Tag Archive | red onions

November 13 weekly menu | fall table

Farm Fresh

beets, cabbage, chicory, braising greens, gourmet greens, kohlrabi, onions, winter squash

What’s for Dinner?

Always something new with a CSA…this week, in my share was a gargantuan bag (think garbage bag size) of braising greens. Sauvie Island Organics actually called this field greens, a farmer’s choice mix of virtually all of the various greens they grow – I should be looking for pac choi, napa cabbage, chard, escarole, a rainbow of both mild and spicy mustards, and several types of kale! With nearly everything else I got this week qualifying as “good keepers,” I’ll focus my efforts on these gorgeous greens, making an appearance at many a meal.

Friday – pizza night

pizza with fennel sausage, braising greens and red onion

Saturday – bright & zesty quinoa soup 

butternut squash soup with quinoa & greens (Not Just Baked)
crusty bread

Sunday – dates, enough said

date, feta, and red cabbage salad (Smitten Kitchen)
roasted chicken

Monday – minister di riso e cicoria

chicory and rice soup (Memorie di Angelina)
crusty bread
roasted chicken, take two

Tuesday one line kohlrabi recipe

red cabbage salad with blue cheese & walnuts (Slate.com)
sauted kohlrabi (Jenn Louis, Lincoln Restaurant)
carleton farms smoked bratwurst

Wednesday – cheesy, creamy polenta

white cheddar polenta with braised greens & pancetta (SIO Blog, Emily Thomson)

Thursday – sammie night

grilled cheese with apples, dijon, & kohlrabi (The Lemon Bowl)
beet salad with goat cheese & walnuts (Jennifer Segal, Serious Eats)

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Friday – pizza night

pizza with fennel sausage, braising greens and red onion

Field greens dinner number one. For the pizza inspiration, I looked no further than the Lovely’s Fifty Fifty menu – one of our favorite local pizza joints. They always take full advantage of our local farm fresh produce, not only for their salads, but for their creative and inventive pizzas as well. Saute up some fennel sausage (or any favorite,) as well as some of our chopped braising greens and thinly sliced red onions. I think it’s best to use the same pan, but to do the ingredients separately, just putting them on a plate until you’re ready to top the pizzas. I’ll use an entire red onion, caramelizing it in a tablespoon or two of olive oil until it’s lightly golden and very soft. After removing, I’ll put a few handfuls of braising greens (remember they cook down so much), sauteeing until they wither a bit, then adding a bit of water to further cook. Then brown the sausage. You’ll have three distinct toppings, where everyone can top their own with what they love. IMG_1084I’ll use my tried and true New Basics crust recipe – see Pizza Night, or make it ultra-simple by picking up pre-made dough from any number of markets or pizza restaurants.

Other recent pizza creations:

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 
roasted red potato pizza with taleggio, roasted leeks & pancetta
pizza bianca with goat cheese & chard 

Saturday – bright & zesty quinoa soup

butternut squash soup with quinoa & greens (Not Just Baked)
crusty bread

This is a deeply comforting yet zesty soup, combining butternut squash and greens in a bright and vibrant quinoa-based masterpiece. The recipe calls for kale, but I’ll use whatever gorgeous greens came in my giant bag of braising greens. I’m opting for a chickenless version (quinoa is the super grain that serves as a complete protein source!) adding more squash and greens instead. Just ignore all the parts about the chicken and chicken broth, and replace with boxed broth. Also simplifies things quite a bit! Breeze past the whole “broth” portion of the recipe, and head straight for the “soup”, skipping any references to “chicken” along the way. Believe me, you won’t miss it. That final sprinkling of sea salt, and the squeeze of fresh lime juice made all the difference. I often also set out the dried red chile flakes for just a little spice. Get your favorite crusty bakery bread, and dig in.

Sunday – dates, enough said

date, feta, and red cabbage salad (Smitten Kitchen)
roasted chicken

I have a thing about dates. We are headed to the desert to spend Thanksgiving with some friends. Instead of fantasizing about the warm sunshine and dry desert air, or the feast we’ll surely be preparing together, I just can’t take my mind off fresh Coachella Valley dates that await me. After all, it is the date capital of the world! Dates plain (for any and every meal!), dates wrapped or stuffed as a beautiful appetizer, dates in sauces and relishes, and of course, dates in dessert. I’m planning a date and walnut pie for the big feast! In the meantime, I came across this Smitten Kitchen red cabbage salad…with dates! Of course, I could not resist, especially with this deep reddish, purple head of cabbage I got this week. It looks to be the perfect balance of sweet (dates), salty (feta), and crunchy (cabbage) all wrapped up in one healthy could-be-the-main-meal salad! Some shaved red onion, garbanzo beans, chopped nuts…any number of items could make delicious additions as well. If you’re inclined, add a made-by-someone-else roasted chicken as a side.

Monday – minister di riso e cicoria

chicory and rice soup (Memorie di Angelina)
crusty bread
roasted chicken, take two

I don’t admit veggie defeat easily. But at this date, I’ve got exactly three point five oversized heads of chicory staring me in the face from my fridge. I was excited when my CSA farmer said this was a particularly hearty variety (pan di zucchero), that could last up to four months, well covered in the refrigerator. Well, since I received two heads a month ago, I’ve taken my time trying to figure out what to do with it. And now here comes two more heads! My family thinks it is too bitter, both raw in salads and even cooked in stews and soups. I’m in search of the miracle recipe that takes this more-than-mild-hint of bitterness out. Maybe this is it. After all, it was a daily staple of this Italian grandmother, for like ninety years! It does look traditional, and comforting, and warm, and possibly not bitter because you actually boil the chicory for several minutes before then sautéing it in a garlicky warm olive oil. Then it’s cooked again when the broth and rice are added. With a generous sprinkling of salt, pepper, and freshly grated parmesan, some crusty bread for dipping, and some sliced chicken left from last night, I feel culinary success in the making.

Tuesday –  one line kohlrabi recipe

red cabbage salad with blue cheese & walnuts (Slate.com)
sauted kohlrabi (Jenn Louis, Lincoln Restaurant)
carleton farms smoked bratwurst

Never too many cabbage salads, at least in my estimation. I’ll surely have enough for this second-of-the-week crunchy, red cabbage salad. No wonder cabbage is called a “power food” – good for your skin, your immune system, your brain, your pretty-much-everything! This salad, with it’s very straightforward ingredients, ends up as a complex, crunchy, and flavor-packed side. I’ll use dried cranberries instead of raisins. Use any nut you want – they’re all a boon to your system as well. Since we’ve got the crunchy covered, I’ll go with kohlrabi on the softer side. I loved when I read this “recipe” on the Sauvie Island Organics blog: “One-line recipe from Chef Jenn Louis of Lincoln Restaurant and Sunshine Tavern: Slowly cook slivered garlic in butter. Add thinly sliced kohlrabi, lemon juice and salt. Finish with chopped parsley.” Kohlrabi, which is a cross in flavor between broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, seems a delicious candidate for such a simple sautéed preparation. I picked up some Carleton Farms smoked bratwurst at the market recently, threw them in the freezer, where they are just waiting to come out and complete such a healthy, veggie-centric dinner. It’s all about balance, right?

Wednesday – cheesy creamy polenta

white cheddar polenta with braised greens & pancetta (SIO Blog, Emily Thomson)

Polenta…no longer fuddy duddy peasant food, that’s for sure. It is a super versatile, humble cornmeal dish that can be baked, fried, grilled, or simply cooked gently on the stovetop with some butter and parmesan for a wholly satisfying, rich and delicious dish. As a matter of fact, I think it’s just right as a bed for braised greens. This week’s mixed field greens lend themselves wonderfully as a polenta “topping” – any greens would work beautifully. In this recipe, I double the polenta portion and make it in a wide bottomed pan suitable for serving as well. When the polenta seems “done” (not grainy or hard to the bite), let it settle in the pan after mixing in the not-to-leave-out butter (the essential rich and creamy part of the best polenta!) The lightly sautéed and braised greens, pancetta, and garlic (I’m skipping the mushrooms this week) are then spread over the top, with the grated white cheddar adding a finishing touch. Just before serving, warm it in the oven, letting the cheese get just barely browned. You could skip the pancetta and mix in some white beans, or just leave it as is for a wonderfully rich and satisfying vegetarian dish. See where your taste buds and diners take you. A little Italian bacon is hard to pass up.

Thursday – sammie night

grilled cheese with apples, dijon, & kohlrabi (The Lemon Bowl)
beet salad with goat cheese & walnuts (Jennifer Segal, Serious Eats)

There’s nothing better in the Pacific Northwest autumn than fresh, crunchy apples with a hunk of sharp cheddar cheese. This grilled sandwich recipe goes even a step further, mixing thinly sliced apples with kohlrabi to create the healthy, delectable filling. Looks fabulous! And 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. If I have gourmet greens left, I’ll mix them in; if not, we enjoy the salad with no greens at all, just lots of favorite nuts and cheese.

“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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