When I say “local” I’m talking about our garden. Did you know we have a farm in our backyard? Yeah, didn’t you know that all Ohioans live on farms? haha, jk. In all reality we live in the suburbs, but lately I’ve felt like we live on a farm because our garden is growing out of control! Maybe it’s because of all the rain we’ve had this month….Our roses are pretty, no? Too bad a couple days after this photo was taken, they died. Oh well, at least the basil and mint are still thriving. I find myself walking outside to pick them each day for salads, grilled veggies, and pasta dishes. It’s like living in the Mediterranean.
And then there are the peppers……
The peppers aren’t thriving so much. This is the second year we’ve tried to grow peppers and it’s just not working out in our favor. Is there a pepper secret?!
The tomatoes are out of control. This photo was taken a few weeks ago and since then they have grown another foot. Nick was concerned at one point that they may all die, but he’s wrong (he’s such a garden worrier. And, warrior). We’ve already had about five ripe tomatoes fall to the ground.
This broccoli should have been picked a couple days after this photo, but instead it grew too big, too fast, and sprouted yellow flowers. Oops. We’ve learned for next year.
And then there are the zucchini and squash plants. Our pride and joy. The zucchini are growing so fast, we can’t keep up with them! The spaghetti squash still have a few more weeks.
We now have weapons to use in case anyone breaks into our home. No joke. These things could kill.
Hopefully you love zucchini as much as we do, because there will be a few zucchini recipes coming up on this blog soon. Be warned.
Here are some of my favorite summer recipes from past blog posts (all of which contain some-type of local Ohio ingredient, or herb that can be grown in the summer months);
Baked Zucchini Roll-ups
Gluten Free Zucchini Cakes with Greek Yogurt and Chives
Grilled Zucchini with Mint and Feta
Cranberry and Cilantro Quinoa Salad
Zucchini and Summer Corn Soup
Pasta with Scallops, Zucchini and Tomatoes
And then there is the farro and wild rice salad that I made on the Fourth of July. It was such a huge hit, my mom told me I just had to put it on my blog (which of course, I was planning on anyway). I made up the recipe using this fun image from the New York Times.
And the grain choices are; wild rice, rice, bulgur, farro, quinoa, pearled barley, steel cut oats, or couscous. The idea is to mix 2 cups cooked grain, 1 cup fruit, vegetable, or both, and some flavorful accents. Next, toss with a nice vinaigrette.
I wanted to use farro because, as you know, I’m experimenting with new whole grains this summer, but I also thought wild rice sounded lovely. Here is what I came up with;
Farro and Wild Rice Summer Salad
1 cup cooked wild rice (how to cook wild rice)
1 cup cooked farro (how to cook farro) **
1/4th cup cucumber, chopped
1/4th cup cherry tomato, halved
1/4th cup red grapes, halved
1/4th cup dried apricots, quartered **
1/4th cup walnuts, chopped
1/4th cup reduced fat feta
2 Tbsp. capers
2 Tbsp. chopped mint, fresh
Vinaigrette: 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl, then toss with vinaigrette. Serve warm or at room temperature.
**NOTE: If you are following a low FODMAPs diet reduce the farro to 1/2 cup, and increase the wild rice to 1.5 cups. Or, if you are really sensitive to wheat-like-grains (which contain oligosaccharides), use quinoa instead of farro. Also keep in mind that apricots contain FODMAPs. You may want to omit these, or use something else such as 1/4th cup dried shredded coconut (this small amount of coconut should be tolerated by most).
Estimated nutrition facts for 1/6th of salad
Nutrition Highlights: Excellent source of protein, fiber, and vitamin A, good source of iron and vitamin C.
Here is a little insight on farro;
Farro is a a plant and grain all its own. A grain of farro looks and tastes somewhat like a lighter brown rice. It has a complex, nutty taste with undertones of oats and barley. But lacking the heaviness of many whole-wheat grains, farro tastes more elegant than earnest.
Farro is rich in fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, B, C and E. It grows best in barren, high-altitude terrain and is almost always grown without chemical pesticides or fertilizers. Because it is so easily digested and so low in gluten, farro can often be eaten by people who are normally gluten-intolerant.
Note: While this grain might be “low in gluten” that doesn’t mean it’s gluten free. It’s NOT safe for those with Celiac disease.
Something else worth noting about farro? It contains 7 grams of protein per serving (1/4th cup dry). That’s more than quinoa, my friends. And even though the calories are a bit higher in farro (compared to quinoa) the fiber is also about 2 grams greater. I think farro might be my new best friend (because you can only eat so much quinoa, right?! Not to say I’m done with quinoa, I still love it).
QUESTION: Have you tried farro? What combination of ingredients would you use from the salad diagram above??
Great a great Tuesday everyone, and thanks for reading!
The Candid Rd