I love a good caprese salad. People usually have it as an appetizer, but I love making it into a meal because I can never get enough of it. It’s easy to assemble and perfect to have on a hot day.
I hate turning on the oven in the summer. We’re a family that really can’t stand heat. Especially my oldest daughter. The moment we step into the balcony, she demands for the umbrella to be open for some sort of shade. When we went to Florida in the summer, Danny went outside with her to kick around a ball, and within 15 minutes she says, “Dada, it’s hot. Inside!” If she’s not near a body of water of some sort, there’s no point in her opinion.
Clearly, she’s a winter baby.
The summers can be brutal here since we don’t get much of a breeze or even a shower in the afternoon to “cool” things off. I say “cool”, because more often than not, the showers bring more humidity, which adds more indirect heat…it’s just a vicious sticky cycle.
Every time dinner is made in the oven, the house gets hotter by 3-4 degrees. The third floor easily an extra 5 degrees on top of that. I wish I was kidding.
So on days when the temperature is too much for our AC, we make salads! We get bored of the typical green leaf salads though and sometimes we’re left hungry two hours later (you know what I’m talking about!). I started looking into grains that could keep us full longer and are good for you, too.
I happened to find farro in Walmart (yes, of all places) and it wasn’t expensive at all. You can substitute with quinoa, barley, even orzo if grains aren’t your thing, but trust me you’ll be missing out!
This dish is great with grilled chicken or even grilled seafood! Keep leftovers in the fridge and it’s even better the next day.
- 1 1/2 cups of pearled farro
- 6 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped basil
- 1 cup of diced tomatoes
- 8 ounces of fresh diced mozzarella
- 4 green onions finely sliced
- 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of ground deli mustard
- Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the farro, stir once, and return to a low boil. Cook uncovered, over medium low heat for 30 minutes. Strain and rinse well with cold water, shaking the sieve well to remove all moisture.
- When dry, transfer the farro to a large bowl. Add the green onion, tomato, parsley, basil and mozzarella. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper until it's emulsified. Add to farro and toss well.
- Serve immediately or chill in the fridge.
I mean besides cooking the farro, the rest is just assembly.
And that’s my favorite kind of summer time meal!