For the Last of Summer’s Nectarines

Use the last of summer's nectarines in this light-bright farro salad.

(With apologies to those wacky DirecTV commercials.)

When you lose track of time…

You buy an expensive watch…

When you buy an expensive watch, people notice…

People like Shifty Sam and Three-Strikes Joe, who will sneak up on you on a dark street and snatch your watch…

When thugs steal your watch, they conk you on the head and toss you in a dumpster to fester with yesterday’s fish heads.

Don’t sleep with rotten fishies.

Don’t lose track of time.

Enjoy nectarines for one last fling before summer ends.

One of the best and most healthful ways to do so is in this salad of “Farro with Nectarines, Basil and Toasted Pine Nuts.”

It’s from the new “Grain Mains” (Rodale), of which I received a review copy, by my friends and prolific cookbook writers Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough.

More than 100 recipes are included for breakfast, entrees and desserts. Each showcases whole grains, which we all should be eating more of — not only because they taste so great, but because they help guard against heart disease and type 2 diabetes. One of the best parts of the book is the primer on whole grains, from amaranth to Job’s tears to sorghum to wild rice. Each is described fully in terms of taste, texture, and ease of cooking, as well as its cultural and historical significance.

Farro, a type of wheat berry, has a nutty flavor with a chewy-creamy texture. It’s first soaked, then simmered in water, before being drained.

It makes for a hearty salad when mixed with pine nuts for added crunch and chunks of fresh nectarines for sweet fruitiness. Crumbled ricotta salata add a salty creaminess.

It’s a dish full of bright, light flavors.

It’s perfect for summer. So, don’t lose track of time. Make it now. Go on.

Make it before nectarine season ends.

Farro with Nectarines, Basil, and Toasted Pine Nuts

(Serves 4)

1 cup whole-grain farro

6 tablespoons pine nuts

2 nectarines, chopped

4 ounces ricotta salata, finely crumbled

16 basil leaves, minced

2 tablespoons almond oil or olive oil

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Soak farro in a big bowl of cool water for at least 8 hours and up to 16 hours. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve or small-holed colander set in a sink. Pour the farro into a large saucepan, cover with water by several inches, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until tender, about 1 hour. Drain again in that sieve or colander, then run under cool water to stop the cooking. Drain thoroughly.

Scatter pine nuts in a dry skillet and set it over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 4 minutes.

Pour pine nuts into a large serving bowl. Add cooked farro. Stir in everything else: the nectarines, ricotta salata, basil, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.

From “Grain Mains” by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

More Scrumptious Recipes from Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough: Chicken Chilaquiles

And: Baked Spinach and Goat Cheese Dumplings

And: Shirred Eggs in Prosciutto Crudo Cups

And: Maple Blondies with Butterscotch and Cocoa Nibs

And: Thyme Roasted Shrimp

And: Honey-Preserved Clementines

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  • A beautiful dish! Very satisfying.



  • Sounds like a fantastic book! I love the idea of pairing farro with fresh summer flavors like nectarine and basil…very inspired!

  • I love farro! Yeah, I do this type of salad a lot during the summer with basil and tomatoes, but nectarines or other stone fruit definitely would be a nice twist. (And I would do anything to avoid waking up in the morning in a dumpster! LOL)

  • I should look into these recipes more often. Definitely intrigued with amaranth and sorghum.

  • Hey, I know that recipe! It looks fantastic in your photos! Thanks, Carolyn.

    And if I may, here’s a great resource for whole-grain farro:

  • LOL….no, I don’t want to be tossed in a dumpster to fester with yesterday’s fish heads! 🙂 I’ll definitely rush to the kitchen and make this healthy and delicious salad while the nectarines are still vibrant!

  • Sounds like a terrific book! I don’t believe I’ve ever combined nectarines with grains before – sounds great. Anything to avoid sleeping with fish heads! (That was really funny.)

  • I’ve never cooked with farro before, and this looks like a great way to use it. Thanks for the introduction to the cookbook – it sounds terrific!

  • I definitely have a love for cookbooks that center around grains. Need this cookbook AND this dish! Perfect use for the nectarines sitting on my table!

  • Wow these all sound delicious. I’ve been trying to figure out what to make for dinner tonight. I may try and whip up some version of the nectarine salad. Looks like I may have to check out another book. Boy, Amazon must love me!

  • when i saw your title, i was not expecting farro usage–nice one, carolyn! 🙂

  • Farro? I’ve heard of it but have never used it. It looks quit tasty and with a somewhat crunchy texture. A beautiful salad with lots of ingredients that I love – toasted pine nuts and basil! The cookbook sounds very interesting!

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