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For the Last of Summer’s Nectarines

(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.

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