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
Ingredients
  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
Instructions
  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
http://www.fingerlakesfeasting.com/
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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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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Vietnamese Cabbage Salad

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Vietnamese Chicken Salad

(Serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a side dish)

Special note:  You need to taste and adjust this salad before serving.  Some like it spicier, some like it sweeter or saltier and some like it with more sour flavor from the limes.  Don’t add salt at first since the fish sauce is salty.  Remember that adding the peanuts (and you need lots) adds to the flavor so when you taste it, try it with the peanuts and basil and mint. 

 

For salad:

·         1 ½ -2-pound  green cabbage, shredded, but not too finely:  I don’t use the mandoline

·         2  carrots, peeled and cut into julienne strips

·         ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion

 

Optional:   ¼ cup dried shrimp from Asian market boiled for 5 minutes in water and then drained and chopped.  It adds a very fishy shrimp flavor that is very authentic but not to everyone’s taste.
For dressing :

·         1/3 cup Asian fish sauce  (Nuoc Mam)

·         2 teaspoons  cup brown sugar

·         1 teaspoon (or to taste)  Thai or Vietnamese chili garlic sauce

·         2 teaspoon finely chopped peeled ginger

·         1 tablespoon  garlic clove, finely chopped

·         ¼ cup fresh lime juice from 2-3 limes

·         1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled ginger

 

·         For  topping:

·         2/3 cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts

·         1/2 cup packed torn basil leaves

·         1/2 cup packed torn mint (optional)

·         ½  cup bean sprouts

·         ½ -1 cup  leftover boned  shredded, cooked chicken (optional)

 

1.    Combine salad ingredients

2.    Make dressing by combining ingredients by hand or in a blender

3.    Toss salad: Mix dressing with cabbage and carrots and shrimp

4.    Assemble salad: .Arrange chicken and bean sprouts over tossed salad and sprinkle with peanuts, basil, and mint. Serve at room temperature or chilled. You can pass around extra peanuts and lime juice for people to add to their salads.

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Arugula and grilled corn salad

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Arugula and grilled corn salad with pistachios, cucumbers and heirloom tomatoes and a preserved lemon dressing

 

Salad

Baby arugula or mixed baby greens

2 ears of corn, grilled until beginning to brown and then kernels removed when cool

¼ cup pistachio nuts

1 cucumber

cherry tomatoes

Dressing

1 preserved lemon without the peel, chopped finely

1 Tbs. chopped chives

Juice of one meyer lemon

pinch of sugar

1/3 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1.       For dressing mix everything together, preferably in a small food processor or chopped and add olive oil gradually. Add salt and pepper to taste

2.      Toss with greens

3.      Arrange the lettuce, corn, pistachios, tomatoes and cucumbers attractively on each plate.

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Tomato and cucumber salad

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Tomato and cucumber salad

This preparation is Middle Eastern.  This is the salad eaten in Arab and Israeli families because where you can eat amazing cucumbers and tomatoes most of the year. This salad is great stuffed into a pita with hummus and tahini. I  make this salad with small cubes of tomato and cucumber, salt and finished with olive oil again.  But in the Middle East you'll see this salad with lots of parsley and scallion and lemon juice.  When you have perfect tomatoes and cucumbers for only a couple months around here, I want to enjoy them unadorned.

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Lebanese Cabbage Salad (Salatet Malfoof)

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Lebanese Cabbage Salad (Salatet Malfoof)

 

This is a simple cabbage salad that tastes fresh and delicious.  It comes together very quickly and stays fresh for a few days.  I learned how to make it from my friend Cindy.  Her Lebanese mother, Gladys Payne makes it frequently and they’ve never seen it in the United States.  This is the healthy version of coleslaw.  The flavors meld together so that it’s hard to figure out exactly what’s in it.  But it is very simple:  lemon, garlic, spearmint and a little oil.  Cindy’s mother adds the tomato which isn’t authentic but really kicks it up both visually, texturally and taste wise.

  

1 small cabbage (about 2 ½ pounds), thinly shredded ( I use a mandolin which works great)

1 TBS salt

2 TBS lemon

6 garlic cloves, pressed or mashed

1 TBS dried mint (fresh mint will give it an entirely different taste)

1 cup petite diced tomatoes drained of juice

1 TBS olive oil

 

Directions:

1.       Combine cabbage and salt in a bowl and massage the salt into the cabbage.  Let it sit for 20-30  minutes and drain off any liquid.  Taste for saltiness.  If it’s too salty, rinse it with fresh water until it is the desired saltiness. 

2.      Add the rest of the ingredients and taste.  If you like more mint or lemon, adjust the quantities.  The garlic and mint flavors will be more pronounced after the flavors have a chance to meld.

3.      Refrigerate for an hour.  This salad will keep for a few days refrigerated.

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MARINATED VEGETABLE SALAD

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 MARINATED VEGETABLE SALAD (courtesy of Anita Devine)
 
1 head romaine lettuce, finely chopped (I use less romaine and more red cabbage)
¼ head red cabbage, finely sliced (I use less romaine and more red cabbage)
¼ head red cabbage, finely sliced
1 block marinate tofu (I use tofu kan), chopped
1 cup dry roasted organic peanuts, skin on
1 small jar marinated artichokes, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
½ cup sprouts ( I used mix sprouts)
 
Dressing
½ tsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbs. ume vinegar
1 Tbs shoyu (or regular soy sauce)
Juice of one orange
1 Tbs. rice syrup
1 ½ Tbs. mustard (I use whole grain Dijon)
 
  1. Mix together dressing ingredients and set aside.
  2. Place sliced red cabbage in a bowl, mix with ¼ tsp sea salt, place a place over it and weigh it down for one hour to extract some of the liquid. (I skip this step)
  3. Mix together all the vegetables, tofu, and peanuts and toss with dressing.

Note:  Taste for seasoning.  I usually adjust with more ume vinager and more soy sauce.

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CUCUMBERS WITH DILL AND FETA

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CUCUMBERS WITH DILL AND FETA

Stay simple with cucumbers and don't salt them until the last minute.  This Greek preparation combines small cubes of cucumber and the same size cubes of good quality Feta cheese and chopped dill.  Right before serving add the salt and toss with a really good olive oil.

 
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EGGPLANT CAPONATA

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This is the Italian version of ratatouille and at least as good when made properly. This can be made and stored in the fridge for several days and just gets better with time. This is my version which brings rave reviews every time I serve it.
 
 

Caponata
 
  • 1 medium eggplant (approximately ¾ lb.)
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 1-15 ounce can small diced tomatoes (well drained of juice)
  • 1 Tbs capers
  • 1-2 Tbs vinager
  • ¼- ½ cup green olives stuffed with pimento
  • 1 Tbs sugar
 
  1. Peel and cube the eggplant into approximately a ½ inch dice. Fry in olive oil over high heat stirring often until brown and cooked. Set aside.   
  2. Cut the celery into small dice and cook with a little water in microwave until cooked but still quite crunchy. Don’t overcook. The crunchy texture is very important. Set aside.
  3. Chop onion into small cubes (about ¼ inch) and fry in olive oil until soft and beginning to brown. Set aside
  4. Chop olives so that the pieces are of similar size to the celery and eggplant.
  5. If you have the time, fry the drained tomatoes in a little olive oil until all the remaining liquid is gone and they are just beginning to brown.
  6. Mix all the cooked vegetables together and add the tomato, the sugar and the vinegar. Cook together for 5 minutes until everything is blended.
  7. Remove from heat and add capers and olives.
  8. Add salt to taste and check for seasoning. You may want it a little more sweet or sour. But the tastes really meld together after the caponata sits for at least a day. I keep it at room temperature for a few hours and then refrigerate. Check the next day and adjust the seasoning.
 
Serve caponata as an appetizer with thin slices of bagette or as a side salad to a summer meal.
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ISRAELI EGGPLANT SALAD

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ISRAELI EGGPLANT SALAD
 
2 medium sized eggplants
2 medium or one large onion
¼ to 1/3 cup red wine vinegar (my husband prefers cider vinegar)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
 
  1. Slice unpeeled eggplants into 1/4  inch slices.
  2. Fry them a few at a time in a fair amount of olive oil on both sizes until lightly browned and cooked through. Set the cooked eggplant aside in a bowl and as oil collects in bottom of the bowl, add it back to the frying pan. The eggplant soaks up lots of oil, so more oil has to be frequently added.
  3. When all the eggplant has been browned, add vinegar and salt.
  4. Thinly slice the onions and either add them raw if they are sweet or fry them quickly over high heat in the olive oil and then add them to the eggplant. Check for seasoning and for best results marinate the salad overnight in the fridge.
 
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