Bowl, Brunch, Farro, Grains, Lunch, pistachios, Pomegranate, Quick, Salad, Side dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Roasted cauliflower and farro salad with pistachios and pomegranate

Roasted cauliflower and farro salad with pistachios and pomegranate on alickofsalt.com

Here’s a hearty salad that can be its own meal or serve as a side dish. It is a simplified version of a recipe from April Bloomfield’s cookbook ‘A Girl and Her Greens.
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The first time I made this, I steamed the cauliflower. I used to think that my least favorite part of cauliflower was what a horrible mess it made in my kitchen when I cut it. Turns out that I hate it steamed. While I was trying to figure out how a combination of things I like a lot on their own (cauliflower! farro! pistachios! pomegranate arils!) could make for such a disappointing dinner, my husband offered the following encouraging words: “It was as good as any other weird dish you’ve made.” It was the cauliflower’s fault.

The lesson here is, if you think you hate cauliflower, have you tried it roasted? There may be hope for you yet! It took a while to figure out how to roast cauliflower without overroasting it and therefore ruining a perfectly promising dish. The trick for me was getting the edges to brown while maintaining a teeny tiny bit of its natural crunchiness.

The dish reheats well so it makes for a great easy lunch or brunch companion. I usually reheat it by stir-frying it in a pan with a little bit of fat (olive oil or butter) and I love that the farro gets its shape and some more of its chewiness back. Some things to keep in mind for reheating: the pistachios will no longer be crunchy and the pomegranate arils will fade in color if you overcook them. If these are potential disappointments for you, withhold the pistachios and pomegranate arils when combining the salad, sprinkle them individually on each portion, and store any leftovers separately.

The recipe instructions assume you don’t have already have cooked farro on hand, but I think that actually this recipe would be even better if you fried the cooked farro before combining it with the rest of the ingredients. I have not tried this yet so I didn’t write it in to the instructions but if you make this, I hope you’ll try frying the cooked farro and let me know how it turned out!

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Breakfast, Brunch, Nuts, Pecans, Snack

Favorite granola with puffed grains, pecans, maple syrup, and honey, revised

Favorite granola with puffed grains, pecans, maple syrup, and honey on alickofsalt.com

Granola is a staple breakfast at our house and a frequent ice cream topping. This puffed grain granola is my most requested recipe and the recipe I’ve most gifted or made for others. I’ve once again made a few changes since I last posted it on the site. I always make the recipes I post at least twice before I post them, using the second time as a recipe test of sorts. Somehow the moment I post it signals the time for another change because the recipe I end up making time and time again is almost always a slightly revised version of the one I post. This is the latest version of my favorite granola.

My favorite granola started out as crunchy clusters with almond slices, a recipe adapted from Deb Perelman‘s Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. I then added puffed grains and other ingredients from Kashi’s GoLean Honey Almond Flax Crunch cereal. I then replaced the almond slices with pecans and the puffed wheat with kamut and started baking it in porcelain dishes to give me more room to stir the ingredients while the granola was baking. In this latest version, I added puffed millet and took out the flax seeds.

One hack I’ve learned is to “grease” the tablespoon before measuring out the honey. I measure out the first tablespoon of butter or oil, then measure out the honey so it slides right out, then repeat. Of course, you’d need to be able to pour the honey into the tablespoon to be able to measure it out in this way. I wouldn’t want you to contaminate your honey with a dirty tablespoon if you’re planning on scooping the honey out of a jar.

To best beat the heat, I double the recipe and I make it either in the early morning, before my apartment turns into an oven all on its own, or in the evening. That way, I only have to suffer once in the added oven heat for two batches of granola. Still seems to run out quicker than I would hope.

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Dinner, Lunch, Pasta, Quick, Seafood, Shrimp, Walnuts

Shrimp pasta with parmesan and ground walnuts

Shrimp pasta with parmesan and ground walnuts

We’ve been eating more pasta since I discovered egg pasta that tastes more like freshly-made pasta than the kind we can find at our grocery store. Egg pasta is generally yellow, looks more brittle, cooks more quickly and comes, for some mysterious reason, in fragile packaging like bags or boxes with an exposed, shrink-wrapped front. The kind we get is much pricier than the $1 boxes of pasta we used to get, but it’s so much tastier, it’s completely worth it. It also has some sodium from the egg so it tastes good on its own even though we don’t salt the water when we cook it.

This recipe is fairly quick but it does require a little bit of multitasking and figuring out the timing can be a little tricky. We first prepare the shrimp and set it in the fridge to marinate for at least half an hour. We’ve found that marinating it in a carbonated beverage helps make the shrimp taste more tender. We usually marinate it in the cheapest beer we have; pop or soda also works well. We aim to have the pasta and the sauce ready at the same time so we give the pot of water for the pasta a little bit of time to warm up, then start preparing the sauce in a frying pan. We start cooking the pasta after we add the shrimp to the sauce and give it a couple of minutes to cook. The shrimp cooks pretty quickly so the timing will need to be adjusted if you’re using a pasta that takes longer than 4 minutes to cook.

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Berries, Blackberries, Breakfast, Brunch, Fruit, Nuts, Pancakes, Peaches, Pecans, Quick, Raspberries, Vegetarian

Dutch baby with summer fruit, pecans, and Nutella

Dutch baby with summer fruit, pecans, and Nutella

Summer has come and gone and now that our apartment no longer turns into a sauna everyday, I have free rein over the oven again, which means that I can restart my tradition of weekly dutch babies. It has been a little over two years since I posted my first recipe on here and two years later, my dutch baby obsession is still going strong. This one is large enough to share, unlike the first one, which has not served two people since we got our larger cast iron pan.

When we’re feeling fancy, our favorite toppings are summer fruit and Nutella. I sometimes add chopped pecans to the dough, but I’m not always in the mood for them. I have also made a few changes to my technique. I don’t cook the fruit in the oven anymore. Instead, I prepare it while the oven is preheating, put it in little porcelain bowls, and place the bowls on the warm potion of the stovetop until the dutch baby is ready to come out of the oven. This warms the fruit up a little bit. If the fruit is not very ripe, I also sprinkle some powdered sugar on it to sweeten it up a bit. The Nutella goes in a little porcelain bowl as well because my stovetop gets warm enough that it would melt the plastic jar if I tried to heat it up directly. I learned this the hard way, by mutilating our immersion blender.

The dutch baby lessons I’ve learned since my first post is that it’s a pretty failproof recipe as long as I use whole milk, and that it absolutely has to be eaten right away. If you don’t eat it right away, my obsession with this pancake will baffle you, as it baffles me the few times it ends up cooling on me before I can dig in. So if the person you’re sharing it with ends up needing to do their bathroom activities as soon as the dutch baby is ready to come out of the oven — does this happen in other families or just ours? — then turn off the oven and keep the dutch baby in there until they’re back because slightly burnt dutch baby is better than cold dutch baby, trust me.

Also, if you’re feeling lazy and can’t be bothered with the fruit or pecans, it is still delicious served the traditional way, with just the powdered sugar, some drizzles of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and maybe some maple syrup.

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Avocado, Barley, Bowl, Brunch, Grains, Lunch, Nuts, Pecans, Vegetarian

Avocado and pecan barley bowl with yogurt sauce

Avocado and pecan barley bowl with yogurt sauce

Today was arugula harvest day. We got some arugula starters a while ago and planted them on our balcony. We didn’t have a big enough yield for a salad, so we made this barley bowl instead.

This recipe has a higher amount of sodium than other recipes posted here. I’ve estimated the approximate sodium intake to be 337 mg per serving given the ingredients I used. Check the tips below for information on how this amount was calculated and suggestions on how to further reduce the sodium in this recipe if needed.

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