Roasted Eggplant and Curried Cauliflower Grain Bowl

Roasted Eggplant and Curried Cauliflower Grain Bowl

Roasted Eggplant and Curried Cauliflower Grain Bowl

Happy October! Even though it’s hard every year to see summer come to a close, I can’t help but feel a little excited thinking about the hustle and bustle of fall- back to school, turning the heat on for the first time, bubble baths, crisp evenings, and all things apples. Next week Ben and I are taking our annual apple picking trip to Carter Mountain– my favorite day of the year! Bring on the winesap, stayman, and apple cider doughnuts! Crossing my fingers for good weather up there!

This week, right on cue, I started craving roasted vegetables. For some reason I’ve been super into eggplant recently. Maybe because of it’s slightly meaty texture and the fact that you can customize it with just about any spice.

For this one, I went for an Indian curry profile, using garam masala (my favorite new spice blend- have you tried it in my Brown Butter Molasses Cookies yet?) and cumin to spice things up. I tossed on a can of chickpeas, as well as some red onion, tomato, sliced zucchini, and cauliflower.

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I could not stop eating this right off the sheet. #trueconfessions

You could do a lot with these roasted veggies alone, like put them in a stew, serve as a side dish for a beautiful autumnal salad, or do what I did and use them in a grain bowl! I had some cooked lentil and farro, so I tossed some of these on top of the grains with some spinach, then topped with a nice runny egg and some feta crumbles. I bet goat cheese would be excellent as well!

Roasted Zucchini Curried Cauliflower Grain Bowl

Roasted Zucchini Curried Cauliflower Grain Bowl

(Side note: have you tried the Buffalo Cauliflower Bites with Hot Stuff Sauce at Whole Foods? I am obsessed. We are having a game night tonight and I may just have to make them.)

Hope you enjoy!

Roasted Eggplant and Curried Cauliflower Grain Bowl
Recipe Type: Salad, Main Dish
Cuisine: Vegetarian, Indian
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
Looking for a hearty but healthy salad to celebrate the beginning of autumn? Try this spicy and savory grain bowl with a nice big Indian kick!
Ingredients
  • 1 medium eggplant, sliced into discs 1/4″ thick
  • 3-4 medium zucchini, sliced thinly
  • 1 head cauliflower, brokein into florets
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • extra virgin olive oil (about 3-4 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garam masala or other Indian spice blend
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Optional: cooked grain (I used lentils/farro), egg, feta or goat cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 deg.
  2. Line two large cookie sheets with silpat or cooking spray.
  3. Layer eggplant and zucchini on sheet so that they are slightly overlapping. Top with red onion and drizzle with about 2 tbsp olive oil.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together all spices until combined. Sprinkle on about half of this mixture to the vegetables.
  5. Add the cauliflower and chickpeas, drizzle with remaining olive oil and spice blend.
  6. Bake at 400 deg for 50 minutes until chickpeas are crispy and cauliflower is golden-brown.
  7. Allow to cool, then remove from pan and use on top of your favorite grains for a satisfying and healthy side, or top with poached egg and crumbled feta to make it a meal!
Roasted Eggplant and Curried Cauliflower

Roasted Eggplant and Curried Cauliflower

Roasted Sweet Potato and Summer Veggie Salad w/ Chickpeas and Lemon-Parsley Vinaigrette

Happy Labor Day! I hope you enjoyed a day of parading, picnicking, and precious time with family, neighbors, and friends! I had the most incredible weekend visiting my friend Kate in NYC, followed by a brief trip to CT to see my parents. And after all the hype about Hermine, the weather could not have been more perfect!

Back in Durham now, and another gorgeous day. Ben and I went for a 5 mile walk with Samoa and it was one of those September afternoons that you wish you could just bottle up and take out in February just to remind yourself that IT WILL NOT BE WINTER FOREVER.

So I’m kind of at a cross-roads between summer and fall. Part of me wants to hang onto the summer with its breezy evenings, don’t-even-need-a-jacket type weather… but the other part of me is anticipating the fragrance of cloves, cinnamon, and all things pumpkin spice. (Sidenote: Kate and I made pumpkin hummus this past weekend. It was epic on a piece of Ezekiel bread with half of a mashed banana and drizzle of maple syrup on top.) To marry the fresh flavors of summer produce with the warm fuzzy feeling of fall, I decided to create this salad.

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Roasted Sweet Potato and Summer Veggie Salad w/ Chickpeas and Lemon-Parsley Vinaigrette

And here you have it- the marriage of summer and fall. Packed with zucchini, roasted corn, vine tomatoes, sweet potatoes, chickpeas and tied together with a light lemon vinaigrette, this is one to definitely keep making all season. I used lentils to bulk it up a little bit, since I usually eat salads like this as my entree, but you could easily leave it out if you wanted a looser salad.

Recipe below. Hope you enjoy!

Roasted Sweet Potato and Summer Veggie Salad w/ Chickpeas and Lemon-Parsley Vinaigrette

Roasted Sweet Potato and Summer Veggie Salad w/ Chickpeas and Lemon-Parsley Vinaigrette
Recipe Type: Salad
Cuisine: Summer, Fall, Vegetarian
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
The marriage of summer and fall! Packed with zucchini, roasted corn, vine tomatoes, sweet potatoes, chickpeas and tied together with a light lemon vinaigrette, this is one to definitely keep making all season.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 3 cobs corn, husked
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • dash of salt, to taste
  • 3 medium zucchini, diced
  • 4 ripe on-the-vine tomatoes, diced
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • feta cheese, for topping (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Roast corn on lower rack for 30 minutes or until tender. Remove and cool.
  2. Meanwhile, mix lentils and quinoa with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for 15 minutes or until al dente, then drain.
  3. In a large bowl, mix sweet potatoes, red onion, 1 tbsp olive oil, garlic, paprika, and salt. Toss to combine.
  4. Spread potato mixture on a silicone-lined baking sheet, then roast for 30 minutes, tossing halfway through, until tender. Remove and cool.
  5. Zest lemon into large bowl and squeeze in half of its juice. Add zucchini and tomatoes.
  6. In a food processor, combine parsley, remaining lemon juice, 1 tbsp remaining oil, red wine vinegar, and honey. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pulse until liquefied. Stir in chickpeas, then pulse for 3-4 pulses until chickpeas are just sliced a little (do NOT over-pulse here or you will end up with hummus!).
  7. Stir chickpea and parsley mixture into bowl with the zucchini and tomatoes. Stir in sweet potatoes, corn, and grains.
  8. Toss and serve with feta cheese. I also drizzled on a little balsamic vinegar!

Roasted Sweet Potato and Summer Veggie Salad w/ Chickpeas and Lemon-Parsley Vinaigrette

Black Bean & Roasted Corn Salad w/ Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Why hello! Did you have a good weekend?

We did here! Friday night Ben and I headed downtown for happy hour to watch the live music at Brightleaf Square. It wasn’t as packed as it usually is, but that’s likely because we were there on the early side, PLUS it was about 398 degrees out so really, all the smart people were inside. We were exhausted, so it was nice to just chill out melt and put our feet up for a while as we sipped brews and munched on chips.

Saturday was a major errands/chores day. I made a big grocery run and did some cooking for the week (prepped crock pot chicken to use in enchiladas for Ben, plus the salad in this post), tried out my AMAZING new cordless vacuum (I think the neighbors are starting to get concerned that I have a cleaning problem… good thing it has a short battery life!), went for a run, and took Samoa for a long walk on the trail. Today it was a 20 mi. bike ride on the ATC (before the humidity set in!), church, a cat-nap, and the 2nd Rock Steady Boxing Class in Cary with a few of my PD patients. Then this afternoon we met up with a few small group folks (missed you, Tawny and Healys!) to play board games at Ponysaurus. Fun day!

Part of what I like to do on the weekends is prep one nice big salad and casserole to last us through the week. We still have leftovers from last week’s Baba Ghannouj Pesto Lasagna, but it’s nice to have another option while this dwindles (or goes bad, whichever happens first). I usually eat the salad as my entree with some roasted veggies and some type of meatless protein (my go-to is tofu, but I’m also a big fan of the fried egg or some kind of fish), and Ben will have the casserole with the salad as a side. It’s been working great for us since both of us work full-time, and it avoids the whole staring-at-the-open-fridge and shouting “honey, what do we have to eat?” problem, OR the temptation to get take-out!

Black Bean & Roasted Corn Salad w/ Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

Black Bean & Roasted Corn Salad w/ Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette

This week an oldie but a goodie is on the salad menu. Black Bean & Roasted Corn Salad w/ Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette. I’ve definitely made this before, since it’s super easy and feeds a crowd, but I’m not sure I ever used this much lime juice. I’ve definitely never used fresh roasted corn on the cob, either. It made a HUGE difference! The roasted corn is much sweeter than frozen, and it absorbs much more of the vinaigrette.

This salad is salsa-like in texture, and I’ve also started adding a grain blend (lentils and farro are the best) to help absorb some of the extra liquid and bulk up the salad a bit. Bigger salad = fewer weeknights that I have to cook. I’m pretty OK with that. I would rather spend my time recipe-creating when I’m relaxed and have a whole afternoon to do it than when I get home at 7pm and have about 20 other things to do to get ready ready for the next day.

Black Bean & Roasted Corn Salad w/ Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
Recipe Type: Salad
Cuisine: Healthy, Vegetarian, Mexican
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
Love salsa as much as I do? I could eat it by the gallon! Instead of stocking your pantry with Tostitos, though, why not try out a fresh take on your own? Better for you AND cheaper! Perfect for dunking chips, stuffing tacos, or eating right out of the bowl 🙂
Ingredients
  • 1 cup lentils or farro (I used a mixture, so about 1/2 cup of each)
  • 5 medium ears of corn
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (or less if you don’t like your salad as acidic as I do!)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper (more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional, for spice-lovers)
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion (about 1/2 onion)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red or yellow bell pepper
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • fresh chopped avocado, for serving
  • additional cilantro, for serving
  • greek yogurt or sour cream, for serving
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Husk corn and bake at 350, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes until kernels are tender. When cool to touch, slice kernels lengthwise to remove from the cob. Set aside.
  2. Combine 1 cup lentils/farro with 2 1/2 cups water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 13 minutes until al dente. Drain immediately.
  3. Meanwhile, make vinaigrette by whisking together olive oil through garlic powder in a large bowl.
  4. Stir in red onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, beans, and corn.
  5. Stir in lentils/farro (this is best when the grains are still warm, so they soak up the juice of the tomatoes and vinaigrette).
  6. Serve immediately or store for up to 6 days in the fridge. Just before serving, top with sliced avocado, additional cilantro, salt and pepper, and a dollop of greek yogurt or sour cream.

This goes without saying, but you have complete freedom to experiment with different varieties of grains, beans, and veggies in this salad. Get creative! I forgot to do it this time, but a drizzle of honey would be amazing in the vinaigrette for a touch of sweetness. Although I do insist on using corn on the cob vs. canned or frozen. Makes a world of difference!

Like I said in the beginning of this post, this salad is totally versatile and can be enjoyed as a main dish, side, or garnish. I currently love dipping hearty crackers or crispbread and letting them get the slightest bit soggy before I top with a little dollop of Greek and stuff it in my mouth. Let me know how you like it. Happy week!

Crispy Chickpea & Beet Farro Salad

Happy Weekend! I realized I forgot to put up the recipe for this delish salad that I made earlier this week… sorry to all of you who have been anxiously hitting refresh on my page every 30 seconds since Monday night.

Alas, here it is!

I should add that this recipe made about 43x more than I had expected… whoops. It’s a bad habit of mine. Feel free to cut the recipe in half or freeze a bunch for later. We will be eating this salad for weeks! In wraps, sandwiches, smoothies, cereal…

Crispy Chickpea & Beet Farro Salad

Crispy Chickpea & Beet Farro Salad

Served with this incredible fresh cedar plank salmon from my father-in-law’s business, Land & Sea. All I added was a little Rub with Love (<< leftover from our honeymoon to Seattle 4 years ago! that stuff is the BEST) and a squeeze of fresh lemon. It was raining so we had to cook these in the oven- just make sure to turn off your smoke alarm for a few mins during cooking as the cedar plank makes it a bit smoky!

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Crispy Chickpea & Beet Farro Salad
Recipe Type: Salad
Cuisine: Healthy, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 24
Crispy chickpeas, grated carrots and broccoli, and fresh, roasted beets give this salad its great combination of colors… farro and lentils add a welcome chewiness!
Ingredients
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup sliced bella mushrooms
  • 6 beets
  • ½ red onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp greek seasoning (optional)
  • 4-5 large carrots
  • 1 head each broccoli and cauliflower, separated into stalks and florets
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley (about ½ cup)
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes)
  • 4 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup farro, cooked to package directions
  • ½ cup dry lentils
  • ⅓ cup golden raisins
  • Dressing:
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp honey
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup goat cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cook farro and lentils according to package directions until al dente, about 12 minutes. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Preheat oven to 400 deg.
  2. Cut off stalks and tails of beets and wrap lightly in foil.
  3. In a large bowl, combine chickpeas, mushrooms, onion, olive oil, garlic, garlic powder, and seasoning. Spread on a large sheet pan and cook at the same time as the beets, 40-60 mins until beets are fork tender. In the final 20 minutes of cooking, add broccoli and cauliflower florets to sheet pan and return to oven for 10 more minutes until tender. Remove from oven and cool.
  4. When beets are cool enough to handle, rub gently with paper towels to remove outer skins. Slice thinly.
  5. In a food processor using the slicing setting, grate carrots and broccoli stalks (not florets). Scrape into a large bowl. In the same processor using the multipurpose blade, add parsley, lemon juice, and tomatoes. Pulse until roughly chopped- about 2-3 pulses.
  6. Sitr parsley mixture into the shredded carrots and broccoli. Add beets, roasted vegetables, raisins and green onions.
  7. In food processor, combine dressing ingredients: both vinegars, mustard, honey, salt and pepper. Process on low, drizzling in 1 tbsp additional olive oil.
  8. While still warm, add the farro/lentils to the salad. Top with goat cheese and toss to combine.

I love all the colors in this salad! I think using fresh beets makes it a done deal, as their juice adds a little extra color throughout the salad when you toss it up. Lovely!

I love how the goat cheese gets all melty if you add it when the beets and grains are still a little warm… the creaminess is perfect!

Crispy Chickpea & Beet Farro Salad

Crispy Chickpea & Beet Farro Salad

Have a great weekend!

Peachy Green Summer Salad Stew

Confession: I did not mean for this to be a stew.

Peachy Green Summer Salad Stew

Peachy Green Summer Salad Stew

Hello! How was your weekend? I’m here to share with you an almost “Claire-Fails” worthy recipe. Except that my almost “fail” turned into a gigantic WIN!

It all started when I got a new blender a few weeks ago. Ever since I got my Oster Versa, I have been blending everything in sight. Daily green smoothies, PB&B milkshakes, and lately, salad dressing!

Occasionally I make stuffed mushrooms using this filling, which requires pulsing a few times in the food processor to chop up the veggies and herbs before stuffing the mushrooms. Usually I add chickpeas just at the end to chop them up a bit and make them go a little further in the mixture. Same thing with a blender, right?

Not so much.

What I imagined to be a nice chunky dressing with some chopped-up tomatoes and chickpeas became, well, soup. Maybe it was because the mouth of the blender is smaller and doesn’t incorporate as well during the pulsing? Either way, I ended up with a less-than-appetizing looking salad.

That’s when you call it what it is! Salad stew! Once I decided that this was going to be more like a thick green gazpacho, it became much more appealing. I decided to add a few peaches for extra sweetness, and green peas for more texture.

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Peachy Green Summer Salad Stew
Recipe Type: Salad
Cuisine: Vegetarian, Healthy, Summer
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
Call it salad, call it stew, call it what you want…
Ingredients
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 + 2 tbsp EVOO (divided)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 red onion, minced (divided)
  • 1 bunch fresh Italian parsley, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp whole grain dijon mustard
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup peas
  • 2 small peaches, diced
  • goat cheese (optional)
  • zucchini shreds (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add 4 cups salted water to lentils and quinoa in a large saucepan. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 13 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water immediately.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil on medium-high heat. Add garlic, 1/4 cup red onion, and mushrooms. Cook until fork tender and remove from heat.
  3. In a blender or food processor, make the dressing by combining parsley through mustard, plus 2 tbsp of olive oil and remaining onion. Pulse on high until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour about half of mixture into mason jar or airtight container (can be frozen or stored in refrigerator for 3-4 weeks).
  4. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes to blender with remaining dressing. Pulse 3-4 times until chopped roughly (I like mine chunky so I made sure not to overpulse).
  5. Combine lentils, quinoa, mushroom mixture, and contents of blender to a large bowl or serving dish. Stir in peas and peaches. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve over spinach or grated zucchini with goat cheese and a little drizzle of olive oil over the top! This stew is also great with crusty bread!

Healthy, fiber-licious and lots of protein in this one. I served it over greens and zucchini noodles, with a little baked tofu for extra protein. You could eat it as a main dish like me or as a side- but you might be surprised at just how filling it is!

Happy America Week!

Happy America Week!

Fiesta Monday

Life is one big fiesta… why not eat like it?

Fiesta Salad

Fiesta Salad

Hello! How was your weekend? Ours was HOT and BUSY! Ben and I were teaching at a weekend seminar for our church’s Preparing for Marriage ministry. We met so many cool couples and had lots to talk about! In other news, I just wanted to say that my thoughts are with the victims and families of the shooting in Orlando… what a terribly hideous side of human nature. Praying that the Lord redeems every ounce of evil in this tragedy and uses it to bring this country closer to Himself.

Today I was craving Mexican.

I don’t know why, because I’ve had Mexican literally the last three days in a row. And all.the.chips. But who doesn’t love a good healthy Mexican salad?

Always down for that.

This fiesta bowl is a perfect meatless meal for Monday. I used a blend of quinoa, farro, and lentils cooked al dente and tossed with zucchini, bell pepper, red onion, and lots of canned things. Plus some fresh lemon and Mexican spices and cilantro. (I swear if any of you ever use that taco seasoning that comes in a packet I will hunt you down.)

You could serve this on its own (I like mine topped with a poached egg or some tofu, over spinach), or as a side dish with a non-vegetarian protein. Ben had it with a few slices of turkey meatloaf pizza I made earlier.

Enjoy!

Fiesta Salad
Recipe Type: Salad
Cuisine: Healthy, Vegetarian
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12-15
Life is one big fiesta! Why not eat like it?
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup each quinoa, farro, and lentils
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 can each pinto and black beans, rinsed/drained
  • 1 can corn, rinsed
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp each cumin, coriander, garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp each chili powder and paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped roughly
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, combine grains and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain.
  2. In a large bowl, combine remaining vegetables and spices.
  3. Drizzle in lemon juice and vinegar.
  4. Add the quinoa, farro, and lentil blend and toss to combine.
  5. Top with cilantro and additional salt and pepper to taste!
  6. Serve over greens or crusty bread, with protein of your choice!

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Happy fiesta week!

Farro Caprese Salad w/ Lemon Pesto Vinaigrette

Happy Memorial Day!

For me, Memorial Day always brings back memories of the town pool opening, our first al fresco dinner on the back deck, and licking melty fudgscicles that Dad would hand out the window as we played “Ice Cream Man.” For some reason those popsicles tasted so much better when you envisioned them being handed to you from an ice cream truck. Maybe I can get Ben to play “Ice Cream Man” with me this year.

Today it was actually a dreary, humid day here in Durham. Definitely NOT what one would hope for on a Memorial Day holiday. That’s ok- for all of you who follow me on Instagram, you know that I got my tanning time in on Saturday, when I lounged for a few hours by the pool, sipping on sun tea and catching up on Real Simple (I think I was still on April). Glorious!

Rainy weather or not, Memorial Day deserves a summery spread, so here we go! I’ve been dying to lighten up a caprese pasta salad recipe for some time now, so I decided to sub farro for pasta in order to pack a healthier and heartier punch. Farro is a very dense grain, much more al dente than quinoa or couscous, which makes it a perfect alternative to pasta. Cooked to al dente, farro also holds up well when tossed with any vinaigrette (quinoa tends to suck up all the extra liquid and get mealy, in my experience).

If you’re interested in learning more about the health benefits of farro, or the nutritional breakdown of farro vs. quinoa, be sure to check out the following links:

Huffington Post: What is Farro?

Farro Nutrition Breakdown

Quinoa Nutrition Breakdown

Farro Caprese Salad w/ Lemon Pesto Vinaigrette

Farro Caprese Salad w/ Lemon Pesto Vinaigrette

I also made my own pesto because I can never bring myself to pay $8+ for a tiny can of prepared pesto that is really half olive oil. This way I can control how much oil I want to add, and experiment with a few new flavors (like lemon!). I also made this batch with roasted, salted almonds because pine nuts are way too expensive.

Homemade Lemon Pesto

Homemade Lemon Pesto

I used some of the homemade pesto in the lemon pesto vinaigrette for the salad, and saved the rest in a mason jar for future dinners. It should last about three weeks in the fridge (or for three years in the freezer, if your brain works like mine does and you know that the freezer really stops time).

When the slightly sweet, tangy pesto vinaigrette is drizzled over farro mixed with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and roasted corn, this salad cannot be beat- rainy Memorial Day or not!

Farro Caprese Salad w/ Lemon Pesto Vinaigrette
Recipe Type: Salad
Cuisine: Summer, Healthy, Vegetarian
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
Happy Memorial Day! This farro salad is chewy and hearty, drizzled with homemade lemon pesto dressing that will not disappoint!
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup homemade lemon pesto (see recipe below)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp reserved farro liquid
  • 2 cups farro, uncooked (5 cups water)
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 12 oz. container of mozzarella balls, halved (I used bocconcini)
  • 1/4 cup basil chiffonade (leaves cut into long strips)
  • Homemade Lemon Pesto:
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup roasted salted almonds (if unsalted, add 1 tsp salt)
  • 3 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup parmesan-romano cheese
Instructions
  1. Prepare farro according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water, reserving a bit of the starchy cooking liquid for later.
  2. Prepare pesto: In food processor, add the garlic and almonds, and pulse until smooth. Add the basil and lemon juice and continue to process on high, scraping down sides occasionally.
  3. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, then turn speed down to low and add the pepper and cheese. Pulse a few more times until blended.
  4. Store in a mason jar for up to 3 weeks in the fridge.
  5. Prepare the pesto vinaigrette: add 1/2 cup homemade pesto, balsamic vinegar, honey, and reserved farro liquid in a jar and shake vigorously.
  6. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. Serve with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Prepare the lemon pesto in food processor.

Prepare the lemon pesto in food processor.

Fresh bocconcini!

Fresh mozzarella balls!

Supper al fresco, anyone?

Supper al fresco, anyone?

Happy Memorial Day, and Happy Summer to all!