Charlie Bird’s Farro Salad with Arugula

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Charlie Bird's Farro Salad
Serves 6
A beautiful salad with a flavorful mixture of arugula, basil and mint
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
30 min
  1. 1 cup farro
  2. 1 cup apple cider
  3. 2 teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
  4. 2 bay leaves
  5. 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  6. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  7. 70 grams Parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler (1/2 cup)
  8. 70 grams chopped pistachio nuts (1/2 cup)
  9. 2 cups arugula leaves
  10. 1 cup basil leaves, torn
  11. 1 cup mint leaves
  12. ¾ cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  13. ⅓ cup thinly sliced radish
  14. Maldon or other flaky sea salt, for finishing
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring farro, apple cider, salt, bay leaves and 2 cups water to a simmer. Simmer until farro is tender and liquid evaporates, about 30 minutes.
  2. If all the liquid evaporates before the farro is done, add a little more water.
  3. Let farro cool, then discard bay leaves.
  4. In a salad bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
  5. Add farro and mix well.
  6. This salad base will keep for up to 4 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator (bring to room temperature before serving).
  7. Just before serving, fold in arugula, herbs, tomatoes, cheese and pistachio nuts and mix well. Add flaky salt to taste.
Adapted from Slightly adapted by Celia
This is one of the best salads to bring to a pot luck. It’s a winner and everyone wants the recipe. I usually adapt recipes but in this case I’ve followed Charlie Bird’s directions exactly (except that I don’t add the radishes). I usually cook the farro the day before and add the lemon juice and olive oil. Right before serving I fold in the rest of the ingredients. For a vegan offering I add the cheese separately. Thank you Charlie!

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Old-Fashioned Blueberry Coffee Cake

Old-Fashioned Blueberry Coffee Cake
Serves 8
Old Fashioned Blueberry Coffee Cake
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  1. Crumb Topping
  2. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  3. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  5. 3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  6. Cake
  7. Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  8. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  9. 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  10. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  11. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  12. 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  13. 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  14. 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature or melted
  15. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  16. 2 large eggs
  17. 1 cup buttermilk
  18. 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  19. 2 cups fresh (or frozen, thawed) blueberries (about 10 ounce
  1. Crumb Topping
  2. In food processor pulse flour, sugar,and butter; until the butter is pea size or smaller. Set topping aside. DO AHEAD: Can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.
  3. Cake
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat pan with nonstick spray.
  5. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  6. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat 3/4 cup sugar and butter in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, 3–4 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until mixture is pale and fluffy, 3–4 minutes longer.
  7. With mixer on low speed, add dry ingredients to bowl in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
  8. Pour half of batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Whisk remaining 3 Tbsp. sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl; sprinkle evenly over batter in pan.
  9. Layer the top with blueberries.
  10. Spoon remaining batter over layer of blueberries and smooth top.
  11. . Sprinkle crumb topping over blueberries.
  12. Bake cake until top is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 55–65 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
We are having a bumper crop of beautiful big blueberries but most of the orchards aren’t faring as well. So far I’ve made a nectarine blueberry crisp, a blueberry pie and two blueberry coffee cakes. I’ ve posted earlier some good blueberry muffins but this year my favorite is this blueberry coffee cake. The original recipe is from the September 2012 issue of Bon Appetit Magazine. I’ve adapted it somewhat and here is my version
Adapted from Recipe adapted from Cakes Ale in Decatur GA
Adapted from Recipe adapted from Cakes Ale in Decatur GA


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Blueberries are ready for picking.  Glenhaven Farm is open  for picking but is having a short season.  Grisamore Farms also has blueberries. Luce Farm in Ovid (7381 HALL Road, Ovid 607-532-9475) is closed this week but will have blueberries next week, but that will be there last week..   Check out their websites to get hours and directions.  Or click on "U-Pick" to find other farms in your neighborhood that are open for picking. Hall's Hill Blueberry Farm in Cortland is advertising U-pick until August 26th.  They have coupons in the Ithaca Journal.  



Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits to pick.  No need to break your back.  The harvesting is quick and painless and it's a great social activity since you can chat away with your friends.  I always meet someone I know when I'm picking at Glenhaven.  Many children come for the event.  They either help their parents pick, or just have a private blueberry feast, or lay out a blanket in the shade and watch the others pick.  Everyone has a good time.  Blueberries are the best to freeze and baking requires no advance preparation.  We just put a huge bowl  on the table and let passerbyers grab the blueberries by handfuls. 







U-Pick Raspberries at: 


 Indian Creek Farm

Who: Alan Leornard and Stephen Cummins
Where: 1408 Trumansburg Road (1/2 mile past hospital
Phone: 273-9544, 592-2801 and 227-6147 I Call to check on availability


Silver Queen Farm
Who: Gordy & Liz Gallup
Where: 5286 Stillwell Road, Trumansburg
Phone: 387-6502 Call to check on availability


Grisamore Farms
Who: Mary Ann Grisamore
Where: Goose Street Road, Locke
Phone: 315-497-1347
Web site: Call to  check on availability
By Celia Clement Posted in Seasonal | 1,230 views | Edit | No Comments



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 Yield : 2 servings as side



Raspberry Clafouti
Serves 2
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  1. 1 tablespoon butter
  2. ¼ cup sugar + more for ramekin
  3. 1 large egg
  4. 6 tablespoons half and half
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  6. 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  7. 1 cup fresh raspberries
  1. Heat toaster oven to 400°F. Butter two 3 ½ - inch ramekins and dust with sugar.
  2. Whisk egg until frothy and add sugar, half and half and vanilla extract; mix to combine.
  3. Add the all purpose flour and whisk very well.
  4. Divide the raspberries into the ramekins and pour the batter over the raspberries.
  5. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes until golden brown and the middle is set.
  6. 6. Serve with a scoop of ice cream. (optional)

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Stuffed Eggplant

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I have made this a few times using wheat berries.  This is a recipe I found online from the New York TImes Cooking section.  It is amazing.  And it’s vegetarian.  I didn’t use the parsley and didn’t miss it.  I used pesto I had in the freezer instead of basil and that worked great.  I copied this and pasted into this blog making a few changes which I highlighted in red.  If you like eggplant,  please try this.  



Long-Simmered Eggplant Stuffed with Farro or Spelt

AUG. 25, 2014 From New York Times Cooking


This is a riff on imam bayildi, the long-cooking eggplant dish bathed in tomatoes and onions that is one of the great achievements of Turkish cuisine. I added cooked farro to the tomato-onion mix, making this more like a stuffed eggplant dish. The active cooking time is minimal, but the smothered eggplant must simmer for about 1 1/2 hours to achieve the intense, syrupy sauce and deep, rich flavor that make this dish such a wonder. Make it a day ahead for best results, and serve at room temperature on a hot night.

Time: 2 hours, including 1 1/2 hours mostly unsupervised simmering ( Mine was done after an hour)


Long Simmering Stuffed Eggplant with Farro or Spelt
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  1. 1/2 pounds eggplant (2 to 3 medium or 6 small eggplants), cut in half lengthwise
  2. 1/4 cup olive oil
  3. 1 large or 2 medium onions, sliced very thin
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  6. 1 1/2 pounds (3 large or 6 medium) tomatoes, grated or peeled and chopped or small diced tomatoes or homemade tomato sauce
  7. 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  8. 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  9. 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil ( I used frozen pesto instead of fresh basil)
  10. Freshly ground pepper to taste
  11. 1 cup cooked farro, spelt or wheat berries.
  12. 1/4 cup water
  13. 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar ( I used less)
  14. 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  15. Additional minced parsley for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment and brush with olive oil.
  3. Slit eggplants down the middle, being careful not to cut through the skin.
  4. Place on baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size, until outer skin begins to shrivel.
  5. Remove from oven and transfer, cut side down, to a colander set in the sink.
  6. Allow to drain for 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, lidded skillet and add onions.
  8. Cook, stirring often, until very tender, about 8 minutes, and add a generous pinch of salt and the garlic. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds to a minute, until fragrant.
  9. Add tomatoes, herbs, salt to taste, 1 teaspoon of the sugar and the cooked farro or spelt. Transfer to a bowl. Taste and adjust salt.
  10. Turn eggplants over and place in the pan, cut side up.
  11. Season with salt.
  12. Gently pull apart at the slit and fill with the onion, tomato and farro mix. Spoon any mix that couldn’t fit inside the eggplant over the top.
  13. Mix remaining olive oil, remaining sugar, water and lemon juice. Drizzle over and around the eggplants. Cover the pan and place over low heat.
  14. Cook gently for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, basting from time to time with the liquid in the pan, and adding water to the pan if it becomes too dry (this shouldn’t happen; in my experience, the eggplant releases water as it simmers).By the end of cooking, the eggplants should have collapsed significantly and the liquid in the pan should be syrupy or even slightly caramelized.
  15. Spoon this over the eggplant.
  16. Allow to cool in pan, sprinkle with parsley and serve at room temperature.

Yield: Serves 6

Advance preparation: This is best if made a day ahead. You can roast the eggplant through Step 1 and make the filling through Step 2 several hours before stuffing and cooking the eggplant. Once cooked, the finished dish can sit for several hours, or refrigerate overnight and bring to room temperature before serving. Cooked farro and spelt keep for 3 days in the refrigerator and freeze well.

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Curried Lentil, Kale and Butternut Squash Soup

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Curried Lentil, Kale and Butternut Squash Soup

This soup is my new favorite.  It combines smooth with crunch since the French lentils keep their firmness.  The red lentils and butternut dissolve into a lucious creaminess.  The sweet and spicy flavors meld together beautifully.  And I love the orange and green colors of this soup.  It improves after each reheating and MUST be made the day before.

Yield: 5-6 servings


  • 1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3  tsp curry powder ( I use a combination of Japanese and Indian curry blends)
  • 1-2  tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 cups chicken broth or vegetarian broth or water or combination
  • 14 oz light coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup red lentils, also known as Lal Masoor Dal (Goya sells this)
  • 1/4 cup Spanish Pardina lentils (Goya sells this) or French Puy lentils
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and diced into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 TBS brown sugar ( or to taste)
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped or about two cups after stemming and chopping


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion and cook over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and cook for about 5-8 minutes, or until onion becomes tender. Stir in the ginger, garlic, curry powder, and salt. Stir for about a minute, stirring frequently.
  2. Meanwhile, roast the squash for 15 minutes at 450 degrees until beginning to brown or fry over high heat.  This caramelizes the squash and heighten the flavor but if you are in a hurry just throw it in without browning.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until it starts to darken in color, stirring constantly. Add the water, coconut milk, red lentils, and squash (either quickly roasted or  fried in or just cut up and not roasted). Bring to a boil, and then lower to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, until the squash are falling apart and the lentils are cooked through, about 30 minutes. The red lentils will have dissolved and the French lentils will still have a little
  4. Stir in the kale and cook for about 5 minutes, or until wilted and tender.
  5. This soup is better refrigerated and warmed up and eaten the next day.

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¾ cup sour dough starter

½ cup water

2 TBS molasses

1 TBS olive oil

1 ½ tsp salt

1 TBS toasted caraway seeds

2 ¼ cups Bread flour

¾ cup rye flour

1 ½tsp yeast

Combine in bread maker and check to make sure the consistency is correct after it has kneaded for a while. Once it has become a ball,   poke it with your finger.  You should have a tiny bit of stickiness but mostly it needs to be dry and in a ball. You may need to add more flour or water to adjust.

1.      Let  the bread maker do the kneading and first rise,

2.       Remove the dough and put it into a bowl lined with parchment paper.

3.       Let it rise again until double: one to two hours.

4.       Half an hour before preheat oven to 450° .Place empty large enamel pot  with cover (Le Creuset works great) that will just hold the bread in the oven to heat.

5.      Slit the top of the bread and carefully place in the enamel pot.  Don’t burn yourself lifting the lid (spoken from multiple experiences).  Cover the pot and cook the bread for 25-30 minutes.

6.      Remove the pot from the oven.  Carefully remove the bread and unless it is already evenly browned, place it as is, without parchment, in the oven and bake a few more minutes, checking regularly, until uniformly brown and crisp. Remove and cool.  Serve with butter.


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Raspberry Almond Thumbprints

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Raspberry Almond Thumbprints




Preheat oven to 350 degrees



1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter

2/3 cup sugar

½ teaspoon almond estract

2 cups flour

Raspberry jam



½ cup confectioner sugar

¾ teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon milk


1.  In a mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar

2.  Add almond extract and mix

3.  Add flour and mix quickly

4.  Form about 36 balls and place them on a baking sheet

5.  Make a thumb print in each ball and fill with a little raspberry jam

6.  Bake 14-18 minutes  and  cool

7.  Mix together glaze ingredients and drizzle over the cookies.



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Michal’s Chocolate Brandy Snowballs

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Michal’s Chocolate Brandy Snowballs


3 eggs

½ cup sugar

350 Grams dark chocolate (I use 3 bars of Lindt 70%) 

50 grams butter ½ stick

45 ml brandy (3 Tab

1 tsp Nescafe or espresso powder

¾ cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup finely chopped almonds (.3 pounds) I chop them in a food processor

Granulated sugar

Powdered sugar

1.     Beat eggs and sugar for 5 minutes in a mixer.

2.     Melt chocolate and butter carefully in the microwave.  I don’t melt the chocolate completely because it is too easy to burn.  Instead I melt it almost all the way and stir it to melt the last little bit of chocolate.

3.     Add coffee and brandy

4.     Fold chocolate mixture into eggs

5.     Add dry ingredients and mix quickly

6.     Fold in almonds

7.     Refrigerate 3-4 hours or for several days

8.     Make snowballs by rolling into 1-2 inch balls, dipping into granulated sugar and then into powdered sugar so that each is completely covered.

9.     Bake in preheated 360 ? oven for 8 minutes.  Do not overcook.




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Cucumbers and Carrots with Miso Dip

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Cucumbers and Carrots with Miso Dip

 Remember Kayuga Japanese Restaurant on Eddy Street?  We were frequent flyers there and I liked their miso dip so much that I asked for the recipe.  I was rewarded with a little piece of paper on which was written the ingredients but not the quantities.  In the true spirit of intuitive  cooking I’ll also pass along the basic ingredients and method and then leave it up to the reader to concoct their own version.  Start with 1/2 cup of Sake and 1/4 cup of mirin.  Boil together until reduced to about 1/2 cup.  Turn off the heat and add miso a little at a time starting with a heaping tablespoon.  The trick to miso is not to boil it.  I use white miso in this recipe, but you can experiment with different types of miso.  You’ll want the consistency to be like ketchup.  It will thicken once cooled.  Add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and a few shakes of roasted sesame seeds.  Then taste.  If you want it sweeter, add a pinch of sugar.  This lasts for several days in the fridge. 

Miso can be found in many grocery stores.  Greenstar has it in bulk in the back of their store so you can buy small quantities  and  experiment with different types of miso.  Wegmans has tubs of miso in the cooler section which also containes seitan and tofu.


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