October 26 weekly menu | fall table

Farm Fresh

cabbage, carrots, chard, gourmet greens, lettuce, onions, potatoes, radishes, winter squash

What’s for Dinner?

You know it’s going to be a good week when your CSA contains something called a crown prince squash, and a watermelon radish. That’s what I love…I’m always being introduced to veggies I’ve never seen or heard of before! Alongside tried-and-true gems like chard, carrots, and a giant head of cabbage, the week can only go in one healthy, delectable direction.

Wednesday – hump day made easy

fusilli with chard & sausage (Serious Eats)

Thursday – mid-week chopsticks 

cabbage fried rice (Food and Wine)

Friday – pizza, TV trays, & movie

potato & rosemary pizza (Gourmet)
gourmet greens with oil & vinegar (Marcella Hazan)

Saturday – beef & barley (+kohlrabi) 

beef and barley stew with kohlrabi & carrots (Nourish Revolution)
salad with sliced radishes (Epicurious)
country bread

Sunday – crispy, crackly, tart…potatoes?

mustard roasted potatoes (Deb Perleman, The Smitten Kitchen)
roasted salmon & leeks with butter (Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything)

Monday – pumpkins, beyond the front porch

roasted squash seeds (Simply Recipes)
blue corn chips & Frontera chipotle pumpkin salsa

squash & black bean chili (Bon Appetite)
roasted squash cornbread (PBS)

Tuesday pizzoccheri

gourmet greens with oil & vinegar (Marcella Hazan)
pasta with potatoes and cabbage (The Kitchn)
roast chicken

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Wednesday – hump day made easy

fusilli with chard & sausage (Serious Eats)

Dishes like this are the reason I keep my pantry stocked with sun-dried tomatoes. They can turn a somewhat blah, minimal- ingredient dish into something wonderful and complex. This dinner is a one-pot wonder. I tweak the instructions a bit, sautéing the sausage and chard (plus all other ingredients) in a large stock pot. When the sausage is browned, and the kale is softened, transfer to a plate and use the same pot to boil the pasta. Return everything together, mixing in some freshly grated parmesan. This has become a year-round standby for me, altering the greens for what I’ve got, and using sun-dried tomatoes when fresh are out for the season.

Thursday – mid-week chopsticks 

cabbage fried rice (Food and Wine)

Cabbage is an ultra-healthy vegetable that’s available year-round in the Pacific Northwest. Sometimes it may seem a bit overwhelming, what to do with those giant heads. Luckily, it can go in so many directions – Mexican (a slaw), Indian (with lentils), Italian/Eastern European (stuffed)…the list goes on. Here, your favorite rice, mixed with sautéed cabbage, carrots, onions, and egg, make a fast and fabulous weeknight Asian dish. With farm-fresh veggies, it’s sure to be tastier than the more expensive take-out version, and be on the table in no time flat. Break out the chopsticks for some added flair!

Friday – pizza, TV trays, & movie

potato & rosemary pizza (Gourmet)
gourmet greens with oil & vinegar (Marcella Hazan)

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. I would do prepare the potatoes ahead, having them all ready for the topping assembly line. Potatoes and rosemary on pizza is a wonderful combination. And experiment with the cheeses -mozzarella, fontina, parmesan, chevre – they all sound amazing. For the meat-lover…can you say bacon?!? The side salad seems like a nothing, however, according to Marcella, it’s everything…if dressed properly. It’s a magical transformation of farm fresh greens to a salad worthy of standing proudly next to any main course, after being tossed gently and lovingly with quality olive oil, red wine or sherry vinegar, and salt. Halloween flick, anyone?

Other pizza combinations:

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
fennel sausage & onion pizza 

Saturday – beef & barley (+kohlrabi) 

beef and barley stew with kohlrabi & carrots (Nourish Revolution)
salad with sliced radishes (Epicurious)
country bread

Another comforting soup-for-supper menu. You just can’t go wrong with a homemade beef barley soup, and this one jumped right out at me because instead of using the traditional potatoes, it’s packed with kohlrabi and carrots. Right up my alley, this week! It’s a very straight-forward recipe; the prep time is mostly inactive stovetop simmering. Made the day before is even better, allowing the flavors to meld overnight. This is a unique one, with just the right meat, grain, and veggie combo, with a surprise bit of white wine, worcestershire, and curry powder. I’ll add this beautiful salad with my head of delicate green lettuce, as well as thin slices of unique watermelon and black radishes. With some slices of hearty country bread, and this is one good way to spend a Saturday evening at home.

Sunday –  crispy, crackly, tart…potatoes?

mustard roasted potatoes (Deb Perleman, The Smitten Kitchen)
roasted salmon & leeks with butter (Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything)

Mmmm…a combo of crispy roasted potatoes with delicious whole grain mustard. Dishes highlighting mustard definitely feel fall-ish to me, but usually it’s in the form of a marinade or sauce for meat or fish. The veggie twist is really great! A simple sauce is made, using a yummy whole grain mustard, a little butter and olive oil, lemon juice, and just a couple other seasonings. The chunked potatoes are coated in this, spread on a pan, and roasted until crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside, and the mustard grains darken and become crackly. I’ll be halving this recipe, which will allow (in my small oven) one pan for the potatoes, one pan for the salmon – compromise on the temp (hotter is probably better to get those potatoes nice and crunchy!). A butter roasted salmon will be a simple and delicious accompaniment; I’ve got leeks in my fridge that will fit right in here too. Use just the white and light green parts, quartering them lengthwise, and maybe then cutting them crosswise. I’ll use half butter, half olive oil, toss the leeks in this melted mixture, and roast first (maybe for 10-15 minutes), before adding the salmon for another ten or so minutes. The leeks just need a little head start on the fish; when they’re a bit softened, give them a stir, and push them to the side before adding the salmon to roast.

Monday – pumpkins, beyond the front porch

roasted squash seeds (Simply Recipes)
blue corn chips & Frontera chipotle pumpkin salsa

squash & black bean chili (Bon Appetite)
roasted squash cornbread (PBS)

My not-so-ingenious solution to Halloween chaos? Make-ahead, especially this year, when the festivities begin on the heels of a sure-to-be-wet Monday evening soccer game. This year’s theme is easy…with a casual and comforting buffet-style dinner set out, I can just sit and enjoy the festivities. This will allow for trick-or-treaters, young and old, to stop in for some snacks and a hearty bowl of chili as they wish. This yummy chili is festive and fit for the veggie-lover, using bulgar as a healthy filler. I’ll use my crown prince squash – any winter squash will do. I find it easiest to pre-cook the squash a bit, just until it is easy to slice, peel, and cut into chunks. If you’re in a rush, skip the dried beans and substitute a couple cans of your favorite kind, decreasing the cooking time just until the flavors and melded and the squash is soft. Chili generally improves with an overnight or two in the fridge – perfect for my make-ahead mantra. This homestyle winter squash cornbread is a wonderful side; I’ll use extra already-roasted squash in this simple and delicious recipe. I did, however, sample cornbread at New Seasons last week that was moist and yummy – let someone else do the work if you’re in a pinch! Dessert? Skip it, and head straight for the giant bowl of minis.

Tuesday – pizzoccheri

gourmet greens with oil & vinegar (Marcella Hazan)
pasta with potatoes and cabbage (The Kitchn)
roast chicken

Since the main hails from the northern regions of Italy, we’ll repeat the amazingly simple Marcella salad. This pasta dish looks amazingly hearty and simple. It takes a classic Italian combination of pasta and potatoes, and adds shredded cabbage that’s been sautéed in olive oil and garlic. With a mix-in of butter and grated cheese, I just don’t see how you can go wrong! Adding a made-by-someone else roast chicken would complete this weeknight meal nicely.

“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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