It has been silent here for far too long. This little spot on the internet has lay barren of any content whatsoever for more time than I am comfortable with. I could certainly blame it on the lack of lighting in our home by the time dinner is made after a long day at work. I could blame it on all of that wedding planning we had been doing up until November, but that was over three months ago.
To be entirely honest, it has been my own laziness and a general sense of apathy that has kept me from writing; here or anywhere else. Even saying it now “out loud” breaks my heart a little. Things are different in my life than they were the last time I posted in 1769…or however depressingly long ago it was.
But the passion inside never went anywhere and I’ve still been cooking, creating, testing and immersing myself in all things food. Food and the love for cooking it is what I’m made of. It is my blood, my brain and is forever on my skin. Any tools I use feel like an extension of my limbs and I still swoon when onions and garlic hit hot butter in a pan. I’ve been making things I’ve never made before and discovering new techniques for recipes I’ve been cooking for years.
As it turns out, I make a mean fried chicken, love cold beets in salads and didn’t realize just how much I missed writing about all of it. So I’ll start small by sharing a recipe for farro salad – and see where it goes from here.
Beet, Feta and Herb Farro Salad (adapted from this recipe in the New York Times)
- 1 cup farro
- 2 1/2 cups water or stock
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 small garlic clove, minced or pureed
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium beets, steamed, peeled, and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup broken walnut pieces or toasted pine nuts
- 2 ounces feta and more for garnish
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs – I’ve used parsley, thyme, dill and basil – and all have worked nicely alone or together. Play around.
In a saucepan combine the farro and water, and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for up to about 30 minutes, until grains are tender and have absorbed all of the liquid. It may take as little as 20 minutes or up to 45 minutes, depending on the source of your farro. Allow to cool to room temperature.
While your farro is cooling, make the dressing. Combine the vinegars, garlic and Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to combine and emulsify the dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until ready to use. You may need to whisk it again before adding it to the farro.
Toss the farro with the dressing, beets, nuts and herbs. Taste and adjust seasonings if neccesary. You can serve this room temperature or chilled.