Charlie Bird’s Farro Salad with Arugula

Share Button

 

Charlie Bird's Farro Salad
Serves 6
A beautiful salad with a flavorful mixture of arugula, basil and mint
Write a review
Print
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!

Share Button

Stuffed Eggplant

Share Button

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.  

 

photo

Long-Simmered Eggplant Stuffed with Farro or Spelt

AUG. 25, 2014 From New York Times Cooking

By MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN

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)

1

Long Simmering Stuffed Eggplant with Farro or Spelt
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  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
Instructions
  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.
http://www.fingerlakesfeasting.com/

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.

Subscribe for free updates:

Share Button

Savory corn pudding

Share Button

 

Savory corn pudding

FOOD AND WINE magazine has a wonderful corn pudding recipe . I cut down on the butter; actually I just left it out.  And instead of 6 eggs, I used 4 because I wanted more corn flavor.  The corn is so sweet and tasty now…it’s the perfect time to try this recipe.  The cornmeal settles on the bottom so that it serves as a crust.  I loaded up with sweet Mayan onions. If you want a more elegant presentation try using muffin tins or individual pots as pictured above.  Another idea is to use a small cup as a cookie cutter and carved out single portions.  The picture below shows this single portion presentation using chervil as a garnish.

 

Share Button

Pressure Cooker WILD RICE BARLEY PILAF with MUSHROOMS

Share Button

wld rice and mushroom pilaf

WILD RICE BARLEY CASSEROLE with MUSHROOMS: 

1 medium onion, chopped

4 TBS butter

¾ cup wild rice

¾ cup barley (not quick cooking)

½cup dry sherry

1 ½ cups stock

1 ¼cups water

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

salt and pepper to taste

1.     Fry one chopped sweet onion in butter until softened and set aside. 

2.      Fry mushrooms and set aside.

3.  In Pressure Cooker add  rice and barley, sherry, broth and water and salt to taste.

4.     Cover pressure cooker, bring to pressure and cook for 20 minutes.

5.      Release pressure and check to make sure the rice and barley are cooked.  The rice should be split open and tender but not mushy.  Cook longer if necessary.

6.    Add mushrooms and onions to rice mixture.

7.    Taste for  salt and pepper.

 

Share Button

CORN FRITTERS

Share Button

 

 

CORN FRITTERS:

Ingredients"

  • Kernals from 2-3 ears of leftover corn (cooked or raw)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup corn meal
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup water
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Mix everything together and let sit a few minutes.  Add more water if too thick.  It should have a thick pancake batter consistency.  
  2. Heat a frying pan with some vegetable oil.  Fry a sample 1 tablespoon size fritter and taste for seasoning and adjust with more liquid if necessary.  You want to cook them hot and brown them on each side.  They should be nice and crispy.  Make them any size you like but I like them to be around 3 inches in diameter.
  3. Serve for breakfast with maple syrup or as a side dish to your dinner.  These go well with a pork barbecue.

Share Button

Turkish Eggplant Lentil Stew

Share Button

Turkish Lentil and Eggplant Stew with Pomegranate Molasses

turkish lentil stew 

This recipe is a little more time consuming, but quite unique and delicious. It uses an ingredient called Pomegranate Molasses which is a condiment used much like ketchup in some cultures. It can be found at Wegmans. I have adapted this recipe from Food and Wine magazine (July 2004) and used small French green lentils which hold their shape nicely. I also finish this in a crock-pot rather than on the stove. On these hot summer days I just leave the crock-pot cooking outside.

 

One 1 ½ pound long, narrow eggplant

½ cup lentils ( I use French green lentils: available at Wegmans)

Olive oil

I medium onion, finely chopped

4 minced garlic cloves

One  14.5 ounce canned diced tomatoes or 2 medium tomatoes peeled and chopped

2 Tbs. chopped mint leaves

1 Tbs. tomato paste

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)

¼ cup pomegranate molasses (available at Wegmans)

  1. In a saucepan cover the lentils with water and salt and boil over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes until barely cooked. Add more water if necessary to prevent burning.
  2. Cut eggplant into ¼ inch slices and fry in olive oil until lightly browned. IT does not have to be fully cooked. Salt and set aside.
  3. Fry onion until softened and beginning to brown, add garlic and fry together for another minute.
  4. Mix onions, garlic, tomato, tomato paste, mint and red pepper.
  5. In a crock pot layer the lentils, eggplant and onion-tomato mixture and salt to taste. Add 2 Tbs. olive oil and the pomegranate molasses. Put the crock pot on low for 5-6 hours or until the lentils and eggplant are fully cooked.  Check a few times and add water if necessary.  Refrigerate if possible and eat the next day. Garnish with more chopped mint leaves.

 

 

 

                    

Share Button

Chickpeas and spinach tapas

Share Button


 


Chickpeas and spinach: Fry a small chopped onion d in a skillet or pot that has been coated with olive oil. When the onions are beginning to brown,  Add a 15.5 ounce can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and   1 teaspoon of Spanish smoked paprika. Fry together for 1-2 minutes and  then add ½ cup of chicken or vegetable broth. Meanwhile cook a pound of spinach and drain off the water.  When the chicken broth has been reduced by about half, add the spinach and salt to your taste and cook together for 5-10 minutes.  You can serve right away or refrigerate and heat up the next day. Before serving add a dash of good olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.  Chickpeas are a very commonly served tapa in Spain.

Share Button

Ratatouille

Share Button
Ratatouille My Way
 
IMPORTANT TIPS FOR PERFECT RATATOUILLE;
  • I do not use spices. Fresh seasonal vegetables are so flavorful that you don’t want to mask the flavors in any way.
  •  Fry the vegetables separately since they all cook at different rates.
  • Try to keep the size of the pieces uniform (except for the onions which can be diced smaller).
  • Do not overcook.
  • Make it the day before so that the flavors can meld beautifully.
 
These amounts are VERY approximate. Work with the quantities that you have available.
 

 

RATATOUILLE MY WAY
 
  1. Chop and fry a nice sweet medium sized onion until lightly browned and soft in olive oil.
  1. 2 medium zucchinis (about a 1 ½ to 2 pounds) or use the small ones and then you only have to slice them. Cut the medium ones lengthwise into four pieces and then in nice bite size chunks (about an inch). Fry in olive oil until brown but not quite cooked.
  2. Same amount of eggplant. Peel if the skin seems tough, otherwise leave it on. Cut into same size as the zucchini and fry in olive oil until brown but not quite cooked.
  3. Now if you like bell peppers, then add one cubed the same size as the zucchini and eggplant and fry them until they are cooked and slightly brown. 
  4. Use a can of tomatoes either diced or whole. If the tomatoes are whole, then cut them into pieces. Strain out the liquid and fry the tomatoes on high in olive oil. Yes, I do fry the tomatoes but you don’t have to. I just think it gives them a sweeter, more caramelized flavor.
  5. Mix all the vegetables together, add salt if necessary and simmer together for 10 minutes stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn. Add the tomato juice if it needs liquid. Sometimes I add sugar if the flavor is too acidic.
  6. Finely mince or use a garlic press and stir in 2 large cloves of garlic. Then turn off the ratatouille and let it sit until it is cool enough to refrigerate.
  7. Always serve it the next day if you can. Taste if for seasoning and add a splash of really good olive oil if you like. Then serve it at room temperature, or reheated.
 [/recipe]

 

 

Share Button

Fried Eggplant

Share Button

 

eggplant in basket

Fried EGGPLANT 

 

This is my version of eggplant parmesan that I adapted from the traditional style where you cover the breaded, fried eggplant with tomato sauce. I always love to eat some of the freshly fried eggplant so crispy and delicious before baking it when it all softens up. So this is the unbaked, crispy version:

 

  1. Use any quantity of peeled, globe eggplant which is 4-5 inches in diameter and cut into ¼ inch slices.
  2. Dip the eggplant slices first into an egg that has been beaten.
  3. Then dip the eggplant slices into seasoned breadcrumbs. You can use dried bread and make your own breadcrumbs or use unseasoned ready-made breadcrumbs and season them yourselves. I use a combination of Italian seasoning, extra basil and a pinch of fenugreek (optional). I also add salt. I don’t use a lot of seasoning here. For one cup of breadcrumbs I would use 1 tsp of Italian seasoning and ½ tsp of basil.
  4. At this point you can store the breaded eggplant slices in the fridge to fry later or fry them right away but they must be eaten right after they are cooked. 
  5. Fry the slices in olive oil over medium high to high heat watching carefully and turning them over frequently so they don’t burn. Add more oil when needed. They should be golden brown and very soft in the inside. They take about 10 minutes to cook. Drain them on paper towels and put them in an hot oven to keep warm. If they get soggy then refry them.
  6. These wonderful treats can be served as an appetizer alone or with some tomato sauce on the side for dipping. I made a great sauce out of my cherry tomatoes. I cut the tomatoes in half, sprinkled them with sea salt and baked them in a 400° oven (convection on if you have one) for 10-15 minutes until the bottoms were starting to blacken. I then let them cool and put them through a food mill and this made a wonderfully rich sweet tomato sauce. Garnish the top with shaved or grated parmesan cheese.

 

 

Share Button

Eggplant with Miso Sauce

Share Button

 

eggplant in basket

 

Eggplant with Miso Sauce

 

2 medium Japanese eggplant: the long thin eggplant

½ cup Sake

2 Tbs. mirin

½ tsp sugar

3 Tbs. light soy Miso or any Miso will work.

1 Tsp. toasted sesame seeds

¼ tsp sesame oil

 

  1. Slice the eggplant into ½ slices and fry in olive oil until brown and cooked through. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, Bring the Sake, mirin, and sugar to a boil and boil for 5 minutes until the liquid is reduced.
  3. Turn off the heat and add the miso a spoon at a time, incorporating well. Miso should not be brought to a boil. The mixture should be  slightly thickish.
  4. Add the sesame seeds and sesame oil. Taste and add more sugar or sesame oil according to your taste preference.
  5. The sauce can be made ahead and heated in the microwave (not boiled). Serve drizzled on the eggplant.

 

 

Share Button