Celebrate Citrus with My Farro, Kale, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad!

Citrus fruits are at their peak right now — so what better time to find new and unique ways to use them. My all time favorite? Juicy, red grapefruits from Texas. I literally can not get enough of these when they are in season. I eat them like an orange and devour them in a matter of minutes. Rich in vitamins A and C, I love their sweet, tart flavor. Grapefruits from other parts of the country are also great right now – but after biting into my first Texas grapefruit when I lived there a few years ago, I’ve been a convert. So to celebrate my grapefruit obsession, I created this recipe featuring a variety of other citrus fruit and a couple of my other favorite super-foods (avocado, kale, and farro). I’m also rather obsessed with this citrus vinaigrette dressing. I like to make a big batch and keep in the fridge for 2-3 days and use to top salads or to marinade chicken or fish.  Try it out and let me know what you think!

Farro, Kale, Citrus and Avocado Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

farro salad

(serves 4-6)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups kale, cleaned well and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 blood orange, peeled and cut into wedges (a regular orange can be used if blood oranges are unavailable)
  • 1 grapefruit, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
  • 1 cup cooked farro
  • Citrus Vinaigrette (see recipe)

Instructions

  1. To cook farro, place ½ cup uncooked farro in about 2 cups of water (to add more flavor, you could use vegetable or chicken broth).
  2. Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain any excess water.
  3. Assemble dressing (see separate recipe). In a large bowl, pour half of the dressing onto the kale and toss/massage well to coat the kale.
  4. Toss the sliced oranges and grapefruit with the kale along with 2/3rd of the toasted hazelnuts, avocado and cooked farro. Make sure everything is combined.
  5. Garnish with the remaining hazelnuts and drizzle over additional dressing, if desired.

Basic Citrus Vinaigrette

(makes just enough for salad)

Ingredients

  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (from about ½ a lemon)
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Combine first 6 ingredients in a small jar or medium bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper. If using a jar, shake to blend. If medium bowl, whisk until combined.

Do Ahead: Vinaigrette can be made/stored for 1 week. Cover and chill. Shake before using.

Nutrition info (1/5 of recipe with dressing): 304 calories, 6.6g protein, 18.9g fat, 31.8g carbohydrate, 7.7g fiber, 9mg sodium

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A Yankee Moves to Austin, TX – What I’ve Learned so Far

Let’s start with the weather. It’s hot. What you’ve heard is true. Even laying at the pool can become, at times, unbearable. I foresee a summer filled with air conditioning and the pool. Even better, Barton Springs where the water is a refreshing 70 degrees. To some, that may seem way too cold but on a 90+ degree day, it’s the perfect way to cool down.

Wearing my boots with pride!

Austin is like no other city in Texas–or the country for that matter. Between the music, the food and all the different activities going on year-round, it has truly won the right to call itself weird. What other city dedicates a day to celebrate Eeyore’s birthday?

The food is a.m.a.z.i.n.g. From food trucks to hole in the wall BBQ joints, this city has something for every taste. I don’t think I could ever try it all but so far I’ve come to love (and frequent) the following places:

  • Kebabalicious – a food truck near my office. Serves the best falafel and pitas around. Don’t forget the spicy red sauce!
  • Uncle Billy’s Brew and Q – microbrews and bbq, what could be better? Make sure to try the moist brisket.
  • 24 Diner – chicken and waffles. E’nuf said.
  • Trudy’s – mexican martinis and enchiladas. You can’t go wrong with tex-mex in this town and the martini’s are just the thing after a long week at work or a hot day.

The running scene. So many running groups and so many active people–even in the heat. It’s motivated me to start running more and with a group (Gilbert’s Gazelles) in the hopes of improving my speed and strength in time for my next marathon – Rochester, NY in September.

People wear cowboy boots and say y’all and no one stares or laughs. Heck, I’ve even bought myself a pair and started using y’all in conversations.

Altogether, Austin has been like no place I’ve ever lived before. The transition has been an interesting one and I’m finally starting to feel like this is home. Until next time – see y’all later!