Even though the official first day of summer is still a few weeks away, it definitely feels like summer here in Milan. The thermometer has been climbing all week, and we are sticky and cranky and fighting over who gets to sit in front of the fan.
Today in my car the thermometer read 42! (107+ fahrenheit) It wasn’t actually that hot outside, but sitting in the sun my car sure felt like an oven. I’ve actually seen at least a dozen Italians wearing shorts in the city-(very unusual in Milan) whoa- what is happening?!
I guess what I’m trying to say is- it is stinkin’ hot here and it’s not even the middle of June yet. And so this week I have officially switched over to cold dinners, or what we call the salad days- because with no air conditioning in the house, it’s just too hot to cook. I could seriously eat bruschetta for dinner every night, but sometimes we like to mix it up with some salads.
I fall back on my favorite grain, farro again and again. It is perfect for salad days! Cook a pot in the morning, while its still cool outside, and make a few meals out of it. My latest variation of the beloved Farro Salad has lemon, fresh herbs and long curls of parmigiano reggiano. If you can’t find Farro where you live, you can substitute wheat berries or spelt.
By the way, everything is better with lemon, basil and mint. Each bite feels like summer.
- 500 g farro, cooked and cooled
- ¼ c. good olive oil
- 1 lemon (juice + zest)
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1-2 c. chopped grape tomatoes
- 2 c. chopped fresh herbs (basil, mint, parsley)
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, (shaved into curls with a vegetable peeler)
- Sea salt + fresh cracked black pepper
- Zest + juice 1 lemon (save zest for later)
- Place lemon juice, shallots, a sprinkle of sea salt and olive oil in a large bowl. Whisk together.
- Add cooked farro and chopped tomato.
- Add fresh herbs, lemon zest + curls of parmigiano reggiano- toss lightly.
- Taste and add cracked black pepper, more sea salt, lemon juice or olive oil until it makes you happy.
I’ll be eating my bowl in front of the fan…