I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Something for the Weekend

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?

Have fun.

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


  1. Your ancient grain recipe looks a winner and will be made soon as we still have avos on the trees. I wouldn't have thought of of adding roasted butternut - delicious.
    The apricot crostada doesn't look half bad either. Such a gourmet post today with a bonus of beach roses!!

  2. I hope you’ve got power back by now! I turn the AC off downstairs at bedtime, but put it on first thing when I get up, on these hot, hot days...last week our neighbors were at their beach house all week. I actually forgot I could use their pool. How I wish I had a pool! And a greenhouse....
    Currently going through another load of fabric, etc from my elderly friend. Last time I was there I noticed the stacks of fabric storage containers were piled in three piles almost to the ceiling. I’m not sure how or why they were piled like that. Nor how I can get them down....

  3. That sounds like a great recipe. I made farro last week. I layered spaghetti sauce, farro, and some sauteed vegetables (zucchini, onions, yellow squash with Syrian spice. so good.

  4. Huh, our power went out briefly this morning and my sound machine shutting off woke me, lol. Funny how the absence of sounds you don't notice while awake can wake you up!

    Your salad looks good (except the avocado, lol). I'm not really a big fan of grain salads though even though I like cooked grains. It's always interesting to see what you come up with in the kitchen! The apricot crostada looks yummy!

    Poor Mo, trying to survive the heat wearing fur! Especially when it's humid. It rained here yesterday and today it's really muggy. I'm glad I don't need to go anywhere! I thought about getting the car washed but it's supposed to rain all weekend so I'll probably wait. Poor thing is NEVER clean!

    I hope your power stays on and the A/C keeps up! Have a good weekend!

    1. Maybe you'd prefer a grain Pilaf?, served hot? I am making a version later with the Farro and brown rice mixture. Onion, garlic spices---but I also add chopped dried apriiicots, sliver almonds or pepitos, yellow raisins and dried cranberries. 2 bags of Farro/ rice, return to microwave w the additions and 1/3 C of broth and optional 2 T butter. Cover and heat maybe 2 increments 3 minutes, then uncovered 2 minutes. Fluff w a fork , serve hot or cold. Another version is to add the cooked summer veggies, as Shasta comments above.

  5. Your gourmet cuisine looks and sounds yummy! I actually made cabbage and bean soup and baked bread yesterday, the ultimate winter comfort food, for our elderly friends on the mountain. She has grown very weak with little appetite but I know how much both of them love the soup and fresh dill bread. Our weekend fare will be something simpler, probably taco salad. And more rain of course.

  6. I'm so late commenting, I'm sure Mo is home by now. Is he so excited to see you after he's been gone? A happy reunion, I'm sure.

    The salad looks delicious. The kind of thing I'd love to have in the fridge. When I saw the first pic, I thought you were putting together the brie and tomato pasta salad...which also sounds good right about now ;} The alternative you gave Mel sounds delicious. too.

    Stay well! Mask wearing (indoors) in our county, again.


  7. I purchase the seeds of change grains from Costco! I use them in so many ways. One of my favorite is to put it in soup instead of noodles- and it is gluten free! Hubby even likes it and I'm not sure he even knows what quinoa is. lol


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