So let me start with a disclaimer: I am not Italian. I have visited Italy, but I have very little knowledge of authentic Italian cuisine. However, I do know what I like to eat! And this Pasta Amatriciana all started with a local restaurant which has since closed. Trust me, after tasting Pasta Amatriciana you won’t care if it is authentic or not. Best of all you won’t believe how simple it is! …
So, I’ve been told that I can’t eat Edible Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough every day.
I know, right? Who are these haters? Now although I’m still not sure that is completely true, I will admit that sometimes a really good hearty dinner sounds good too (maybe followed by cookie dough?). And I guess if I’m going to be binging on cookie dough (and I am) then I better try to balance things with some vegetables. Enter Slow Cooker Beef and Vegetable Ragu. (And if you don’t have a slow cooker, don’t worry, I’ve got that covered too!)
As meals go, this one checks all of the boxes. Easy to make. Kid friendly. Hearty. Adaptable. And as the days and evenings get busier (anyone else feel like they are on a constant Merry-Go-Round?) this Slow Cooker Beef and Vegetable Ragu is a good one to come home to.
I love winter food. Short ribs and mashed potatoes. Pastas and soups. My dutch oven works overtime putting out delicious comfort foods. But despite a temperature today of -21 (I am sadly not exaggerating about that one), I just craved salad. But it had to be a hearty one. One with a tangy dressing. A salad like Roasted Pear and Apple Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette.…
The exploding popularity of traditional and ancient grains in recent years has brought with it an abundance of new options for delicious (and hearty!) salads. I love adding barley or quinoa to just about anything and recently discovered the fantastic nuttiness of farro. Once a mainstay of health food stores, this ancient relative of wheat is now widely available in grocery stores (I love Bob’s Red Mill) and is a fun addition to soups, stews, or salads. I’ve really been loving it lately in salads, and this Farro Salad with Arugula in particular.
Adapted from a recipe by Chef Ryan Hardy and the Charlie Bird Restaurant in New York, this salad is easy to make and full of great flavor. I love it for a hearty lunch but it is even great for a light dinner. The farro is best when made a little ahead and chilled and then mixed with fresh arugula, tomatoes, salty shaved parmesan, radishes and vinaigrette. It is studded with pistachios for a great little crunch. If you keep the arugula and dressing out until you’re ready to serve, the recipe is a perfect prepare ahead lunch option for the whole week!
- 1 cup farro
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 cups water
- ¾ teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup shaved parmesan cheese
- ½ cup chopped pistachios (nuts only)
- 2 cups arugula or arugula/spinach mix
- 1 cup parsley or basil leaves, torn
- 1 cup mint leaves
- ¾ cup halved grape tomatoes
- ⅓ cup thinly sliced radish
- Check your brand's package instructions. Most farro requires a cooking ratio of 1 cup grain to 3 cups liquid. Adjust recipe as necessary.
- In a medium sauce pain, combine farro, apple cider, bay leaves, salt, and water.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer until tender and the liquid is evaporated, approximately 30 min.
- Discard the bay leaves.
- Set the farro aside to cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and a small pinch of salt.
- In a large bowl, toss together the farro with dressing, cheese, and nuts. Just before serving, add the arugula, fresh herbs, tomatoes and radish and fold to combine.
- Add a pinch of salt to taste.
- Serve immediately.