Search results for 'farro'

Oh Great Farro

1 Jan

After all the excesses of the holidays are over, and I do hope they’re over, I always feel the need to atone for my culinary “sins” by eating lots of greens and whole grains.

The Christmas Strawberry

Not that we don’t eat a lot of these things already, but, one day during that week between Christmas and New Year, my brain gets locked into a loop of recipes featuring lacinato kale, broccoli rabe, whole wheat pastas and yes, farro.

New Year's Eve Prospect Park Fireworks

There’s a classy Italian joint here in the Lower East Side called ‘inoteca that the boy and I like to eat brunch at whenever we can. I always end up ordering the same panini there because I can never recall its name, their menu is unnecessarily complicated (you know the type, all in Italian, terse descriptions) and my memory’s a little shoddy (I think I usually get the prosciutto cotto, pepper agro dolce & grana, but to be honest, I’d have to taste it to be sure).

On the other hand, the boy always gets the same dish because he loves it; Warm Farro & Roasted Fruits, a kind of morning gruel made with a little whole milk and topped with caramelized fruits. It’s a perfect dish; warm, comforting, creamy and hearty, that sits comfortably at the intersection of oatmeal and risotto.

It was this breakfast dish, but a savory version, I was trying to emulate last week when my need for an atonement diet hit. I started with garlic and celery for sweetness and flavor and topped it with a bracingly bitter mixture of broccoli rabe and blood oranges. Every note of the dish was pitch perfect, the farro was creamy and sweet, the topping pleasantly bitter and spicy.

Night Farro with Broccoli Rabe

But, when on a roll, why stop with dinner? A few days later we decided to try and actually recreate ‘inoteca’s fruity farro. This time I started with my favorite Golden Berry Mix from Trader Joe’s and topped it all with another blood orange, banana slices and a handful of blueberries. It was really delicious, but I maintain it paled in comparison to the original (the boy maintains I’m crazy).

Day Farro with Fruit

Of the two, I’m most proud of the savory version. Perhaps I’ll just stick to making up my own variations of other people’s dishes, rather than trying to copy them note for note.

Head below the jump for the recipes for Night Farro & Day Farro

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Flattery Farro Salad

12 Sep

On Sunday, after a huge Mexican brunch at my new favorite East Village restaurant we decided to explore the other end of the island. We walked up the Hudson, saw the Little Red Lighthouse, the place where the earth ate the cars and the grave of John James Audubon.

Eventually, we turned inland (which isn’t hard up there, the island gets very narrow) and headed north into the wilds of Ft. Tryon Park (best known as the home of The Cloisters). It’s very hard to believe you’re still in The City when you’re in that park. Look at that picture of the Cloisters. It almost looks like we spent the day in Tuscany. And that picture of the collonade? There’s a highway just on the other side of those arches. We rambled about looking at plants and the view until my legs began to give out and the boy got attacked by an acorn.

It was time to pack it in and think about dinner.

All day I had been quietly obsessing over what I wanted to make. I kept thinking back to a few posts I had read recently. Tiny Banquet Committee had exhorted us to remember that corn season is nearly over! Then there’s Sher who recently tossed out a Succotash and a rice, corn and bean salad, both of which made my heart go thumpity thump. Ilva made farro caprese, Gothamist pulled back the shell on fresh peas, Luisa‘s gone corn crazy and Heidi made an, as usual, gorgeous and complicated gnocchi and shell bean salad.

You can see where this is going. I wanted corn. I wanted beans. And I wanted grains.

We finally made it back to our stomping grounds, the Tompkins’ Square Greenmarket, only to find all the stands were sold out of corn and beans. Dang. Well, at least I was able to score some of the teeniest, tiniest, tomatoes and some of Dines Farms insanely good bacon.

Having to settle for bodega corn and frozen edamame when you had your heart set on farm fresh goodness is kind of a bummer, but you know what? When the meal comes out this good, who cares? This was easy and seriously, seriously delicious. It was hearty, yet fresh, toothsome, yet elegant and has gone immediately to the head of the “do again!” recipe list!

Head below the jump for Flattery Farro Salad.

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Shaker Your Plate

7 Aug

It’s been a long time since I’ve mentioned the Shakers, but they’ve been on my mind lately.

Especially on Saturday as I pulled out tomato plants, which had all (but four) succumbed to the blight.  I pulled up Cream Sausage, and Persimmon, and the beautiful fluted Ceylon, Big White Pink Stripe, Black Prince, Palla de Fuoco and perfect little Ropreco.  I lined them up on the lawn, pulled off all the green tomatoes that were worth saving and packed the vines into garbage bags, and then bagged them again.

It was really sad. But it was Large Red that really hurt.

Large Red is the one tomato I decided to plant not based on its name, or because of a promise to keep me in sun-dried tomatoes through the winter, or because it would taste good in sauce.  I chose Large Red because it was a favorite of the Shakers and they grew it exclusively just a few miles from our house.  I reasoned that if it was bred for this area, it would be a survivor.  I was wrong, this summer was just too much for Large Red.

I first came across Large Red in the Shaker Gardener’s Manual.  Before the Shakers, there were no little packets of seeds available for the home gardener to buy at the local shop.  Seeds were sold in bulk for the large-scale farmer, or seeds were saved from the previous year’s garden.  But the Shakers saw an opportunity and sold their famous seeds in little packets in little boxes all over the country. And to help people succeed in their kitchen gardens, they offered a little manual.

The manual is chock full of tips, tricks and hints, many of which are still applicable today.  The Shakers were organic gardeners before the term was coined.  They believed the best way to grow a healthy plant was to make it strong by planting it in good soil, protecting it from weeds and watering it with moderation. The manual also offers a list of the vegetables and fruit grown just a few miles from where my garden is.  The only tomato they grew was Large Red.

It’s not all doom and gloom around these parts, I swear! Because who can be sad when there’s pie around? Head below the jump for the recipe for Shaker Blackberry Pie.

A Return To Tiny

5 Feb

It seems that, if one is to base their conclusions solely on the cooking coverage provided by the New York Times, tiny kitchens are all the rage.

Which really does make sense, given that the New York Times is a paper based in New York, purporting to cover New York things from a New York perspective, because, let’s face it, only the luckiest people in New York (and by New York, I mean Manhattan in this instance) have big kitchens. For further evidence see the introduction to this story by Moira Hodgson from 1979.  I’m a bit too cheap to pay $4 for the article, but I do love that she blames the landlords.

I know first hand that living in Brooklyn is the way to solve the tiny kitchen blues.  But, there are trade offs.  By gaining a big kitchen one may also gain a big commute.

I gather that the tiny kitchen rage started when Mark Bittman posted a picture of his kitchen, which, I’ll grant you, is tiny.  I, like many, was initially surprised that someone who writes so much about food had such a weeny kitchen.  But then I thought about it, and yeah, it makes sense.  A tiny kitchen forces one to cook smarter, with less and more, well, minimally.   As Mario Batalli says in Bittman’s article, “Only bad cooks blame the equipment.”

Click here for more Tiny, including a tour of the tiny kitchen.

People Drop By From Time To Time… Part 5

30 Nov

The Granny Cart kitchen has been quiet, posting has been light, but that doesn’t mean people have stopped dropping by.

Lower Manhattan From The Promenade

Oh no. the human is a curious animal.

For a while I was confused why my favorite tomato bisque recipe was getting so much traffic, then I realized it’s because the recipe name includes the year it was created, 1907, and people are searching for what people ate 100 years ago. I think that’s cool.

Slightly less predictable was the rapid up-tick in people searching for pickled egg recipes just before Thanksgiving. I mean… To whom doesn’t a vinegary, purple egg simply scream harvest festival?

Jeff Koons Blue Diamond, Christie's, New York

And how do I know all this? Because the good people at WordPress, the platform upon which the Granny Cart floats blissfully through the universe of the internets, are kind enough to allow us users to see the phrases; often funny, sometimes scary, but always interesting, that drive people to our blogs.

There are lots of queries about farro, couscous and pickles, a few about boar roasts, many about poultry, and a goodly number looking for cheesemaking hints. There’s the accent crew too, looking for recipes for Spätzle, Čevapčići and Coq a la Bière. But the grand majority of the inquisitive folk that end up on the Granny Cart probably don’t want to be here.

Bridge, Prospect Park

I hope the person that was looking for Vermont “Olive Oil” finally found what he was after, because the information was certainly not contained on this here Website.

To the gentleman who put curry on his curry, while I agree that the situation might in fact be a pressing one, I really don’t feel that it’s that big of a predicament. In fact, I bet it was quite tasty in the end!

I hope the person that wanted a “recipe containing macaroni and cheese” found one. (If not there’s one right here if you’re still looking, and it’s called Mac & Cheese).

Finally, I will end my commentary on the state of search queries in the same way as always by appealing to the people searching for “tiny bunnies that don’t grow.” Have you found them? Do they really exist? Please, if you’ve managed to find the world’s most perfect pet, contact me. I’ll be waiting.

Rip Van Winkle Bridge from the grounds at Olana

The Cute

cats that look like gernot (Kind of makes you wonder who Gernot is, doesn’t it?)

give a pig a pickle (That’s gotta be pretty amusing)

how to get a live chicken in a bottle (I bet it’s nowhere near as easy as getting a ship in a bottle)

Cauliflower poodles (Ah yes, behold, there on the horizon, the noble, cruciferous hound)

cute hard boiled eggs (I think these would make this person very, very happy)

Hudson-Athen Lighthouse, Hudson River

The Curious

sunshine scientific names (I’ve never wondered about sunshine before… But if clouds have names… And precipitation has names…)

onion and cheese mexican joke (So a queso and a cebolla walk into a cantina…)

everything is pickled people are pickles (Sounds like the start of someone’s manifesto, if you ask me. That reminds me, I’ve been meaning to write one of those…)

will God allow me to eat shrimp (Oh dear. I think there’s only one person that can really help you make that call, and it’s not me)

rabbits eat pickles? (If pigs can…)

Dumbo Warerhouse

The Creepy

what to do with wife that doesn’t make dinner (Might I suggest a two prong approach: 1. Become friendly with a restaurant that will deliver and 2. Learn how to cook for yourself, perhaps?)

Round-the-World Cookbook cannibal recipe (I’m sure this exists, and yet…)

I’ll give you my antidote To the venom, (But…?)

june cleaver tablescape (I think tablescapes were a little before the Beaver’s time, and yet simply imagining this sends shivers down my spine)

delete granny’s pet,now! (Oh dear, must have been old Gernot again)

Gowanus Canal

And finally, I would like to leave you with one of the truer statements I’ve ever encountered.

small is beautiful but not for cheese

Sir, you, me and Isaac must be seperated at birth. You are welcome here anytime. Please, take a seat, make yourself comfortable, oh, and don’t forget the cheese!

Have a happy weekend everyone!