Farro with Sausage & Dried Plums

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This is one of those recipes that begin with one ingredient and then just come about by thinking what would be good with it, then what would work with two ingredients, with the third, the fourth and so on until you know it’s done.

So, I had about 1/2 cup of farro and decided to use it up. I had an open container of vegetable broth, too, so I decided to cook the farro in the broth for extra flavor. I used about 2 cups of broth for the 1/2 cup of farro even though I only needed 1 cup because I would simply drain the extra off and use to make some couscous for a salad.

Farro: Add 1/2 cup of farro to 1 cup of vegetable broth and bring to a boil, lowering to a simmer for 30 minutes or so. Strain (I used an extra cup and reserved it to cook some couscous because doubling up is smart cooking.)

Meanwhile, I cooked 4 breakfast links in a cast iron skillet on medium heat. When the sausage was half done, I added 1/2 can of chickpeas (rinsed and drained). I wanted to use cannellini beans but I didn’t have any. No matter, chickpeas worked great. I added some salt and pepper and added about 1 cup of chopped spinach and just a splash of water, covered with a lid and let the sausage, beans and spinach steam a bit.

Meanwhile, I sliced 5 dried plums into strips, added them to the mixture and put the lid back on for a minute. Stirred and mixed everything together.

I put the farro in the bottom of my bowl and then spooned the sausage, spinach, beans and dried plums mixture on top. I sprinkled a bit of feta over it and served. Makes a great one-dish single serving meal.

The flavors are so wonderful together. The pork sausage and the dried plums are perfect together. The feta and spinach were made for each other, the farro and beans add a great foundation for these flavors. Cooking the farro in broth gave it a rich flavor to begin crafting the dish. The spiciness of the sausage and the sweetness of the plums meant there was no need for anything other than salt and pepper.

 

Asparagus Breakfast Tostadas

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  • 4 breakfast sausage links
  • a dozen young asparagus spears
  • 1/4 yellow onions
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 corn tostadas

This delicious breakfast was easy to make and so tasty. Preheat the oven to 450°.

Clean the asparagus and slice the onion into thins strips. Sprinkle with olive oil and kosher salt. Roast in the oven until they begin to caramelize.

Meanwhile cook the sausage links in a pan on medium high heat. Use a fork to smash up the sausage into small bits. You can use ground sausage, too, but I didn’t have any.

In a small egg pan, cook two eggs, over easy (or however you prefer) and season with salt and pepper.

Put the tostadas on a plate, add the sausage, then the egg and the asparagus and onions on top. Before you eat, use a knife or fork to poke the yolk so it begins to seep out over the sausage, etc. Definitely poke the yolk before lifting up the tostada and taking a bit so it does not burst when you bite and send egg yolk all over your face. This is the voice of experience.

This was delicious. The tostada gave it a great crunch and added a foundational flavor that the sausage and eggs combined with for this wonderfully satisfying umami flavor. The onions and asparagus brought some brightness and freshness, a great flavor combination. This makes one giant breakfast for this hungry person who skipped supper last night.

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Caldo Verde and Roasted Edamame

Caldo Verde & Roasted Edamame

With company coming and just thirty minutes to whip something up, I decided to roast some edamame and make a fast and tasty soup. Portuguese Caldo Verde is a delicious soup that takes no time at all to prepare and even less now that I tried cooking the sausage with the soup instead of separately. The key is getting a nice spicy sausage that isn’t too fatty. The recipe calls for chorizo, but that puts a bit too much fat into it which is why it gets cook separately. I picked up a nice spicy Italian sausage from New Seasons and cooked it with the soup – and then I left out the olive oil that is normally used.

Rinse fresh soy beans (edamame), pat dry and place on a baking sheet. Turn oven to 450° F and let it heat up. Sprinkle with olive oil and kosher salt and bake until they begin to caramelize. Even though you don’t eat the shells, when you open them with your teeth, you will get their delicious flavor. If you serve with the soup, put them in the oven at the same time you put the potatoes in the soup.

On the stovetop, heat your soup kettle to medium and toss in 4 spicy sausages and let cook, while it’s cooking, dice up a yellow onion and three cloves of garlic. By the time they are diced, there will be enough fat from the sausage to cook them until they are nicely softened. Season lightly with salt and pepper. While they cook, peel and cut 6 medium potatoes and cut into chunks. Add 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Turn to simmer and let cook for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, clean 1 pound of kale and slice into thin ribbons. When the potatoes are tender, remove the sausage and mash the potatoes, then cut the sausage into 1 inch pieces and add back to the soup. Add the kale and let cook another 10 minutes or so. Salt and pepper to taste. I think you should season lightly throughout the cooking process, step by step, and not just at the end.

The soup will be just slightly spicy and creamy, with many layers of flavor. The edamame taste delicious when roasted, sort of nutty and savory.

The soup