Root Vegetable and Farro Salad

I’m not alone in thinking of New Year’s resolutions this time of year, but I am WAY behind and still actively curating my own. It contains the usual suspects: exercise more, eat mindfully, worry less, and breath. This morning I added two more that I think we should all consider: 1. Be kind to yourself and 2. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are (Teddy Roosevelt). I will be striving to accomplish both.

This salad (or side dish) is filling, fresh, healthy, and is a cinch to make. Serves 4-6.


1 celery root (they’re gnarly looking, but don’t be scared!)

1 large carrot

1 green apple

1 golden beet

1 lemon

½ cup farro

1 tsp. kosher salt

1.5 tbsp. of chopped mint

¼ cup EVOO

¼ cup toasted pine nuts

½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Zest the lemon (do this while it’s whole), halve it, and squeeze the juice.

Boil the farro in salted water (salty like the ocean) until tender but still slightly chewy. Just like you would cook pasta. Drain and set aside.

Peel the celery root, carrot, beet, and apple.


Cut the celery root in half Put half in the fridge for another use. Like cubing and roasting with EVOO and salt and pepper. 

Grate the apple first on the largest holes of your grater. Add a bit of the lemon juice to the grated apple so it doesn’t oxidize and turn brown.

Grate the celery root half, beet, and carrot using the same holes as the apple.


Place all three in a large mixing bowl with the apple.

Add the salt, EVOO, lemon zest, lemon juice, mint, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese. Mix well.









Brussels Sprouts and Apple Slaw Salad


It’s been a while. Glioblastoma has a knack for making one’s life no longer their own. Once it arrives on the scene, it takes up a whole lot of time and space. Unfortunately, Roger had a reoccurrence in May and another craniotomy/tumor excision May 31st. We’ve climbed many mountains together since then. Because I’m a throw a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, into the pan/bowl kind of cook, I’ve had neither the concentration nor the time to stop and measure everything out carefully and then write it down. But I’m back now and, gratefully, things seem to have settled down to a dull roar. I have a few recipes in the can and look forward to sharing them. If feels wicked good to be back in the saddle.                                                                                                                                                       Since moving to California, the arrival of fall has always made me nostalgic for cool, crisp days, and falling leaves. As I wrote this recipe, and the temperature outside was identical to the surface of the sun, never had I longed for it more. Sigh.
Because chilly weather and falling leaves were too tall an order, I decided to eat my fall day instead. This salad contains a crisp apple, falling leaves, and it is served chilled. Not the same, but it will have to do.
Serves two people as a side dish.

12 oz. Brussels Sprouts
1 honey crisp apple
1/3 cup hazelnuts
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
¼ tsp. Dijon mustard
3 tbsp. EVOO
1-pinch kosher salt
1/2 lemon
Quality/aged Parmesan cheese
Either heat your oven to 400-degrees or use your grill like I did by lighting only the two end burners. Put your baking sheet between the burners and close the lid.
Roast the hazelnuts until fragrant. Be careful not to burn. Chop the nuts into pieces once they’re cool.

Cut off the end of your sprout and peel the leaves. Put the leaves in a medium sized bowl.
Mix the cider vinegar, EVOO, Dijon mustard, and pinch of salt in a small bowl.
Add the dressing to the Brussels sprouts, toss, and let sit and soften.

Cut four sides of the apple off. Slice those quarters into thin strips. Cut the strips into matchsticks. Squeeze lemon over the apple sticks to keep them from browning.
Add the apples and nuts to the sprout leaves and toss.
Shave some parmesan cheese over the salad to taste. Enjoy.
Eat well!
“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking successive autumns.” – George Eliot

Shaved Asparagus and Fennel Salad


Asparagus spears are officially in season here in CA, but for a limited time only so get ‘em while they’re hot. Be sure and hit your local farmer’s market this weekend for the best selection and to support your favorite grower.

This recipe will serve 2-3 as a side.  

1 small fennel bulb, shaved thinly (I used a hand-held mandoline)

10 asparagus spears, cleaned and shaved (lay flat on a cutting board and use a vegetable peeler)

2 small oranges

¼ cup roasted walnut pieces

¼ cup quality EVOO

1/3 cup shaved quality, and aged, Parmesan cheese (use a vegetable peeler)

6 large basil leaves basil, julienned

Pinch of salt

Fresh ground pepper to taste



Add the shaved asparagus and fennel to a serving bowl. Add the EVOO and salt and toss. Let this sit while you take care of the orange.

Zest one of the oranges and add the zest to the bowl with the fennel and asparagus.

Cut off the ends of the oranges (the stem area and the nub at the bottom) and place them on a cutting board (makes them more stable). Use a paring knife and follow the shape of the oranges so you don’t lose the precious meat.

 Hold the oranges over the bowl and remove each segment with your knife. The juice from the oranges will drip down into the bowl. Toss the segments and juice with the shaved veggies. Let this sit for about 20-30 minutes until the asparagus wilts a bit.


Add the walnuts, Parmesan, and basil and toss again. Add fresh ground black pepper to taste and serve. Enjoy!

Eat well!


“Are you casting asparagus on my cooking?” – Curly Howard

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