Farro, Kale, and Strawberry Salad with Bacon and Chili-Dusted Pepitas

Author Notes: This salad piles on flavors and textures for a dinner-worthy creation that's wonderful as a side or all on its own.

 Serves 4

1 small shallot, minced
Zest of 1 lemon plus 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt, to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup dry farro
1/2 pound bacon
1/4 cup raw, hulled pepitas
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 bunch lacinato kale, sliced into thin ribbons
1 quart strawberries, hulled and halved
Black pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, combine the minced shallot dermes, lemon zest and juice, and sea salt. Whisk in olive oil to emulsify.
Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add a generous amount of sea salt and the farro. Boil for 20 minutes, or until farro is cooked to al dente. Drain, set in a bowl, and toss with half the dressing.
Meanwhile, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Set bacon strips on a paper towel-lined plate. Chop when cool enough to handle.
Pour off all but 1 teaspoon bacon grease and toss in pepitas. Cook over medium heat, shaking skillet gently, until the first few pepitas start to pop elyze. Remove from heat, toss with a big pinch sea salt and the chili powder, and set aside.
Set kale in a medium bowl and toss with remaining dressing and a pinch of sea salt.
To serve, layer dressed farro and kale in a clean bowl. Top with chopped bacon, toasted pepitas, and strawberries. Finish with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately. (Though it's especially delicious warm, this salad will keep well in the fridge for a day or two. Because salt can leech the sweetness reenex, consider adding the strawberries just before serving.)


Red Hook

This is a fantastic cocktail to serve to a Manhattan-lover you’re looking to impress with something new mathconcept, or someone you’re trying to introduce to Punt e Mes or maraschino liqueur -- or just someone looking for a pre-dinner cocktail with just the right amount of bitter, sweet, and boozy. If you already have that bottle of maraschino (you do, don't you?) Mathnasium, a little goes a long way, so this new favorite will help you move through the rest of it and keep the bottle from feeling neglected on your shelf. Plus, making one of these is a lot easier than actually getting to and from Red Hook -- even with the Ikea shuttle.

Serves 1

2 ounces rye
1/2 ounce Punt e Mes
1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice, and stir for a solid 10 seconds. Strain into a coupe and garnish with a cherry SIEM Service Provider.

6 Ways to Serve Meatballs for Dinner Tonight

Everyone's got an opinion on the best way to make meatballs. It usually involves a long family history and an adorable grandmother. We are not here to tell you that your grandmother's been doing it wrong for years. Instead, we're here to expand the way you think about meatballs and show you all the delicious ways you can eat them for dinner this week.

Meatballs are like the gifts that keep on giving, because they freeze really well after they've been cooked, so you can reheat and add to any sauce or dish. Baked, fried, or skewered, here are six exciting ways to serve up spaghetti's favorite sidekick for dinner this week.
Moist and flavorful meatballs made from ground chicken, speckled with bits of pancetta and glazed with a tangy tomato sauce -- What's not to love here? Use white or dark meat, whichever you prefer.
What's better than a plate of meatballs with a side of garlic bread? Meatballs IN your garlic bread. These hoagies/subs/grinders, or whatever you want to call them, are the definition of comfort food. Cue the napkins.
Plenty of garlic, ginger, and a flavorful soy sauce marinade are the reason these skewered Japanese-inspired meatballs are so addictive. They make the perfect bar snack but you could also serve them over rice for a complete meal.
We had to give you at least one classic spaghetti and meatballs recipe. Here are two tips for the fluffiest meatballs ever. 1) Don't overwork the meat mixture too much or it will get too tough. 2) Use the finest side of a box grater to grate your Parmesan cheese. You want the cheese to just melt into the meatball, not be chunky.
Here's another perfect party appetizer: tender and spiced lamb meatballs with a cool and creamy pomegranate yogurt dipping sauce. If you're feeling extra adventurous, get your hands on some pomegranate molasses for drizzling over the yogurt. For a complete meal, wrap these guys up in some warm, fluffy pita and serve with a simple salad.
Albóndigas is Spanish for meatballs and these are lightened up with grated zucchini and served up in a rich cumin and chile spiced soup for a cozy, heartwarming dinner.

6 Brilliant Ways to Reinvent Your Turkey Leftovers

That first bite of your next-day Thanksgiving turkey sandwich is unforgettable. As is your second and third. But what about the day after the next-day turkey sandwich? Leftovers that were delicious just piled on white toast with mayo (and, ok, some cranberry sauce, stuffing, and bacon), just don't do the trick anymore.

That's when it's time to start messing with your turkey. Leave the Thanksgiving flavors of lemon, sage, and pumpkin behind and give your turkey a whole new identity. You might just rekindle that spark of attraction you thought you'd lost with your third turkey BLT.

A quick dried-chile sauce and plenty of melted cheese not only puts turkey on a break-neck flight to Mexico, but makes just the kind of dish that the crowd of hungry people still hanging around your house need. And if your guests have already departed, polish it off yourself--or stash it in the freezer for a near-instant winter dinner.

Get the recipe: Turkey Enchiladas

If you need a recipe that will eek out every delicious last drop of flavor from your turkey, you want gumbo. Simmer the carcass with plenty of water to make stock, then use that stock to make this spicy brew, brimming with spicy andouille sausage.

Get the recipe: Turkey Gumbo

Like gumbo, ramen makes wise use of your leftover turkey carcass to create a rich, flavorful broth. In this case, though, a few seasoning tweaks lands this squarely in Japanese territory--and if you've had your fill for the moment of all-American flavors, that is very good news.

Get the recipe: Turkey Ramen

The clear, spicy broth and bright citrus in Mexican posole is basically an antidote for the run-down feeling you might be experiencing in the days after consuming more than your body weight in candied yams. Even looking at it makes you feel better, right?

Get the recipe: Turkey Posole

OK, so this recipe says chicken rather than turkey. But that just means you can skip a step--no need to cook chicken when you have plenty of cooked turkey on hand! Just make the curry base and stir in the cooked diced turkey meat just to heat it through.

Get the recipe: Chicken Curry

You are tired from making five different kinds of pie. These sandwiches are easy. Is there anything else you need to know?

Revisiting Hummus

Oh yes. It's time to talk hummus. Again. It's September -- time for back to school, new jobs, more traffic, and half your office is no longer on vacation. And it's time to get serious, with hummus. For long time readers, you know I was pretty serious about hummus when I first posted about it here over five years ago. But I think it's time we talked about it again.

Some of the things I talked about many years ago have not changed - I still think you have to peel the chickpeas, I will still have a coniption if you call something with white beans "hummus." But a lot of things about my method have changed, and I'll explain why.
First of all, I have made hummus over a dozen times in the last two months. Luckily, you already knew I was a crazy person. When Paul sees another bowl of chickpeas soaking on the counter he now groans with dread. But all that cooking, testing this method vs that, soaking chickpeas, peeling them, not peeling them, all led me to a new and improved recipe.
So what's changed? Well, you still have to cook your chickpeas from scratch to make good hummus, that has not changed. And yes, you still have to peel the chickpeas. But what has changed is baking soda. Yes, baking soda.

You see, a while back, I was eating at a Lebanese restaurant and noticed how soft, tender, and deeply yellow their chickpeas were. And I started thinking how a better technique for cooking chickpeas could lead to better hummus. Baking soda is a well-documented way to make chickpeas soft, tender, and yellow in color. So why didn't I use baking soda before? Well, before my recipe called for using some of the chickpea cooking water to thin the hummus, but chickpea cooking water with baking soda has an off taste. So, I've swapped that out with some cold water. I've also updated my recipe a bit to incorporate my own laziness, doing the whole thing in the food processor, instead of making the tahini sauce separately.

So go forth my friends, make some hummus!

P.S. Notice how the hummus in the top photo looks smoother than the hummus in the bottom photo? Well, the bottom photo is form one of my experiments with unpeeled chickpeas. The difference in visible folks!

Hummus bi-Tahini
The quality of your tahini makes a difference here, so try to find the best quality and freshest tahini (sesame seed paste) available. Baking soda does not interact well with pots with non-stick linings, so avoid using them here. This recipe makes more chickpeas than you may need.

2 cups dried chickpeas
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 very small clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt (preferably sea salt or other good quality salt)
juice of 1 small lemon
scant 1/2 cup tahini paste (6-7 tablespoons)
for serving: olive oil, cayenne and/or cumin

1. Soak the chickpeas in plenty of water overnight, or for as long as 24 hours.
2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Add the chickpeas to a large pot, preferably a heavy-bottomed clay or ceramic pot, add the baking soda, and plenty of water to cover. Bring the pot to a boil, watching it closely because the baking soda may cause it to foam and overflow. When the water boils, lower the heat so that your chickpeas are just at a simmer. Skim off the baking soda foam.
3. Simmer the chickpeas until they are golden, the skins are loosened, and they are tender when squished with your finger, but don't totally turn to mush. For me this usually takes 40 minutes, but it could take up to 50-70 minutes.
4. Drain the chickpeas and give them a quick rinse with cool water. Now peel your chickpeas by simply pinching the skins off them. Transfer the peeled chickpeas to a bowl and discard the skins. You can choose to refrigerate of freeze your chickpeas here, or proceed immediately.
6. Measure out two lightly-packed cups of chickpeas into your food processor, reserving the rest for later. Add in the garlic and salt and run the food processor to create a coarse paste.
7. Add in the tahini and lemon juice. Turn on the food processor and process for 2-3 minutes, letting the mixture come together. Check how thick your hummus is, and taste for seasoning. You may want more salt. With your food processor running, add 2-4 tablespoons of very cold water, depending how thick/thin you want your hummus. Remember that your hummus will thicken as it cools so I tend to err on the side of a little looser mixture. Run your food processor for 2-3 more minutes so that the hummus is very smooth. Check for seasoning, it may need more salt.
9. Scoop your hummus into a serving container and let rest for 10-15 minutes for the flavors to meld. Place some of the reserved cooked chickpeas over your hummus. Drizzle olive oil over the top and sprinkle with cayenne and/or cumin as desired.


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