Hi everyone! I woke up today, on what was touted as the hottest day of the year so far---to a blank clock, blank computer screen, motionless fans. Yep, power was out again. Not quite as bad as last winter when the power died on the coldest windiest night. But nasty. 94 % humidity, everything feels damp and soggy. I don't know why the sudden ceasing of power wakes me up---the subtle electronic hum is gone?
It is back on now.
Anyway, we haven't cooked for awhile. Today's recipe is a warm ancient grains salad, inspired by this article: here
My version is quinoa and farro, both so called ancient grains that are high in protein, with complex [good] carbs and fiber, with goat cheese and lemon vinaigtrette.
Farro Quinoa Salad with Warm Squash and Goat Cheese
Both quinoa and farro can be tricky to cook and many have instructions that make copious amounts of the grains. I like to use these bagged, 90 minute fast prep versions instead of making my own. The quantity is just right about 1 2/3 cups in each bag. The grains come out nice and chewy, al dente not mushy.
You can use any grains you like but this is best with one of the grains being larger and toothsome, farro, spelt, buckwheat, barley, brown rice.
While the bags are microwaving, keeping the kitchen cool, make a light lemon juice,olive oil, garlic dressing. I add lots of fresh black pepper, tarragon, parsley [fresh or dry]. Pinch of sugar, pinch of salt. Some grated parm. Whisk well. White balsamic vinegar is fine too if you don't have lemons.
Add the warm grains to the dressing and toss, fluffing the grains with a fork. Cover and let sit at room temp while you bake 2 to three C of 1" cubed butternut squash. [thereby ruining efforts to keep the house cool, oh well]. To bake the squash, lightly toss with olive oil, bake 400* for about 20 minutes, test for softness w a fork.
When the squash is cooked, remove from oven and set aside while you dice sweet or red onion to taste [2T] and a generous handful of sliced cherry tomatoes.
Gently toss with the grains and a small container of crumbled goat cheese [or feta, bleu, or parm].
Add the warm squash, toss gently. Serve warm or room temperature, alone or as a side with chicken or steak or kebabs.
I added a diced avocado, optional. This tastes good but the avocado should be added separately when serving, especially if you plan to reheat the dish or make extra for snacking and light meals the next day, as avocado doesn't heat well and it becomes gloppy and dark in a few hours.
As always with my recipes you can change things up and add whatever was fresh from the farmers market that morning---sliced radishes, diced peppers, cucumber, arugula. Corn off the cob, saved from last night's BBQ. Different herbs?
The bagged grains are available in most supermarkets, with the fast cook rice. Also I found similar online at Walmart and Target. Or be creative..my mom always made double recipes of her classic rice pilaf and made a similar Rice Salad with the leftovers then next day/
Mo is still at sleepaway camp.
The house seems so empty without him. My friends have really good AC, but he is suffering from the heat. He had the special treat this morning of the spa van coming to give him a cool bath. I'm sure he'd prefer ice cream!
Next recipe, if I get to the farmers market! Apricot Crostata, yum yum, here **You may recall me making similar rustic tarts galled galettes. Here is the explanation of the two names for the same food. "A galette and a crostata are essentially the same thing (one French, one Italian). Crostatas and galettes are typically free-form and rustic, with the dough edges folded up around the filling, which can be savory or sweet.
gone to the beach