This week was a tricky one cooking-wise since we had several social obligations that kept us out of the house and away from the kitchen for most of the weekend. I had to find ways to incorporate a lot of vegetables from our farm share haul into only a few dishes. Challenge accepted!
Since our farm share has produced an abundance of lettuce lately—and this week was no exception—I made some wonderful salads this week. They were so good, in fact, that I’m giving you not one, but two salad recipes.
Featured Recipe: Panzanella Italian Bread Salad
Panzanella is a salad made using stale bread. It’s a great way to revive a loaf that’s past its prime.
- 4-6 cups stale bread, cubed
- 1 cucumber, quartered lengthwise and cut in a 1″ dice
- 1 cup tomato, diced
- 1 bell pepper, seeded and cut in a 1″ dice
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup basil, roughly torn
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Salt & pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine cubed bread with the vegetables. Be sure to reserve as much of the juice from the tomatoes as possible; it will become part of the dressing and add a lot of flavor to the salad. Dress the salad with the oil and vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Using your hands, gently toss the salad so that the bread becomes saturated with oil, vinegar, and tomato juices. If the salad appears too dry, add more oil and vinegar, a tablespoon at a time. Fold basil leaves in, using your hands. Store, covered, at room temperature for at least an hour before serving.
Week 15 Haul:
Here’s what we brought home from our farm share this week:
- Baby red onions
- Bell peppers
- Tokyo bekana
What I Made (Italics represent CSA vegetables used)
Need some menu ideas? Check out the meals I made with this week’s haul of vegetables from our farm share for dinner inspiration.
- Friday Lettuce Cups Night: Inspired by Asian chain restaurants like PF Chang’s, we’ve been using the abundance of lettuce we’ve gotten this season as wraps, or cups, to hold a mixture of ground chicken browned with ginger, garlic, soy sauce and as many diced up vegetables as I can get in the pan. This week I used water chestnuts, bell pepper, cilantro and chile to round out the dish, along with jasmine rice.
- Easy Steak and Panzanella: On our way out the door to spend Saturday celebrating with friends, I pulled a steak out of the freezer to defrost. We were tired and hungry when we got home, so making a no-fuss steak served with panzanella, the Italian bread salad with tomatoes, bell peppers, baby red onion, cucumber and basil, was the perfect thing.
- Weeknight French Bistro-inspired: We made roasted pork loin; caramelized baby red onions; arugula salad with apples and dijon dressing; and a country loaf of bread.
- Weeknight Fridge Clean-out: We pulled together grilled chicken topped with tomato salsa with chiles, cilantro and baby red onion; sautéed corn with tomato, chiles, bell peppers and cilantro; and yellow rice.
Bonus Recipe: A Simple Arugula Salad
Monday was our wedding anniversary, so we celebrated with a night out over the weekend. But I still wanted to serve something a little special for dinner on our actual anniversary. This salad, along with roasted pork loin, caramelized red onions, and a beautiful loaf of bread, made for an easy Monday night dinner that felt fancy enough for a special occasion.
- 4 cups arugula, washed
- 1 small tart apple, peeled, cored and very thinly sliced
- 1-2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon herbes de Provence
Put arugula in a medium salad bowl, and arrange apple slices over the top. Combine mustard, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and herbs de provence in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake jar to combine. Dress the salad and toss, using tongs, to combine.