Adding a Little Fruity Goodness to Summer

One of the best things about summer is the abundance of fresh fruit. Adding fruit to any dish provides a fun twist to lighten it up and to make it more refreshing. With that being said, this Farro, Walnut, and Cherry salad from Cooking Light is exactly the kind of dish I’m talking about. It’s easy and loaded with fresh cherries, a fruit that adds the perfect amount of fruity goodness.
 
ImageFor this salad you’ll need:
  • 5 c. water
  • 1 1/2 c. uncooked farro
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 3/4 lb. (about two cups) sweet cherries, pitted and halved (A great excuse to visit a local farmer’s market!)
  • 2/3 c. celery, diced
  • 1/2 c. coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 c. packed fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Bring those 5 cups of water to a boil, adding the farro and 1/4 tsp. salt and cook for about 15 minutes. Once done, drain and cool at room temperature. Next you’ll want to combine the farro, cherries, celery, walnuts, and parsley in a large bowl. Then, combine the lemon juice, mustard, honey, pepper, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and stir with a whisk. Gradually add the oil and continue to whisk till all dressing ingredients are mixed. Lastly, pour that bowl of goodness over the farro and cherry mixture and enjoy!

I loved this salad so much I took a huge container of it back on the train with me! It’s a delicious summer dish that easy to make in bulk (can someone say party side dish??) and it pairs fantastically with grilled balsamic chicken or a tender juicy skirt steak. I’m telling you, nothing beats a summer dish with a helping of fruit. You have to test this out, it won’t let you down. But until next time, keep eating!

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ExCLAMation! The Perfect Summer Dish

I owe tonight’s recipe to Cooking Light. There is nothing better, after a long day of work and an even longer commute, to come home and cook a meal that takes only 30 minutes. One of the things I love about Cooking Light magazine is that they have delicious, fresh recipes that can be made in 30 minutes—and it honestly does take 30 minutes.  Clams with Israeli Couscous was on the menu tonight.

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For this recipe you need 2 teaspoons of olive oil, 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion, 1 cup finely chopped fennel bulb, 1 cup uncooked Israeli couscous, 1 garlic clove thinly sliced, 1/3 cup dry white wine, 1 ½ cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth, 1 cup unsalted tomato sauce, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ ground crushed red pepper, 24 Littleneck clams (about 1 ½ lbs.), 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, and 4 lemon wedges.

 Simply heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, add onion and fennel and sauté for about 3 minutes. Then add the couscous and garlic—sauté for about 1 minute. Add wine and cook until liquid is almost evaporated. Then stir in broth, tomato sauce (I foolishly forgot to buy plain tomato sauce at the grocery store so I had to improvise and use can tomatoes in juice), salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 7 minutes. Then you want to nestle the clams into the couscous mixture, cover and cook for about another 8 minutes (or until clams have opened up). Sprinkle with parsley and lemon juice (or a wedge of lemon if you prefer) and there you have it—a delicious meal in 30 minutes!

 Talk about fast food. And the great thing about this recipe is that if once you start cooking and realize that you forgot an ingredient (like in my case), you can make some minor changes and it will still be absolutely delicious.

If you’re in a time crunch and come home famished after a long day’s work—story of my life, I’m ALWAYS hungry—then check out the 30-minute meals section in Cooking Light (either the magazine or online) and I promise you won’t be disappointed. But until next time, keep eating!