it’s BBQSZN! well, it was for a few days and now it’s back to being miserable and cold out, but last week i had my first hot dog of the season. one of my grosser processed food obsessions is a juicy, bbq slightly burnt, all beef hot dog on a lightly toasted white bun. i like it topped with mayo, yellow mustard, ketchup, sriracha, a tiny bit of relish and so many finely chopped white onions any normal person would be repulsed. kind of weird, right? anyway, the sign of my first proper hot dog in 8 months marked the start of rooftop hangs, late starlit dinners, and my little herb garden.
herbs are so amazing, really. this tiny little plant packs so much flavour and there are so many different kinds i actually don’t even have space for every one that i would want. i usually have basil, mint, oregano, sage, chives, thyme, savory and parsley and i use them in everything. it’s incredibly convenient to be able to run up to the roof, grab a handful of fresh herbs to throw in a salad or dressing or pasta and BAM my dish is that much better in an instant.
one of my favourite uses for fresh herbs is definitely salads. in this farro salad i used a mix of delicious basil (do you ever just smell basil for like 5 minutes before using it or is that just me?), mint and parsley. i usually only eat grains like farro or barley in winter, but with these fresh herbs and cherry tomatoes, this salad was bright enough to be a great date to any bbq.
oh, and i did bbq more than just hot dogs this weekend. i grilled a steak to eat with this salad like a civilized food blogger (i thought i should let you know 🙂 )
farro + herb salad
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, quartered
1 small carrot, halved
1 celery rib, halved
1 bay leaf
1 3/4 cups farro, rinsed
5 cups water
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
freshly ground pepper
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved & lightly fried
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 tablespoons chopped basil
3 tablespoons chopped mint
• make the farro: in a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. add the yellow onion, carrot, celery and bay leaf, cover and cook over moderately low heat until barely softened, about 5 minutes. add the farro and stir to coat with oil. add the water and bring to a boil. cover and simmer over low heat until the farro is barely tender, about 10 minutes; season with salt. cover and simmer until the farro is al dente, about 10 minutes longer. drain the farro and discard the vegetables and bay leaf. let cool completely
• assembly: toss the farro with herbs, onions & tomatoes. whisk the red wine vinegar and the remaining oil with fresh salt & pepper and fold into the farro mixture and serve.