Fall dried fruit, nut and farro salad

Fall cranberry, pistachio and farro salad

I don’t know if it’s an evolutionary response to the change or seasons or just plain old cultural influence, but at this time of year my desire to eat a green, leafy salad for lunch is usurped by a ravenous desire for carbohydrates. But, I’m still a busy (and lazy) cook, so I need simple recipes to quell the beast that lies within.

This recipe fits the bill. You get your carb fix from the grain, but farro is also chock-full of fiber and protein to keep your motor running (unlike the sugar crash pasta gives you) until dinner. The sweet-tart of the cranberries and the crunch of the pistachios provide a nice contrast to the chewiness of the farro. It keeps well in the fridge (I actually think it gets better the more time it has to absorb the dressing’s flavors), making it a great thing to have on hand for lunchbox packing.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. If you have any other good uses for farro, I’d love to hear them!

Fall Dried Fruit, Nut and Farro Salad

Makes about 4, 1/2 c. servings

1 c. farro, prepared according to label directions and allowed to cool

1/2 c. chopped pistachios (I used roasted and unsalted nuts)

1/4 c. chopped dried cranberries

1/2 c. lime juice

2 T. honey

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 t. salt

In a large bowl, mix farro, pistachios and cranberries. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, honey, olive oil and salt. Pour liquid into the large bowl and gently mix to coat the farro with the dressing.

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It’s San Lorenzo of Rome Feast Day!

The Bloggess - Her name is Juanita. Juanita Weasel

Someone didn’t say her prayers to San Lorenzo before getting started…  

Image and humor credit: The Bloggess. Alterations to protect my mother’s sensibilities: Mine.

When I learned that today was San Lorenzo feast day, I was very excited. Not because I am a die-hard Catholic that looks forward going to Mass and having a good meal afterward. Not because I’m a lapsed Catholic that’s just looking forward to an excuse for good party.

Nope, I wasn’t raised Catholic and don’t know much about Catholics’ saints and traditions. However, I love a good story and I was happy to learn the one Signor Martini told Diane Lane’s character Frances in the film Under the Tuscan Sun was, in fact, true. (True meaning not made up for the film; I realize Christian traditions do involve some mythology.)

If you’re not familiar with it, San Lorenzo was persecuted for defying an order to reveal church secrets to the Romans. His punishment was to be grilled over hot coals. According to legend, he quipped “Turn me over, I’m done on this side.”

In the movie, Signor Martini gives Frances a statue of the saint as a housewarming gift. As he does so, he tells her the story and explains this is why San Lorenzo is the patron saints of cooks. Ever since I saw that movie, I wondered if that story was based on a real Catholic saint. Now that I know it is, I wouldn’t be mad if someone gave me a little San Lorenzo statue as a housewarming gift. As any cook knows, sometimes we need all the help we can get when putting a meal together!

How about you? Do you say a prayer to San Lorenzo when you start a cooking project?