Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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Farro With Cranberries, Pineapple, And Pistachios

Farro With Cranberries, Pineapple, And Pistachios (2)

Farro With Cranberries, Pineapple, And Pistachios (1)

Farro With Cranberries, Pineapple, And Pistachios (4)

Farro refers to the grains of three wheat species, which is sold dried, and cooked in water until soft. Fun fact, it’s also the oldest grain known to man.

Farro can be eaten plain, or used as an ingredient in salads, soups, and other dishes.

The Italian word farro derives from the presumed Latin word farrum, a kind of wheat (as in farina (food)). Farri us vertsatile and can be replaced in most recipes with spelt berries, wheat berries, and Kamut berries. If you want a gluten-free substitute, sorghum, brown rice, or oat groasts will all make good replacements in most recipes.

Today I’m putting a spin on what’s used most commonly in savory recipes and making it a sweet treat. This is my Farro With Cranberries, Pineapple, And Pistachios.

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Farro (2)

Pineapple chunks

Cranberries And Pistachios

Agave Nectar, Honey, and Granulated Sugar

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Sweet Basil (2)

Basil

Farro With Cranberries, Pineapple, And Pistachios (4)

Farro With Cranberries, Pineapple, And Pistachios (1)

Farro With Cranberries, Pineapple, And Pistachios (2)

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) saucepan, mesh sieve, chef’s knife, large mixing bowl

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of Farro, rinsed and drained
4 cups of water
1/2 cup of *Agave nectar light amber (liquid measure)
1/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 cup of pineapple tidbits, drained (Dole pineapple tidbits in 100% pineapple juice)
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
1/4 cup of pistachios, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh basil leaves, julienned

Note: The cooking liquid and Farro will turn red in color (not dipicted in the above pictures of the Farro cooking process) from the reconstitution of the dried cranberries.

Directions:
Place 1 1/2 cups of Farro in a mesh sieve, rinse and drain. In a saucepot on medium-high heat add in the 4 cups of water, Kosher salt, dried cranberries, and *Agave nectar. Give that a good stir before adding in the rinsed and drained Farro. Stirring occasionally to prevent and Farro from sticking together, bring the Farro up to a boil. Reduce the heat to low heat, cover, cooking for 25 to 30 minutes. Pour the cooked Farro through a mesh sieve again draining off any remaining liquid.

Next, transfer the Farro into a large bowl. Add the pineapple chunks, roughly chopped pistachios and fresh basil, toss to combine.

Ladle a good helping of my Farro With Cranberries, Pineapple, And Pistachios into a porcelain serving bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*Agave nectar: Agave is a natural sweetener that comes in dark or light amber.

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Honeydew Melon And Cucumber Soup

Soup’s Chillin’             Let's Dish

Honey Dew Melon And Cucumber Soup

Honey Dew Melon And Cucumber Soup (2)

I love all the little toppings that go on top of a delicious soup as a garnish.  I also like to use certain garnishes to let you know what’s in a particular soup. Today I’m making a cold  Honeydew Melon And Cucumber Soup. I’m displaying a variety of garnishes just to give you a few ideas and would be really delicious to pair with this soup. You could use all or any combination of these toppings you like.

I think cold soups are underrated and not used nearly enough. They are really refreshing, and super healthy too!  You can use this as an appetizer, served in shot glasses, or as a first course.

I’m using fresh mint from my garden for this recipe.

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Fresh Mint Leaves

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diced-english-cucumber

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First, I want to set aside the ingredients that will give my soup lots of texture and can also be used as toppings or garnish. I’m going to need thinly sliced cucumbers, using a food Mandolin is the perfect tool for the job. I have some other goodies up my sleeve too!

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Roasted Pancetta

Fresh Mint Leaves

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Food Mandoline Slicer

Hot House Cucumber

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Honey Dew Melon And Cucumber Soup

Honey Dew Melon And Cucumber Soup (4)

 

 

 

 

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 8 to 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 10-cup food processor or a blender, food Mandolin, melon baller, chef’s knife

Ingredients:
1 to 2 melons (8 cups), not overripe, large dice, honeydew melon, plus 1 heaping cup of melon balls for garnish
1 English (hothouse) cucumber, 3/4 peeled and seeded and diced small, reserve 1/2 cup for garnish, plus 12 very thin slices, skin-on (using food Mandolin) reserved for garnish
1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves plus 4 small sprigs for garnish
12 slices of crispy Pancetta, optional
4 tablespoons of Greek yogurt (keep refrigerated until ready to serve)
1/2 cup of pistachios, optional
2 tablespoons of Agave nectar
1/4 cup of water
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Directions:
First, is to get all the ingredients you’ll be using for the garnish and toppings prepared. The pistachios, diced and sliced cucumber, melon balls, and Pancetta.

Directions For The Pancetta:
Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.
Place the pancetta slices, evenly spread out, onto a rimmed baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes and let cool. Transfer a plate lined with a paper towel,. Set aside.

In a food processor, add mint, lime juice, diced melon, diced cucumber, Agave nectar, water, cayenne pepper, Kosher salt. Pulse all the ingredients together, until smooth. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

To serve, equally, divide the soup between 4 bowls. To each of the bowls, add 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt, a few small diced cucumber, and 3 melon balls. Finally, garnish with cucumber slices and a sprig of mint. Crispy pancetta and pistachios are optional. The sweet and salty flavor combination, delicious!!! This is my Honeydew Melon And Cucumber Soup.

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Pestos and Tapenades

Pestos And Tapanades

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It’s a meat-free day today at my house. Anything you can spread over grilled and/or toasted bread is delicious.

Pesto doesn’t have to be made with just basil anymore. You can substitute arugula or spinach, you can add walnuts or pistachios. The possibilities are endless. Today I’m going to tap into my Hanging Organic Herb Garden to add a lot of freshness to my Pestos And Tapenades.

The difference between a Pesto and a Tapenade is generally Tapenades are olive-based… yes there are olives in certain Pestos.

In the pictures above I’ve made a Roasted Piquillo Pepper Pesto, a Pea With Fresh Mint Pesto, and Artichoke Pesto, and a Kalamata Olive With Cannellini Bean Tapenade.

I love to shake things up by using different kinds of ingredients. For example; roasted red peppers, artichokes, peas, Cannellini beans, Kalamata olives, or Ricotta cheese, mix in nuts and fresh herbs.

Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese, fresh lemon juice, and a great Extra Virgin Olive Oil are key in making a great pesto or Tapenade. Let’s not forget about the nuts. Traditionally pine nuts are what’s used, not today, it’s pistachios. I even used a variety of herbs like basil, chives, mint, and Italian flat-leaf parsley. I say let your imagination go wild!  Then spread it on grilled bread.

In the next section, is my recipe for the Roasted Piquillo Pepper Pesto. Recipes may vary from one pesto to another, some tend to be thicker than others. A secret I use to thicken certain Pesto recipes is by adding a small amount of Cannellini Beans. They add creaminess and give great texture to the Pesto or Tapenade.

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E.V.O.O.

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Sweet Basil (2)

mint

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

Red and Yellow Grape Tomatoes

Diced Mozzarella Cheese

Pestos And Tapenades

Roasted Red Peppers

Piquillo Peppers (2)

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Ciabatta

Olive Oil

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Toasted Ciabatta Bread

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Pestos And Tapenades

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 to 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Equipment: 1 (10-cup) food Processor, rimmed baking sheet pan, chef’s knife, small and large mixing bowls, indoor grill-pan

Ingredients For Roasted Piquillo Pepper Pesto:
1 (12-ounce) jar of roasted Piquillo peppers, drained (substitute roasted red peppers)
1/4 cup of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup of Pistachios
1/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
1 small clove of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of basil leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup of *E.V.O.O.
1 loaf of Ciabatta (substitute baguette)

Directions For Oven Bakes Ciabatta Bread:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.

Slice the Ciabatta bread at a 45-degree angle into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet pan. Brush the top surface of each slice of Ciabatta lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Place into the oven on the center rack. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the bread is golden. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and let the toast cool slightly before adding the toppings.

Directions For Grilling Ciabatta Bread:
Preheat indoor grill-pan over medium-high heat. Brush the both sides of the Ciabatta with olive oil. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Arrange the slices of bread on the grill. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Note: This is the method I use when making any type of pesto. I also want to mention, using Cannellini beans gives extra body to the pesto without changing the flavor.

Directions For Roasted Piquillo Pepper Pesto:
Start processing the nuts ( Pistachios), garlic, and the herb of choice first. You can see this in the pictures above. Once this has been processed, add in the main ingredients. In this case, the drained and rinsed roasted Piquillo peppers, Cannellini beans, fresh lemon juice, Kosher salt, and pepper.

Next, through the feed tube, at the top, drizzle in the *E.V.O.O. slowly. This will allow you to control the consistency of the pesto as it’s being processed, and you can adjust the amount accordingly.

Finally, add the grated cheese. The reason is so the cheese doesn’t get too hot from that blade. Continuously processing can change the integrity of the cheese. Pulse the grated cheese until just combined.

*E.V.O.O. is Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

My Hanging Organic Herb Garden And Summertime Flowers

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