Posted by: A Part of the Solution | October 18, 2010

Work Party Weekend Menu: Lunch

I am an unblushing locavore, but I did use a national brand of oatmeal. I don’t make my own suite of vinegars yet, though that time may be coming sooner than I’d imagined. I still fish a lot of my herbs out of boughten containers, but next year’s garden should address that.

I doubled the roll recipe (tip o’ the hat to the illustrious Mr Alton Brown whose oatmeal rolls they were first) to feed the farmhand hordes–we had ten people sit down to lunch. I would have added a cabbage to the borscht, but I didn’t have time to get to that end of the garden and back without making lunch later than two.

Oatmeal Rolls

12 oz of cooked, nearly-cooled oatmeal

2 TBSP light molasses, or barley malt, or honey

2 1/4 tsp yeast, 1 package

1 tsp salt

2 TBSP oil

11 oz bread flour (2 cups + 3 TBSP), or 2 TBSP wheat gluten + 2 cups + 1 TBSP whole wheat flour–I used King Arthur White Whole Wheat

1/4 cup uncooked oatmeal (if desired)

Stir the yeast and sugar into the warm oatmeal. Allow the mixture to proof for several minutes, until it visibly bubbles. Stir the salt and oil well in. Now add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon (or the dough hook of a stand mixer set on medium low) until the dough coheres, softens and becomes more sticky, and gradually becomes elastic and smooth. If you’re using the spoon, you may switch to hand kneading, but oil your hands well for this.

Allow to rise overnight covered tightly in the fridge. Punch the dough down, let it rise at room temperature. Form into rolls (I made 1 1/2 oz balls), oil the tops then roll in the uncooked oatmeal and place on an oiled baking sheet. Cover the rolls loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes before baking for 17-20 minutes in a preheated 375° oven. At 2 1/2 oz dough balls, they’ll want 25 minutes in that same 375°F oven.

Beet and Carrot Borscht

2 1/2 TBSP oil

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

1 bunch mixed heirloom carrots, scrubbed and chopped

8 new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into large dice

1 bunch baby turnips, scrubbed, peeled and cut into large dice with greens reserved for another use

1 bunch baby beets, greens separated from roots (with one inch of stem left on the tops), roots scrubbed and set to cook in a lidded pot with water to cover them

3 TBSP tomato paste or 6 oz tomato sauce

3 cups vegetable stock heavy on the celery, mushroom and leek

1 1/2 TBSP soy sauce

2 TBSP sherry vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

1 TBSP fresh minced thyme, or 1 tsp dried

1 1/2 tsp fresh ground grains of paradise (optional)

1 tsp fresh ground cardamom (optional but ridiculously good for the effort)

Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan. Add the onion and set the heat at medium low. Add the chopped root vegetables one at a time, allowing them to become thoroughly hot before adding the next vegetable. Add the tomato paste or sauce and allow to bubble and caramelize a little. Now stir in the stock and liquid seasonings and the peeled baby beets cut into large dice. Add water to fully cover the vegetables–or more if you want soup rather than a stew. Allow this to cook for twenty minutes. Add the herbs, spices, final seasoning and the beet greens washed and chopped up. Let cook another five minutes. It’s a meal when served over rice.

And desert was a snap.

Easy Chocolate Cake

All this served with cider or well water was a feast for the famished volunteer force.



  1. How come you don’t use the turnip greens as well as the beet greens?

    • The turnip greens are very fierce, flavor-wise–and the borscht is rather delicate and better suited to the beet greens as an addition. I used the turnip greens that evening with chard, kale, collards and mustard greens to make a pot of mixed greens. They were great–and went nicely with the full strength lasagna I’d cooked.

  2. Ah! Makes me realize I’ve never eaten turnip greens…beet greens, yes, but not turnip greens. Yet another new thing to try this coming week!

    • Turnip greens are down at the mustard greens end of the brassica spectrum–they have great tang and a pleasant bitterness, but they aren’t delicate even when the turnips are still little (though they’re less assertive than they’ll be when they grow all the way up for sure).

  3. […] Greens were red kale, curly kale, white chard and turnip greens (from those baby turnips in the borscht at lunch).  I served Apple Crisp for dessert, which was accompanied by vanilla ice cream from the […]

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