathering Together Farm! Through November, this wonderful Philomath farm will provide the impetus and inspiration for our summertime cooking (and eating!) pleasures. I can’t wait!

Friday – farm-style car snacks

kale chips (Eating Well)
radish and butter sandwich (Saveur)
other unmentionables

Saturday – noon o’clock breakfast & bbq bliss

breakfast:
frittata with kale & fresh garlic (Food and Wine)

orzo salad with spinach (Bon Appetit)
salad of spring greens (Food Network)
bbq chicken (101 Cooking)
grilled garlic bread (Epicurious)

strawberry rhubarb pie (Deb Perleman, The Smitten Kitchen)

Sunday  – minty mediterranean feast

simple, minty greek salad (Bon Appetit)
grilled chicken, red onion, and mint kebabs (Bon Appetit)
cous cous
grilled pita triangles, hummus, babaganoush

Monday – banh mi + collards

banh mi sandwiches with sriracha mayo (Inquiring Chef)
stir fried collard greens (Simply Vietnamese)
quick-pickled radishes (Andrew Cohen, High Ground Organics)

Tuesday –  picnics o’ plenty

kale panzanella (Hanel, Slonecker, Stevenson, The Picnic)
baguettes with dill & smoked salmon (Epicurious)

rhubarb crumb bars (Martha Stewart)

Wednesday – steak & spaghetti

spaghetti with swiss chard & garlic chips (Deb Perleman, Smitten Kitchen)
simplest marinated flank steak (Simply Recipes)
sautéed mushrooms (All Recipes)

Thursday – salad, south of the border 

strawberry mojitos (The Berry Bible)

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


__________________________________________________

Friday – farm-style car snacks

kale chips (Eating Well)
radish and butter baguette (Saveur)
other unmentionables

Dinner on the last day of school is traditionally a celebratory kids’ choice out. But we have to get there first. We’re hitting the road, at the toll of the final school bell of the year. A kick-off-summer car trip to Central Oregon, where pleas for snacks are a certainty, likely within the first ten minutes. With one head of my kale, I’ll make a batch of tasty, crunchy kale chips. Three simple ingredient – kale, salt, and olive oil. Plus a few minutes in the oven, and you’ve got yourself the same gourmet treat selling for a small fortune in the store! Whip up your own, save a bundle, and be amazed at the arguing over the last crumbs. The other healthy nibble I’ll surely have along is some of these radish and butter sandwiches. Sounds a bit crazy, but absolutely delicious (and French!). Crispy, spicy radishes paired with soft, salty butter, both atop thinly sliced baguette for an open-faced snacky sandwich no one will resist. Rest assured, there’ll be other not-so-healthy munchies as well. But we’ll feel a heck of a lot better about that black licorice, “trail mix” loaded with chocolate treats, and surely some sort of neon orange faux cheese crunchy!

Saturday – noon o’clock breakfast & bbq bliss

breakfast:
frittata with kale & fresh garlic (Food and Wine)

Breakfast on the first day of summer vacation might surely look more like lunch. Say around noon, or whenever the kids can roll out of bed. Frittatas are our year-round friend. But I especially enjoy them in the spring and early summer, when there are so many just-arriving veggies to add to the mix. Also, they are really meant to be tinkered with – eggs, cheese, and whatever vegetable combo appeals to you. This week, I’ll use my garlic scapes and kale, but it could just as easily be chard, spinach, whatever. I’ll saute the garlic lightly before adding the greens, just to get it warmed. The recipe calls for parmesan, which would be delicious. Some sharp cheddar, or some good ricotta salata, steps it up a notch. With the increase in temperatures, I also love frittatas in the warm weather for dinner – they cook in a flash (so don’t heat up the kitchen) and can really be served at any temperature – just-out-of-the-oven hot, luke warm, or even room temperature.

dinner:
orzo salad with spinach (Bon Appetit)
salad of spring greens (Food Network)
bbq chicken (101 Cooking)
grilled garlic bread (Epicurious)

strawberry rhubarb pie (Deb Perleman, The Smitten Kitchen)

The outdoor grill is a cook’s dream in the summer. Less dishes, and more help, that seems to just materialize when the BBQ is involved! What would go alongside this? Virtually anything, is my vote. I’ll start with this always popular orzo salad. It’s really a perfect picnic or bbq salad and goes with nearly anything. And it provides a hearty alternative for any vegetarians in the group. I’ll use an entire pound of orzo, replace the fresh peppers with about 3/4 cup of sun dried tomatoes, replace the capers with fresh  parsley, and delete the cumin from the dressing. Make your own modifications based on what you have & what sounds good – it’s really a no fail recipe. This week, while the orzo is still hot, I’ll throw in an entire bunch of chopped fresh spinach – it will lightly wilt, and be a perfect green addition to this pasta salad. For the main dish, given my kids’ enthusiastic cheers for the barbecued chicken I made last weekend, this is an easy choice. A repeat of these couldn’t-be-simpler grilled chicken breasts. Choosing the bone-in, skin-on variety does indeed retain the moisture and flavor. I’ll double this recipe, and brush with a family-favorite Podna’s BBQ sauce. For the grilled bread, use any favorite bakery bread – I’m using a big, hearty country loaf. It all works the same, but the larger the loaf, the less slicing, brushing, and turning on the grill. For dessert on this kickoff-the-summer-bbq-season dinner, I’m going for a summer classic. Hard to resist, when the hood strawberries are in full force. I was lucky enough to squeeze in Pie Day with a dear friend; into the freezer they went, for just a couple days, awaiting just the right pie moment. Nowon this first Saturday of summer, post grill and veggie fest, is that moment. Grab a tub of our own Northwest Tillamook Old Fashioned Vanilla and Oregon Strawberry ice cream for classic a la mode selections.

Sunday –  minty mediterranean feast

simple, minty greek salad (Bon Appetit)
grilled chicken, red onion, and mint kebabs (Bon Appetit)
cous cous
grilled pita triangles, hummus, babaganoush

Often my dinners come from inspiration from a single bunch of herbs. These super simple grilled minty chicken kebabs are a stand-by in my summers, using both my fresh mint and garlic scapes. I often serve these alongside ready-in-a-flash cous cous. With one of my heads of farm fresh lettuce, I’ll make the simplest of Greek salads. Instead of tomatoes and cucumbers, I’ll use thinly sliced radishes along with the essential olives, feta cheese, and a lemony, red vinegary dressing. Sprinkle this delightful salad with any fresh herbs you have – mint, parsley, oregano, whatever! Add some lighly olive oiled, salted, and grilled pita triangles for a great crispy treat to scoop up some made-by-someone else hummus and babaganoush for a fabulous summer Mediterranean feast.

Monday –  banh mi + collards

banh mi sandwiches with sriracha mayo (Inquiring Chef)
stir fried collard greens (Simply Vietnamese)
quick-pickled radishes (Andrew Cohen, High Ground Organics)

With radishes in my box, and eyeing these pork banh mi meatballs at New Seasons, 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, grilled pre-made banh mi meatballs (which I’ll squish into a sandwich-fitting shape and pop on the grill), 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 radishes…soaking sliced radishes in a salt/sugar/vinegar water mixture is zero effort at all, and makes a crunchy, tasty filling. As a veggie side, I’m going to give these sautéed Vietnamese collards a shot. Simple enough – just add a little garlic, ginger, fish sauce and red pepper flakes. This could be on the side, or as another tasty banh mi filler.

Tues – picnics o’ plenty

kale panzanella (Hanel, Slonecker, Stevenson, The Picnic)
baguettes with dill & smoked salmon (Epicurious)

rhubarb crumb bars (Martha Stewart)

We like any excuse for a picnic! A concert, a ball game, beach day, visitors in town, a bike ride…even just the sunny weather. Pack up your dinner, walk just a couple blocks to a park, lay out the picnic blanket, and it seems like quite a special occasion! Tonight, we’ll load up the backpacks and bike baskets with our picnic and ride to a very special spot along the banks of the Deschutes River. I’ll pull out my Portland Picnic Society cookbook for this occasion. UnknownIt’s like the driver’s manual for picnicking! There were several ways I could’ve meshed recipes with my veggie delivery, but I ultimately decided on this kale panzanella (bread salad). The sounds of charred lemon both intrigued me, and made me wonder about the fussy factor. But realizing that it’s merely searing a halved lemon for two minutes on cast-iron, I decided it was worth a shot to see what smokey drama charred lemons might add. The dressing is a snap, and again I’ll substitute anchovy fillets for paste (1 fillet = 1/2 to 1 tsp. paste). You could easily forgo the homemade croutons for your favorite store-bought. My picnic dinner was also inspired by the “Ten Best Baguettes” section of the book. These type of baguette sandwiches are ripe for a picnic – the hardy crust protects the gourmet goods inside. You can either bring the baguette whole, slicing and filling table-side, or prepare individual six-inch sandwiches and wrap each with parchment paper ahead of time. I’m going for a combo outside this book, just to use my fresh dill. A match made in heaven with some spring greens and smoked salmon! Of course, dessert on a picnic is essential. I adore these rhubarb bars, a farmer’s market version of the all familiar tollhouse bars – simple, sweet-filled, gooey goodness in a pan. Plus streusel topping! And they cut nicely into squares, transport easily in tupperware, and make a superb finger-food ending to any al fresco feast.

Wednesday – steak & spaghetti

spaghetti with swiss chard & garlic chips (Deb Perleman, Smitten Kitchen)
simplest marinated flank steak (Simply Recipes)
sautéed mushrooms (All Recipes)

This Smitten Kitchen recipe for pasta and greens shows that with very few ingredients, and a little twist on the usual, you can make something really extra special.  Garlic chips?!?  Add them to pasta, oil, cheese, olives, and our gorgeous swiss chard, and this could be the meal!  I’ll add a simple grilled flank steak and some garlicky sautéed mushrooms to the dinner line-up.

Thursday – salad, south of the border 

strawberry mojitos (The Berry Bible)

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, and it makes perfect use of my cilantro, mint, and mounts of spring lettuce. 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 lettuce, 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. Don’t forget minty, last-of-the-hoods refreshing drink. This wonderfully tasty and fresh summer cocktail is a perfect way to begin our start-of-the-summer Mexican feast.

 “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: