Subscribe to our newsletter
Bluebird Grain Farms Farro and Pastaworks Farro Salad recipe featured in Mix magazine.

Pastaworks Farro Salad recipe
From "Farro: An Old World Grain That's Delicious and Healthy", by Ashley Gartland, Jan/Feb, 2012

This salad offers the perfect balance of spicy, sweet, earthy and tart flavors. Make a big batch on the weekend and eat it for lunch all week long.

Makes 8 servings

For the dressing:
1 tablespoon harissa
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of granulated sugar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad:
3 cups cooked farro (see Farro cooking tips)
1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, roughly chopped
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
1/4 cup dried cherries
5 ounces feta, crumbled

To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the harissa, vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar. Drizzle in the oil while whisking to emulsify.

To make the salad: In a large bowl, combine the farro, kale, almonds, pumpkin seeds and dried cherries. Toss to combine. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Top with the crumbled feta and serve.

Pasta, Pasta, Pasta

Yes, Pastaworks makes its own fresh pastas, but sometimes recipes call for dried pasta and we are pleased to carry Italy's best.

What shape are you?

Fusili, Pennine, Orecchiette del Prete, Maccheroni al Torchio, Trofie, Penne Rigate, Orzo, Carareccia, Maccaroncello, Lumachine, Trenne, Cannolicchi, Gnocchette, Pasta al Ceppo, Chitarra, Spaghetti and...

Olive Oils

Years ago, when we first met Federico Giuntini from the wonderful Chianti Rufina estate Selvapiana, we commented that he used Selvapiana’s luscious olive oil like many americans used catsup: he poured it over everything he ate. We were re- minded of this when we read an issue of the Ecologist: “Olive oil has joined the ranks of tomato ketchup, mayonnaise and marmalade to become a national staple [even in the UK]. Demand has soared. Between 2000 and 2005, UK sales increased by 39 per cent...[and] 2006 became the first year in which the amount of money spent on olive oil exceeded that spent on vegetable, sunflower and all other types of cooking oils.”

This is all good, no? No. Yes, there are many documented positive health related aspects as a result of consuming olive oil, but increased demand for olive oil has also led to changes in how olive trees are cultivated and how olive oil is produced. Growing olives on an industrial scale, especially in parts of Spain (where Jaen and Cordoba provinces produce 40% of total world production), brings with it envi- ronmental hazards with long term effects.

According to the Ecologist article, soil erosion and desertification, chemical pollu- tion, water shortages and the loss of biodiversity have all adversely affected the olive growing regions of the European Union. Intensive tilling, inappropriate weed control and soil management programs have led to increasing run off pollution in the Mediterranean. Already depleted ground water supplies are further taxed by the expansion of irrigation. Mono-crop agriculture (in this case the expansion of olives and the consequent reduction of cereals, mixed cultivation and woodlands) results in the reduction in biodiversity and the total numbers of flora and fauna.

So, what’s a person to do? Is this just another polemic without solutions? Are we in the pay of the margarine conglomerate? Is ketchup the new olive oil? No, no and no! For the best quality, look for organic and artisan produced oils. Extra-virgin and cold pressed are the key words, but knowing where the oil comes from and who actually produces it are just as important as knowing where the rest of your food comes from (and who produces it). Labels can be confusing (sometimes on purpose), so feel free to ask the staff if you have any questions. And usually, we have an array of oils, with different flavors and price points, open to taste. From Spain, look for, Castillo de Canena, Olivar de la Luna, Unio and L’Estornell. From Italy, we like Trevi, Gianfranco Becchina, Capezzana and Pianogrillo.

Featured Items