Late Summer Farro Salad

farro salad

I spent most of Sunday recovering from a too-fun Saturday involving yoga, sun, beer, wings, more beer, and then a lot of drinks.  This is a rough diagram of what Sunday looked like.  Location: The Bed.

cat bed diagram

It was rough in the most delicious way and I felt only a smidgen of guilt.

My crowning (and only) achievement of the day was a last minute scramble to make dinner from the remains of my CSA package, and might I say it turned out swimmingly.  Back pat, back pat.

eggplant and zucchini

This toothsome farro salad is adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Farro and Roasted Red Pepper Salad.  Ottolenghi = swoon.  Farro = double swoon.  Combined together, they make a culinary trend implosion.  I feel like I should apologize, but really I’m doing a little dance shuffle and letting out a little squeal.

Seasonally, his delicious recipe is very cozy fall/early winter.  Please consider this my humble (and bumbling) attempt at the late summer harvest version.  The great thing about these grain salads is that they accommodate additions, subtractions or straight-up substitutions of other veggies you have laying around in your pantry.  Also, I opted for using the broiler in this version to cut down drastically on time, heat and steps.

The broiler is my new best friend.

cut zucchini cut eggplant farro

THE SALAD:

1 cup farro (I’ve been using the semi-pearled version, which takes about 15-20 minutes to cook)
1 medium eggplant (unpeeled, cut in large cubes about ¾”)
1 medium zucchini (unpeeled, cut in large cubes, about ¾”)
2 large cloves of garlic, unpeeled
2 tomatoes, halved
¼ lb Capri goat cheese, or feta depending on your taste, crumbled
A large handful of parsley or dill, chopped roughtly

THE DRESSING:

Juice of 1 medium lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp smoked paprika, plus extra
½ garlic clove, crushed
½ tsp fine sea salt

Put the farro in a pot of boiling water and simmer until just tender. Drain and set aside.

Take all your eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, garlic and throw them into a sheet pan large enough to hold all the vegetables in one layer with a little bit of breathing room.  Drizzle the pan with a generous splash of olive oil and sea salt, and give the vegetables a good toss so they’re all evenly-ish coated.

vegetable army

Turn on your broiler and slide the pan in for 3 to 4 minutes.  The veggies should be browned (but not burned!), so keep an eye on them and don’t wander off anywhere.

Give them a good toss in the pan, and then it’s back under the broiler for another minute or two.  The eggplant and zucchini should be fork tender – if they aren’t, give them another toss and another minute under the broiler.

broiled vegetables

Meanwhile, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.

Once the veggies have cooled off a bit, the garlic can get squeezed out of their skins. Together with the tomatoes, they get a rough chop.  This is a happy-go-lucky undisciplined sort of salad, so no need for right angles and perfect cubes.

salad components

The cooked farro, roasted veggies, crumbled cheese, chopped herbs and all the dressing go into a bowl, and get a good toss.  Season with a good salt and pepper if so desired.

*** I was not feeling ready for zingy cheese, so I went with the super fresh Westfield Farm Capri goat cheese and some parsley to brighten things up.  If you’re feeling the feta (and why should you not), I like pairing that with dill so there aren’t too many aggressive flavors at war in your mouth.

Eat.

farro salad closeup

farro salad_2

 

Looking for other awesome farro recipes?

I’m a big fan of these:

Bon Appetit’s Farro with Acorn Squash and Kale

Smitten Kitchen’s One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes

Wrap It Up. August 23 2013.

Jasper in Box Hammock

Aww, it’s Mr. Jasper.  I don’t know if any of you are familiar with the ways of cats, but this orange tabby has never met a box that couldn’t be lounged in. This particular box was approximately 1/3 too small for his husky build, but he assessed, wiggled and found a way to make it work, hammock-style.  The world is a nap surface.

It’s been a busy week, and I’m looking to forward to some quality putzing time on the New York City streets and my couch.  Earlier this week, I applied for yoga teacher training, which I have been thinking about for a long time.  And then I got in!  (Yay me!!) Plus ten grownup points.  And then I accidentally paid for it twice and threw my finances into a tizzy.  (Boooooooooo.)  Minus ten grownup points.  Rules for the weekend: Less money spending and less alcohol drinking.

Stuff:

Animals jumping on trampolines.  My favorite part is the Shiba Inu, who is analyzing the trampoline so hard he can’t possibly enjoy himself. Like, ugggghhh, if I only had the right tools, I could only fix this gosh darn broken floor and everything would be fine.

Have you guys seen Maisy and Lennon Stella on Nashville yet?  Their rendition of Ho Hey by The Lumineers is just the best, I can’t get over how talented and adorable they are.

Guys with fancy lady hair.

I’m trying to get the family to go to a new place in Flushing for dim sum.  I love our standby Dong Yi Feng, but sometimes you just want to try something new.  Any suggestions?

Have an amazing weekend! (Can you believe that summer is almost over??! Go outside!  Fly a kite! Tan!)

Love, Grace

A Secretly Luxurious Happy Hour at Louro

IMG_2238[1]

Yesterday, I went on exploratory mission with my friend Matthew to the curiously deserted Louro in the West Village.  This space used to be Low Country. Low Country, Louro.  In the same grey font in the window.  For weeks, I just assumed it was the same place rebranded.   These were the weeks after I just didn’t notice that the signage had changed.   I couldn’t have been the only one.  Louro opened in December, and people, I want it to stick around.

Why?  Free snacks.  My two favorite words in the world together.  Free.  Snacks.

Their happy hour deal is 5:30 to 7:30 PM and then after 10 PM at their spacious, quiet-enough-to-have-a-conversation bar. (Am I showing my age??!)  All their cocktails are $8.  $6 house wine.  $1 oysters. The cocktails were tasty, and the oysters were fresh.

Our fancy, and expectation-exceeding snacks?  Some very tender calamari, freshly made seafood croquettes, and palate cleansing spicy broccoli. Lipsmacking stuff in the perfect little quantities.  When we ordered our second round of cocktails, the bartender offered us more snacks.  Generosity and snacks.

Go, people.  Go now.  Save Louro.

(Apologies for the super terrible photo, the iPhone is unwell.)

Wine, Physicists, a Dog and the Great Outdoors

Hume_Chairs_2

This past weekend, I headed down to D.C. to visit a good friend of mine and air out some life baggage.

We met up with two very smart, dashing physicists (which brings the number of physicists that I’ve met up to a grand total of 3), visited some Virginia wineries, and went for a nice, little baby hike in Shenandoah National Park.

Ferns on Rockface

It was all kinds of great.

Blue Ridge_1

And all kinds of pretty.

Hume_barns

The best wine we had, by far, was at Hume Winery a relatively new outfit out on a Civil War-era historic farm in Fauqier County.

Hume_1

The very friendly and very knowledgeable owner Stephane (French born, D.C. research consultant turned pre-life crisis winery owner) and his assistant (who happened to be an ex-Air Force mechanic turned archeologist currently working for the Smithsonian as a airplane restorationist) were behind the bar, pouring the tastings.  If they weren’t living proof confirmation from the world that this all leads somewhere, I don’t know what is.

My particular favorites, the crisp Seyval Blanc and the floral Pinot Verdot, were on opposite ends of the taste spectrum but were made with a light and sensitive hand and were overwhelmingly palate pleasing.

Hume_3

Mr. Lucio (Age: 4 months) kept us safe from predators and thugs throughout the day.

Mr Lucio

I would highly recommend his security services.

Oh, and this is why they call them the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Blue Ridge_2

As I said, it was all kinds of pretty.

How was your weekend?

P.S. We gunned down some great cocktails at Pearl Dive Oyster Palace in Logan Circle on Friday night, and enjoyed their smartly outfitted indoor/outdoor space.  Their wood grilled East Coast oysters were fantastic.

Wrap It Up. August 16 2013.

Image

It’s Friday afternoon and the weather has been seven shades of gorgeous for the past few days.  This weekend, I’m off to DC to visit some friends, go for a nice long hike, and hopefully eat and imbibe many delicious things.  What are YOU doing?

Some things:

Eid, the last day of Ramadan, was this week and our office celebrated with a Middle Eastern feast, complete with live musicians.  The flavors, the spicing, and the general luscious smell that hung in the air for most of the day made me just want more.  I ran into The Pomegranate Diaries, and feel the need to try everything especially the Adas Polow, the Persian version of lentils and rice.  You know I love lentils and rice.

I’ve had four burgers in the past two weeks.  They were delicious but I feel terrible about it.  Thisthisthis, and this.

“It’s possible to obey all laws & conventions & still be a jerk. Success lies in rebellious love, unconventional kindness & defiant decency.”  Love that Cory Booker.  (Did you catch The Atlantic article about him?  I super love the idea of having ideological capital.

The National.  Underrated.

Happy weekend!

Love,

Grace

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