I’m usually quite organized, but sometimes, despite my best intentions, I find myself scrambling to get things done at the last minute. I’m also clumsy, and ambitious and sometimes these things just don’t mix as well as lemon and basil in a salad dressing.
On Thursday, I had a 4 hour lesson in the morning, followed by a dental appointment and two evening lessons and the heat was ON in Milan. I had a couple of hours to come home between dental appointment and evening lessons, at which point I sat half dressed with the AC on, trying to cool off before having to get dressed and head out again.
There I was, iPad in hand reading my facebook news feed, and suddenly it hit me…DINNER…what the *#LL am I going to make?
It has been a sweltering couple of days and I had been opting for lunches out (don’t worry they were healthy and whole grain/plant based) and very light dinners consisting of breakfast foods and/or lightly steam sauteed veggies on hand. So, I hadn’t bothered to replenish the fresh produce supply, but hubby was returning home from Rome in the evening and I usually like to prepare him something nice and home cooked after his work week away.
I had an hour and a half before I had to head back out into the desert heat and I was on a mission. I saught inspiration in a Farro salad posted by my good friend the Flirty Foodie the day prior, you should check it out, it looks amazing. I loaded her blog and started reading the recipe, realizing I didn’t have most of the ingredients on hand. No problem I thought, just improvise, its done you good in the past.
A rummage through the refrigerator and pantry produced farro, carrots, sundried tomatoes, leeks, lemons and fresh basil. I can work with that, I thought.
I put the farro on, sauteed up the veggies, and blended up my go to Lemon Basil Dressing; it’s delicious on everything from salad greens, to pasta salads and grain salads alike.
So, things were proceeding nicely, all I had to do was wait for the farro then toss it with the veggies and dressing and pop it in the refrigerator to cool while I went to my lessons. By the time hubby and I would get home, it would be nice and cool and ready to eat. I was feeling accomplished and heroic…that’s until I decided I didn’t need the colander to drain the little bit of liquid left in the pot of cooked farro…you see where I’m going here?
A slight tilt of the pot and the liquid was out, along with half the farro. Thankfully most of it landed in the kitchen sink that I had just cleaned, but about a quarter of it on the floor, making a stop onto my black pants on the way down and leaving nice sticky starch marks. Its a good thing I had taken my top off as a cooling mechanism while I cooked. I could envision hubby shaking his head and telling me I shouldn’t cook with my good clothes on.
Since I really hate wasting food, I applied the three minute rule and salvaged most of the farro in the sink. Even though the sink was REALLY clean, I gave it an extra good rinse just to be sure. Come on, don’t tell me you’ve never done it.
As for the farro on the floor, don’t worry, I didn’t use it, but if you know farro you can imagine the mess it made. We live in a tiny apartment in Milan and the open living space is called a soggiorno con angolo cottura, meaning living area with cooking corner. I’ll probably be finding farro grains in nooks and crannies and under the sofa until Christmas.
I had 10 minutes to toss the salad, clean the floor and make myself somewhat presentable before I had to be out the door for my next lesson and I sure felt heroic again once I managed to accomplish it all and still make it to my lesson on time.
So, moral of the story, use a colander to strain those grains and when the heat is on, toss up your favourite salad with this fantastic fresh and tangy Lemon Basil Dressing.
Lemon Basil Dressing
Recipe and Photography by Nissrine @ Harmony à la Carte
- 25 G Fresh Basil Leaves (about 1 cup)
- 1 Shallot, coarsely chopped
- 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Lemon, juiced
- 1 Tbsp Rustic Dijon Mustard
- Pinch of Salt
- Add all ingredients to a mixer or blender and whiz it all up until you get a smooth, yet relatively thick and “spoon-able” salad dressing consistency. If you like it more liquid-y , you can add extra oil or a drizzle of water. Adjust salt to taste.
Toss into your favourite mixed greens, pasta or grain based salads.