farro risotto + grilled lemon pepper chicken + grilled peach, endive, and watercress salad

5 Apr

Phew! What a dinner! Unfortunately, in my hurry to start cooking, I dropped my poor camera. It now says something about needing to change my battery. Uhh…no? I would like it to just work. Please!

So, no pictures for this meal. It’s too bad, because it was just wonderful. And it’s really not as intimidating as the post heading may suggest. I promise…especially if you’ve made the parsley risotto from the prior post. If you haven’t, well, then I can’t make the promise as emphatically.

While you’re making the farro risotto, which is pretty simple, you can work on the grilled peaches and the chicken. You can even wash and chop the veggies as well during the cooking, though it would probably do you well to do that before hand.

farro risotto
adapted from marthastewart.com

(feel free to halve this recipe, as I kind of wish I’d done)

2c farro (though I’m sure hard red winter wheat would work – it at least looks the same!)
1/2c white wine
5 1/2c chicken or vegetable stock
any hard cheese rinds if you have them lying around, but no biggie if not (but start stocking them up!)
parsley pesto or equivalent – very flexible

1. Bring to a boil 2c stock + the wine. Add the farro and the cheese rind if you have one. Stir regularly.

2. When the stock looks to be absorbed, add another 1/2c stock. Continue to do this in 1/2c stages until you’ve reached 5 1/2 cups, or just keep taste testing. I lost track and just stopped adding stock when the farro was the right tenderness.

3. When the farro is tender, turn off the heat, remove the cheese rind, and add the parsley pesto to taste. I used about half of what I’d made from the previous recipe. If you’re using store bought pesto, then just add to you’re liking. I’d guess it was about 1/4c – 1/3c.

grilled peach, endive, and watercress salad
also from marthastewart.com

2 peaches or nectarines
oil or butter for grilling
1 bunch watercress, thicker stems removed
2 heads endive, sliced 1/4 in. thick width-wise
juice of one lemon
1T honey
1/2T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat up a grill pan. Split the peaches in half and remove the pits. Brush the halves with oil or butter and put face down on the hot grill.

2. While the peaches are cooking, rinse the watercress. Remove the thicker parts of the stems and watch out for little snails! I may have eaten one during my dinner…

3. Chop the endive and don’t worry about separating the discs. They’ll loosen up with you serve the salad.

4. Flip the peaches when they have dark enough grill marks.

5. Assemble the dressing – lemon juice, honey, oil, salt, and pepper.

6. When the peaches have good grill marks on both sides, remove and slice up in wedges.

7. Put the greens in a big bowl with the peaches on top. You can put the dressing on individually if desired.

lemon pepper chicken

chicken breast
lemon zest from the lemon above
salt and pepper to taste

1. Rub the chicken on both sides with the spice mixture.

2. With the grill already preheated from the peaches, add a little more oil to the pan and plop the chicken on.

3. Depending on thickness, grill the chicken about 6-8 minutes on each side.

4. When done, slice up the chicken and put on top of the salad. You can also have it whole on the side.

Okay! It’s over!! Hopefully the components were easy to assemble all at the same time. That’s always a lovely thing when it works out. Also, I can’t stress enough the usage of a garbage bowl. Maybe I’m the last person on Earth to have discovered this life saver, but I’ll keep singing its praises until I die. It makes cooking so much cleaner and less stressful. Your counters stay neat and prep work is so much swifter. Anyway, I think this meal is pretty doable. Enjoy!

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