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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Farro Breakfast Bowl

Farro Breakfast Bowl (3)

Farro is an ancient grain from Rome. Its delicious nutty flavor, and slightly chewy texture, reminds me a lot of barley. Farro has been a long time coming. You just couldn’t get your hands on it anywhere! Now, it’s readily available in your local grocery store.

I’m showing two pictures here, one above, topped with an egg, and one below without. That’s where Steve and I have a strong difference of opinion. I’m not even sure if “opinion” is the even the right word. I’m no fan of the fried egg.  To be fair though, eggs are a big part of breakfast and Steve loves them, so that’s the reason for two pictures.

Anyway, this Farro breakfast bowl is easy to make while combining flavor, color, and texture. Here’s how this dish comes together.

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Let’s talk about Farro

 

I took a screenshot of this brand, because it’s the one I’m used for this dish. You know I love to take help from the grocery store, this cooks up in about 25 minutes, and includes some Porcini mushrooms. I’m SOLD!

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Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Equipment: large saute pan, sauce pan with tight fitting lid.

Ingredients:
1 package of cooked Farro with Porcini mushrooms
1 pound, cooked bulk Italian sausage ( casings removed)
1 small can white shoepeg corn (rinsed and drained)
1 cup diced red bell pepper ( 1 med size pepper)
1 cup diced yellow bell pepper ( 1 med size pepper)
1 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup Pistachios (optional)
7 ounces diced Feta cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped basil
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped chives
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped mint
1 fried egg (optional, cooked to the temperature of your choosing)

Instuctions For Farro:
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Follow the instructions on the back of the package. Feel free to use either water or unsalted chicken stock for cooking the Farro. In place of the butter on the package, I use olive oil. Cook the sausage while the Farro is cooking.

Directions:
Start by cooking the Farro. While the Farro is cooking on very low heat, in a large non-stick saute pan on medium heat, start browning off the Italian sausage. I don’t add any oil to the pan because the sausage will release its own fat, plus it browns nicely. Use a wooden spoon to break up the sausage. Don’t worry about the sausage bits sticking to the pan because once the vegetables are added, they will release their water which will allow those bits to be released. Once the sausage is about 70% cooked, and there is no more pink color showing, add in the vegetables, Kosher salt and black pepper.  Continue stirring, and scraping as much of those brown bits off the bottom of the pan, that’s all flavor! Saute until the onions are translucent, all the vegetables have softened and the sausage is nicely browned and fully cooked.

In a large bowl, add the cooked Farro and shoepeg white corn. Using a slotted spoon, add the sausage and vegetable mixture. Next, add the pistachios (optional),  Parmesan cheese, diced feta cheese, and fresh herbs, then toss.

Finish by adding the Farro mixture into a serving bowl and top with a fried egg, or not. Serve hot!

 

 

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Spring Time Outdoors

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers and Lavender

Lavender and Cinquefoil (from the rose family) always add a spring touch.

My Hanging Herb Garden

Rain Lillies

Aside from cooking and entertaining, I love flowers and herbs. Early spring, especially, is the time where beautiful flowers are available. Let me show you what I’ve been up to so far. Above are my rain Lilies. They bloom during the summer rainy season.

My Fig Trees

Crotons (1)

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Spathiphyllum

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Bird Feeder

Having Jasmine grow up a bird feeder with its little star-shaped white flowers begin to bloom. Their fragrance fills up the yard with such a beautiful aroma. I also want to say, checking the zone (climate area etc..) in which what plants or flowers will thrive is really important. I always try to Google the name of the plant or flower to seek the information first.

Hass Avocado Tree.jpg

This Haas avocado tree is really an experiment for me. I planted this pit from the avocado and this is what has happened so far. They say that the avocado tree grows very slowly, and I guess I’ll just have to be patient.

Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are definitely my favorite flower. Their beautiful large blooms and deep green leaves add so much color to my backyard,

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2018-02-16 09.31.49 HDR

Heather

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Planting flowers or plants and watching them blossom and grow is an amazing feeling.

Comfort Place

Periwinkles

Changing up your accessories for the season can give you whole new look. My lavender is growing so fast and the aroma fills up my “comfortable place”.

English Ivy

Just a few seasonal changes can make such a big difference. My next project is new patio furniture and a couple of new grills. I can see outdoor cooking videos in my future!

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Walnut And Mint-Crusted Pan Seared Salmon Over An Arugula-Mint Salad With A Blood Orange Vinaigrette.

Walnut And Mint-Crusted Pan Seared Salmon (3)

Walnut And Mint-Crusted Pan Seared Salmon (4)

Walnut And Mint-Crusted Pan Seared Salmon (2)

I wanted to challenge myself to making dishes using all of my herbs from my gardens. My first was the “Mint Challenge”. I made a trip to the Farmers’ Market to get some inspiration for my dish using mint. I found a beautiful display of blood oranges at the Farmers’ market. I knew that I had to bring a few of home with me.

Mint

Blood Oranges

Blood Orange

Blood oranges originated in Sicily and Spain. They are grown in Calabria. Their juice resembles that of a ruby. Blood oranges are truly one of natures natural wonders. There are three components to this dish, the marinate, the salmon, and the salad dressing.  All three of these will include fresh mint.  What’s really great about this dish is everything can be prepared in advance. All then you’d have to do is cook off the salmon and serve.

I’m starting with the marinate.

Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 2 servings
Tip: Prepare the salad, dressing, and salmon topping while the salmon is marinating.

Ingredients For Marinate:
2-6 ounce center cut salmon fillets, skin removed
1 quart size zip lock plastic bag
1 grated garlic clove
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 blood orange juiced ( substitute regular orange is fine)
2 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon Agave nectar
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 tablespoon of minced mint leaves
1/4 cup of olive oil

Directions:
Place all the ingredients above into a quart size baggie. Place the 2-6 ounce center cut fillets into the bag. Remove all the air. Massage the salmon so both side of the fish are coated. Place the baggie onto a plate and place into the frig for 1 hour.

Walnut and Mint Topping For Salmon:
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
zest of 1 Blood orange ( substitute regular orange is fine)
2 tablespoons of minced mint leaves

Directions:
Place all the above ingredients, for the topping, into a bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.

Ingredients For Salad And Dressing:
4 cups of Arugula (2 cups per serving)
1/4 cup of roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 red onion thinly sliced ( in half moons)
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
2 segmented Blood oranges
1/4 cup of thawed frozen peas

Ingredients For Blood Orange Dressing:
1 jelly jar to store dressing
Juice of 1 Blood orange ( regular orange is fine)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons Agave nectar
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup E.V.O.O.

Directions For Salad:
On two serving plates, (seen in pictures above) place 2 cups of arugula leaves on each plate. Divide onion slices evenly and distribute them over the arugula. Same with the peas, dried cranberries, chopped mint, and orange segments.  Place the two prepared salads in the frig until your ready to plate the salmon.

In a measuring cup place all the ingredients above into a measuring cup. Add the extra virgin olive oil last. Whisk together really well. Transfer to a jelly jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake well before using.

Directions For Salmon:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Set the saute pan to medium heat. Let the pan come up to temperature. Take the salmon out of the baggie. Shake off all excess marinate. Place the salmon fillets into the hot saute pan. Sear the salmon for about 2 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for another 6-8 minutes. Place the hot salmon fillet onto the chilled salad. Carefully spoon the walnut and mint topping onto the top of the salmon fillet. Shake the dressing jar really well and spoon the Blood orange dressing over the salmon and salad. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

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My Comfortable Place

My Comfortable Place (2)

Spring Flowers

Potting Table (1)

Potting Table (2)

Potting Table

Spathiphyllum

While sitting in my rocking chair, I had a thought. I decided to challenge myself to use each one of my herbs to make really easy and delicious dishes.

Rosemary

My rosemary plant is out back in a different garden. Rosemary. is a much hardier herb and grows to be quite large. Planting the Rosemary in the ground only made sense.

Sweet Basil (2)

Sage

Oregano

English Lavender

Mint

Chives

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

Starting soon, I’ll be profiling each of these herbs and incorporate them into a main or side dish. Fresh herbs bring so much flavor and to any recipe. They give the dish a gourmet touch. Well, I better get started on my first dish! Happy Cooking!

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