October 12 weekly menu | fall table

Farm Fresh

bok choy, carrots, gourmet greens, lettuce, onions, peppers, potatoes, romanesco, squash, sunchokes, tomatoes

What’s for Dinner?

In addition to the generous bounty pictured above, I’ve got quite a winter squash and onion pile-up going on in my fridge! This week, one calling for the end of our autumn sunshine and an onslaught of torrential downpours, I’ll make some warming stews and soups, some fall classics, and an Italian veggie treat!

Wednesday – minestrone, pot pourrri style

autumn minestrone with garlic bruschetta (Ina Garten, Food Network)

Thursday – south of the border collard greens

collards & sweet pepper tacos (Michelle McKenzie, Dandelion & Quince)
roma tomato salsa (Alton Brown, Food Network)

Friday – TV trays, movie, & pizza

potato & rosemary pizza (Gourmet)
gourmet greens salad

Saturday –  stay-in stew

classic beef stew (Cooks Illustrated)
hearty country bread

Sunday – fall at its finest

green salad with apples and maple walnut vinaigrette (Cooking Light)
squash & onion galette (Deb Perelman, The Smitten Kitchen)
pork tenderloin with maple glaze (Bon Appetit)

winter squash bread (Deb Perleman, Smitten Kitchen)

Monday – weeknight italian bliss

roasted romanesco (The Kitchen Snob)
roasted chicken
focaccia

Tuesday – tubers

sunchoke and artichoke heart linguine (Diane Morgan, Roots)

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Wednesday – minestrone, pot pourrri style

autumn minestrone with garlic bruschetta (Ina Garten, Food Network)

Kind of starting things backwards this week. Normally I’d put a soup like this at the end of my CSA week, in a “use what you have left” fashion. Minestrone soup is perfect for that! This week I’ll have my pick-of-the-veggie litter when assembling this seasonal classic. I’ll get to use some peeled and diced kabocha squash, carrots, onions, tomatoes. Instead of spinach, I’ll use the other half of a cabbage head I’ve got hanging around. If you do use cabbage or kale or some other hearty green instead of spinach, just saute it up with the onions, carrots, etc. at the beginning to allow for some softening time. Be sure to finish with a good-sized handful of fresh chopped parsley along with that grated parmesan. The garlic bruschetta is icing on the cake of this scrumptious fall soup.

Thursday – south of the border collard greens

collards & sweet pepper tacos (Michelle McKenzie, Dandelion & Quince)
roma tomato salsa (Alton Brown, Food Network)

Corn bread and collard greens are a southern match made in heaven. Here, we stretch that in a Mexican direction, pairing nutty corn tortillas with sweet slow-cooked collards. I’ll make it weeknight simple, by purchasing my green salsa and canned beans of any type. Have diners assemble the tacos themselves, adding mashed avocado, a squeeze of lime, and the simple fresh homemade roma tomato salsa.

Friday – TV trays, movie, & pizza

potato & rosemary pizza (Gourmet)
gourmet greens salad

The Gourmet recipe is included just a guide as to how to pre-prepare the potatoes. Follow this previous Pizza Night post for a no-fail dough recipe I rely on each week. It makes IMG_1084enough for two pizzas, even three if rolled out in the super thin, best-for-crispy-pizza style. Use the amount of potatoes that seems reasonable – two pounds seems like a lot for pizza toppings! I would do these ahead, having them all ready for the topping assembly line. Potatoes and rosemary on pizza is a wonderful combination. Caramelize some onions for an extra special touch. And experiment with the cheeses -mozzarella, fontina, parmesan, chevre – they all sound amazing. For the meat-lover…can you say bacon?!? Seems like this pizza would be best without the red sauce, but you might need some for the one who can’t live without their tried-and-true pepperoni! With a simple salad of our gourmet greens sprinkled lightly with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, pizza night is complete.

Other seasonal pizza combinations:

spinach and chive pizza
leek, chard, & corn flatbread
kale, sundried tomato, & feta pizza
pizza with green garlic & arugula
pizza bianca with goat cheese & chard
zucchini, sliced tomato, & leek pizza 
grilled pizza with kale, mushroom, & sausage
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
potato & rosemary pizza
pizza with red and yellow peppers

Saturday – stay-in stew

classic beef stew (Cooks Illustrated)
hearty country bread

This homemade beef stew is a proven crowd-pleaser, especially on a day slated to be wet and more than blustery! I’ll use lots of my carrots, onions, and potatoes, just adding frozen peas to the mix as well. Basically any veggie combo will work! It is a rich and wonderful broth, with tomato paste, worcestershire, red wine, and thyme in the mix. From the sounds of the forecast, if you even have to step foot outside today, this will be a hearty, warming dinner to look forward to. Just add your favorite hearty bread and butter to go alongside.

Sunday –  fall at its finest

green salad with apples and maple walnut vinaigrette (Cooking Light)
squash & onion galette (Deb Perelman, The Smitten Kitchen)
pork tenderloin with maple glaze (Bon Appetit)

winter squash bread (Deb Perleman, Smitten Kitchen)

I’ve been searching for the opportunity to repeat this galette for some time. And here it is – winter squash overload, already! I’ve got this week’s kabocha, as well as some jester and golden pippin from last week. I need to give this pastry dough a shot, but by all means, just pick up a pre-made version at your local market. Just about anything can grace the insides – sweet, savory, & everything in between. And the crust is so darned forgiving. None of this fancy fluting or lattice work. You basically just spread your chosen filling on the inside, then fold over (in any quick, messy way) the dough edges. We’ve got caramelized onions and the squash for the sweet, a pinch cayenne for the spicy, and some fontina cheese and sage leaves make the amazing savory. A perfect autumn accompaniment will be this maple-sage pork, cooking it all up in my trusty cast iron skillet. Add an autumn green salad with northwest apples – I often add blue cheese crumbles and pieces of chopped walnuts. And when this newly posted pumpkin bread recipe crossed my email, I just knew I had to try it. Instead of pumpkin this time, I’ll use mashed winter squash – any type makes a great pumpkin substitute. This bread is a towering pumpkin loaf with a crispy crackly cinnamon sugar lid and just the right combination of the usual fall spices. Perfect for tonight’s dessert, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. If by chance there’s some remaining, it makes a lovely breakfast, lightly toasted and slathered with butter.

Monday – weeknight italian bliss

roasted romanesco (The Kitchen Snob)
roasted chicken
focaccia

I often wantingly eye the gorgeous romanesco at the Portland Farmer’s Market. I wait and wait for the day it will be delivered in my CSA basket. And now it’s happened! Romanesco a delightful combination of cauliflower and broccoli, with a gorgeous, vibrant chartreuse color and the cutest cone-shaped little flowers. It is an edible flower bud of the brassica family (think cabbage, kale, and cauliflower) and is thought to have been created by Italian farmers. You want to maintain its funky, fun appearance, so don’t overcook it. One of the most delicious ways to cook it is in a roasting pan, simply mixed with olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and sprinkled parmesan or romano. This is the main event tonight! But I will add a made-by-someone-else roasted chicken, and sticking with our rustic Italian theme, some crunchy salt and herb topped focaccia (available at New Seasons and many other local markets).

Tuesday – tubers

sunchoke and artichoke heart linguine (Diane Morgan, Roots)

End of the veggie week, I’m going for this straightforward Diane Morgan pasta recipe, using my leeks instead of red onions. Canned artichoke hearts bring out the sunchoke’s unique flavor; I’ll add some shredded chicken left from last night to make a healthy, hearty one-pot main course.

“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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