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Archive for June, 2012

farro, eggplant and roasted cherry tomato salad with almond pesto

It’s been a mighty month of adventuring. Eating crunchy chopped salads and crispy samosas with friends new and old in DC, gorging on cupcakes (from an ATM!) and thin crust pizza in LA… in all the whirl of work and travel the one year anniversary of Girl Farm Kitchen gently floated by.

I’m all for making the most of a moment (just ask the girl whose eye I nearly knocked out dancing to Mayer Hawthorne last night) so I felt I had to somehow mark the passing. But rather than subjecting you to a reflection of my year’s path from farm to home to inspiring new job (bonus: still living at home!), I’d like to offer something more substantial: a yearly list of favorite recipes. I’ve made all the meals below too many times to count, and for what it’s worth they have my official seal of approval. To ring in the new year, they’re followed by a summery recipe I made with fresh basil and on-hand veggies this past week.

Here’s to writing, food and favorites—old and new.

Grilled eggplant slices rolled around spicy herbed feta (warning: there are never enough).

A velvety cauliflower soup that’s healthy and simple—if you don’t count the olive oil and spices it’s just two ingredients.

A creamy, crunchy kale salad that’s on the table for every dinner party.

A hearty Tuscan stew with tomato, kale, olives and—surprise!—day-old bread.

Fresh, crusty, steaming bread with practically no effort at all. I make a loaf every two days.

I confess: humble bread pudding is my favorite dessert (substitute nectarines in this one and you have a real winner).

Farro, Eggplant and Roasted Cherry Tomato Salad with Almond Pesto

2 large handfuls basil

1 handful slivered almonds

3 cloves garlic

a generous glug of olive oil

1 1/2 cups farro

2 cups cherry tomatoes

3 japanese eggplants

2 handfuls green beans

To make the pesto, put the basil, almonds, garlic and olive oil in a blender and whir until combined but not quite pureed. The mixture should be a little bit chunky and looser than traditional pesto.

Boil a pot of salted water and cook the farro until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and toss the cherry tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast until soft, oozy and browned, about 15-20 minutes.

Slice the eggplant into rounds and saute in a heated skillet until browned. Set aside. Chop the green beans into 1-inch pieces, add more olive oil to the pan, and saute until browned as well.

Toss the cooked farro with the roasted tomatoes and the sauteed eggplant and beans. Scoop the pesto on top and toss to combine, adding a bit more olive oil if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature (or, for round two, straight from the refrigerated tupperware).

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