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Small Reminders: Farro and Cherry Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

I mentioned in my Sicily Guide that we came home with a small loot of tasty treats. What I didn’t mention was that this loot actually included a package of crushed Bronte pistachios, which the region is famous for. They are small reminders of those blissful two weeks during which we tapped out of our routine. Since we’ve been back, I’ve been hungrily devouring all of the amazing fresh produce we have access to here in the Bay Area. I’ve been eating slices of tomatoes with salt like no tomorrow (though I’ll soon start topping them with burrata, thanks Sara!). I recently turned 6 pounds of apricots from my parents’ tree into jam. And I’ve been quite enjoying making blistery pardon peppers as a dinner side.

Some of what I know people love best about summer — al fresco dining, beach days, running through the sprinklers, and grilling out — isn’t really part of my summer. We don’t have a yard, and even if we did, our evenings tend to get a bit too nippy to enjoy the experience. The beach, though only about 40 blocks from my house, rarely offers the perfect beach weather. But, that’s ok. I find small reminders of the things I love best about San Francisco everywhere I look.

There is my weekly farmer’s market. It spoils me every summer with its abundance of jeweled treats and is located only a block away from my house. Every week, I come home with bags of the freshest produce that is grown only a few miles from my home. Now, I even buy eggs, fish, and meat there! There is my reclaimed dining room table, that Matt and I eat virtually every meal at together, rain or shine. There is the park, which I can take long walks in and which feels particularly magical on a foggy day. There is a photo from a lighthouse in Point Reyes, which reminds me that escaping the city is something I can easily do. There are so many incredible places to visit in Northern California. There is the ribbon from my wedding bouquet which sits, casually, on a bookshelf, and reminds me of the life I’m building with Matt, in our apartment in San Francisco. And there is my front door, which is the heaviest door in this world (friends will attest to this!). It is the door to an apartment I have lived in for nearly 8 years and yet, I’m finally starting to settle into and appreciate for everything it is and offers me.

This salad is everything I’m thankful for: the fleeting season of cherries, wholesome, nutty grains, small reminders of my vacation, and summer herbs and greens.

Farro and Cherry Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette
*serves two

2 cups of cooked farro
10-12 cherries, pitted and sliced in half
6 basil leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of champagne vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon of roughly chopped pistachios
1/2 cup of packed baby spinach

1. Whisk together the olive oil and champagne vinegar.
2. Combine the farro, spinach, basil, and cherries in a large bowl. Drizzle in about 1/3 of the dressing and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Add more dressing, to taste.
3. Transfer salad to a serving dish and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.

Musical Pairings: Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel… + Farro and Cherry Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

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Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • I love this Kasey! Partly because I can easily relate (we have no outdoor space, no beach and also have a very heavy front door) but also because I’ve been listening to The Idler Wheel constantly for the last couple of weeks and am utterly obsessed by it. I love the pairing – the bold flavours of the salad with the unexpected delicacy of the vinaigrette – and it really does sum up Fiona Apple’s music to me.

  • I know exactly what you mean about the small reminders of how awesome SF is. i can’t seem to run out of things to do or places to go, both here and immediately outside of the city. and it’s funny – we’re roughly 40 blocks or so from the beach too, but you’d never know it!

    the salad looks great – i’m planning on grabbing some cherries from the mkt this weekend for a cake, so maybe i’ll toss some into a summer salad too!

  • Eileen @ Ham Pie Sandwiches

    Norcal summer–yes! We do get a little more heat in Silicon Valley, but not much. And the summer farmer’s market is obviously the highlight of the year. 🙂 Grains, greens, herbs, and cherries sound perfect together!

  • Hannah Simon

    What a lovely post. I’m grateful to have a friend as insightful and warm as you.

  • I’ve been thinking that it’s easy to let summer pass you by without truly enjoying it, especially if you’re not able to get to a sunny beach or take time off work. Today on the blog I wrote about savoring the simple pleasures of summer, and your post is a great reminder of this. I’m a big fan of grain salads, and look forward to trying your farro and cherry version.

  • Love that we can live so far apart and yet have such a similar experience. I think it’s easy to think the grass is always greener, but sometimes I think, we’re just not paying attention. Matt’s been playing a lot of this album lately and it always just feels right.

  • It’s pretty amazing! Sounds like we might be neighbors! Cherry season is brief, I find myself trying to use them in anything and everything. Bonus of making this salad: munching on cherries while you prep.

  • Ahh, yes. My parents live down in the South Bay, so it’s always a shock to them when they show up at my front door wearing shorts. I do miss the weather down south but, I’ve learned to love my SF summer. Have you ever hit up the Mountain View farmer’s market? I think it’s the best in bay!

  • Thank you dear friend! I can say the same thing about you! xo

  • You make such a good point, Jess. After college, I think we all tend to forget what summer is even about. My main reminder is that it’s not actually dark when I get home from work, and my days feel so much longer. But, the whole, lingering, doing nothing…not so much anymore. Gotta find the small reminders 🙂 x

  • Sarah Kenney

    Cherry and faro salad. This looks delicious and a bit of a deviation from our constant spinach salads. I love San Fransisco and its brisk cool weather. If I visit soon, I’d love to go to their farmer’s market there. Thank you for the beautiful salad combination.

  • Laura

    Ah, I love this. It’s wonderful to build up and make your life in the everyday and then to come to that amazing point of realization that everything is amazing when you truly feel at home. So many reminders lurking around when you take the time to look. Pretty salad, lovely post, Kasey xo

  • Thanks, Sarah! There are lots of farmer’s markets to explore when you come up 🙂

  • Thank you, lovely! It’s nice to finally get to a place when you can appreciate the here and now. xo

  • sarah kieffer

    Yum. This looks like a perfect salad.
    And I feel the halfway point in summer – I’ve been eating every peach, every berry I can.

  • Can I just tell you that now I want to write a blog post titled ‘the halfway point of summer.’ Brilliantly put, Sarah. I am in the same boat! xo

  • This is totally my kind of salad, Kasey! Looks phenomenal.

  • What a beautiful post, Kasey — I’ve never had those Bronte pistachios but will definitely be on the hunt for them!

  • WithStyleGrace

    absolutely beautiful, Kasey.

  • So delicious and I absolutely LOVE these shots!

  • This was okay. It’s certainly fast. You get a pop of sweetness when you bite down on a cherry. For one person, it makes a large amount. I didn’t have any champagne vinegar, so I subbed rice wine vinegar.

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