Greek Grain Salad

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I’m so excited to be working with my friends at Amber Waves Farm in Amagansett, New York this summer.  The farm grows organic vegetables, fruit, flowers, and wheat and over the last few years I have loved experimenting with the different fruits and veggies that show up in the CSA box each week. This year, Amber Waves opened a beautiful new farm store, and to celebrate, I’ll be sharing recipes inspired by what’s in season and available at the farm all summer long. Wherever you live, I hope you’ll find inspiration to cook seasonally, eat locally, and explore delicious new ways eat your way through the summer!

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This week I’m excited to share my recipe for Greek Grain Salad- an easy, crowd-pleasing side for all your summer P’s (parties, picnics and potlucks!)  Big grain salads are one of my go-tos for cooking for groups, and this one in particular makes great use of summer vegetables – Amber Waves grows peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, parsley and even onions and garlic.

This salad has all the flavors and satisfying crunch of a classic Greek salad, with farro instead of lettuce. Farro is my favorite grain – it’s deliciously nutty and chewy and only takes a half hour to cook, or 10 minutes if you can find the pearled kind. In this case, farro not only makes the salad a more substantial side for a party but also makes it a better dish to prepare in advance, and a better one to bring to the beach!  Speaking of the beach, it might just be time for a dip…

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Greek Grain Salad


Ingredients

  • 1½ cups farro
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into ½-inch wide strips
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons minced fresh garlic (1 large clove)
  • 1 large English cucumber, seeded and cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • ¾ cup minced red onion
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, ½-inch diced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preaheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Combine the farro with 4 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the farro is just cooked. Drain and pour into a large bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Pour over the hot farro and stir well.

Meanwhile, place the red pepper slices on a half sheet pan and toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt. Roast for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through. Set the peppers aside to cool slightly.

Add the cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, roasted peppers, parsley and olives to the bowl with the farro. Stir until combined, then gently fold in the feta. Serve at room temperature.


Grilled Zucchini with Herb Yogurt

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I’m so excited to be working with my friends at Amber Waves Farm in Amagansett, New York this summer.  The farm grows organic vegetables, fruit, flowers, and wheat and over the last few years I have loved experimenting with the different fruits and veggies that show up in the CSA box each week. This year, Amber Waves opened a beautiful new farm store, and to celebrate, I’ll be sharing recipes inspired by what’s in season and available at the farm all summer long. Wherever you live, I hope you’ll find inspiration to cook seasonally, eat locally, and explore delicious new ways eat your way through the summer!

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Up this week is an easy grilled zucchini recipe that’s a great side for summer cookouts. If you already have the grill going, you might as well make the most it, right? While I love zucchini, I have a few friends who don’t, and I totally see why. When over-cooked, it  becomes soggy, watery and bland. For this Grilled Zucchini with Herb Yogurt, I cut the zucchini into thick planks and grill them just enough to get a nice char on both sides, while the center remains firm. I almost called these “Zucchini Steaks,” but I just couldn’t do it.

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My Herb Yogurt is a simplified version of Greek tzatziki with yogurt, fresh dill, red onion and lemon juice. It’s bright, tangy and creamy and is the perfect complement to charred zucchini hot off the grill. I like to drizzle the yogurt over the zucchini just before serving it, but you can also pass the bowl of yogurt around the table so everyone can help themselves. This is an excellent sauce to have in your back pocket- it transforms simple grilled chicken or salmon and is a great dip for veggies, too.

Happy Grilling this weekend! If you have any favorite summer vegetable recipes, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

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Grilled Zucchini with Herb Yogurt


Ingredients

  • 1 (7-oz) container thick-style Greek yogurt, such as Fage
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 pounds medium zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, dill, onions, lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir until smooth, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepare a charcoal grill with hot coals (or set a gas grill to medium-high heat.)

Trim the zucchini and slice them lengthwise into ½-inch thick planks. In a large bowl, toss the zucchini planks with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.

Grill for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until the zucchini is charred but still firm. Remove to a platter and drizzle with the herb yogurt. Serve the zucchini hot or warm with extra yogurt on the side.