We’re having a heat wave, which means dinners these days are mostly of the cold-supper variety: substantial salads augmented by creamy wedges of Fromager d’affinois cheese, a buttery, double-cream brie-like cheese, or cups of ice-cold, garlicky gazpacho.
This Chicken Salad with Shelling Beans and Roasted Tomatoes from Los Angeles-based chef Jessica Koslow, is a new favorite. I’ve made a few variations over the last week and each is a hit with its punch of smoky paprika and herby, caramelized cherry tomatoes. (I used seared tuna for the salad below.)
Craving a grainy main, I put together this Lemony Farro with Tomatoes, Corn, Edamame and Cannellini Beans one night last week. It’s an easy-to-prepare salad that bridges summer and fall — refreshing and filling without taxing the cook.
Substitutions are encouraged. Add your favorite beans — and canned is fine here. Just be sure to rinse your canned legumes for a minute or two under cold water before draining and tossing them in the bowl.
Diced colorful bell peppers or cucumbers would add color and crunch. And, change up your herbs. I used my favorites — basil and mint — but thyme or even a touch of rosemary would bring an autumnal feel to the dish. A load of chopped parsley will push it into tabbouleh territory.
Once our heat breaks, I’ll take a cue from Jessica Koslow, and roast end-of-season, cherry tomatoes and toss them — and their sweet juices — into the bowl. Adding slices of leftover roast chicken or steak would make for a protein-packed main dish, too.
I hope your fall season is off to a productive start. Have a good week ahead!
- 1 cup farro, rinsed in cold water and drained
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup cannellini beans, rinsed in cold water and drained
- ½ cup edadame (I use frozen)
- corn sliced off of one ear of corn (about ½ cup of corn; frozen works)
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, rinsed and sliced in half
- ¼ cup finely diced red onion
- 1 Tablespoon minced basil leaves
- 1 Tablespoon minced mint leaves
- zest of ½ lemon (about ½ teaspoon)
- lemon juice from ½ lemon (add more as you like)
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- freshly-ground pepper to taste (I like a pinch, but add more if you like a kick of heat)
- Fill a medium-sized saucepan with the water and bring it to a rapid boil. Rinse the farro under cold water and drain well. Once the water is boiling add ½ teaspoon salt and the farro. Cover the pot with a top, but leave it slightly askew so that the steam can escape. Turn the heat down to simmer and cook the farro until just barely tender, about 25 minutes. (I usually check it beginning at 20 minutes, because I like it slightly chewy).
- While the farro is cooking, place the rinsed cannellini beans, the edamame (if they’re frozen they will defrost quickly), the fresh or frozen corn and the tomatoes in a large bowl. Add the red onions, the herbs and the lemon zest. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel until the farro is done cooking.
- Once the farro is cooked, drain it well and place the farro in the bowl on top of the vegetables, etc. Squeeze the lemon juice over the farro, add the olive oil and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and freshly-grated pepper. Stir the mixture well with a rubber spatula. Taste and add more lemon juice, salt and/or pepper if you like. Serve immediately.