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Farro with Tomato & Onion

Sarah West

This delightfully easy one-pot recipe is highly adaptable: use any tomato you like and any onion. Try shallots instead, extra garlic, a different herb. Add chevre or feta crumbles to serve, or Italian sausage, or grilled zucchini or fennel (or all of the above). It's charming enough to make you want to eat it again and again, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to find your favorite permutation.

The least flexible part of this recipe is the type of farro you use; it is designed for semi-pearled (30 minute cooking time) or pearled (15 or fewer minutes cooking time) farro, both of which can soften before the tomatoes are completely obliterated. If you use unpearled farro (1 hour+ cooking time), expect something akin to a red-sauce farro-risotto, delicious in its own right.

Serves 2 as a main dish


2 cups water (or chicken broth)
1 cup farro
1/2 large onion, cut in half (lengthwise) again and sliced thinly
2 garlic cloves, minced or thinly sliced
1 pint of red cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in halves or quarters (if you use slicing tomatoes: remove skins, then cut into chunks, about 1 1/2 cups total)
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
5-10 basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
Grated parmesan cheese for serving 

1. If using semi-pearled, place water and farro in a pan to pre-soak for 10 minutes. Put water, farro, onion, tomatoes, salt, pepper flakes, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a medium saucepan and bring, uncovered, to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking, until the farro is tender and the liquid reduced to a sauce. 

2. Plate and sprinkle with parmesan cheese, basil, and fresh pepper, or anything else you can dream up. 

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Cherry Clafouti

Sarah West

Need a break from crisps? Haven't yet mastered the art of pie dough? Want something new (and French) in your summer dessert lineup? This ridiculously easy French classic is the one. Something like a custardy Dutch baby - or a crepe morphing into thick, cherry-studded pudding - clafouti showcases summer fruit with all the class of its home cuisine and none of the fuss.

You can put any fruit into a clafouti. Something about the stone fruits' syrupy acidity complements rich clafouti batter, and the lack of small, hard seeds (as raspberries and blackberries would add) heightens the sensation that you are dining on fruit-flavored silk. I like the cherry version best, but for variety I sometimes sub plums, pluots, or apricots for half of the cherries.

Clafouti is the reason I freeze cherries; pitted, you can pop them right into a freezer bag and forget about them until winter. To use, defrost on the counter in a colander placed over a bowl to separate the fruit from their juice (and be sure to use that juice for something else!). If using frozen cherries, up the quantity to 3 cups when measured frozen.

Serves 4

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 cups pitted sweet cherries
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
3 large farm-fresh eggs
1/4 cup yogurt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated orange zest (or 1/2 teaspoon orange extract)
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pie pan

1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees F. Butter a 10-inch glass or ceramic pie pan and sprinkle it with 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Arrange the cherries in a single layer in the bottom of the pan.

2. Sift the flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and the salt into a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, vanilla, and orange zest until very smooth, then whisk in the milk. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and whisk to combine. Pour over the cherries, dot the top with the 1 tablespoon butter, and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

3. Bake until golden brown, 40-45 minutes. Cool 10-20 minutes and serve with gently whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Adapted from Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff

Tomato and Sweet Pepper Salad

Sarah West


4 sweet peppers
6 ripe tomatoes, Cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons paprika


  1. Halve the peppers lengthwise. Remove the seeds and ribs and place flat on a baking sheet, skin-side up. Broil peppers until skins are charred. Place charred peppers in a plastic bag, seal tightly and steam for about 15 minutes. Slip off and discard the skins. Cut the peppers into 1 inch squares.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy skillet. Add the peppers, tomatoes, and garlic plus a little salt and pepper. Simmer over a low flame, stirring occasionally until the liquid begins to evaporate. Cook until the liquid has a thicker, saucelike consistency. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add remaining tablespoon of olive oil, toss and serve.