Category Archives: Italian

Baked Farro with Shrimp and Feta


Baked Farro with Shrimp and Feta

Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 121 kcal


  • 1/2 cup uncooked farro
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup tomato diced
  • 3/4 cup green onions sliced
  • 2 oz feta cheese crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp lemon rind grated
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp organic ground black peppercorns freshly ground
  • 3/4 lb large shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Grease baking pan with olive oil.
  3. Cook the farro according to package directions, drain.

  4. Place farro in a large bowl. Stir in 1 teaspoon oil and next 7 ingredients (1 teaspoon oil through pepper). Spread farro mixture in prepared pan.

  5. Combine shrimp and basil. Arrange shrimp mixture on faro mixture. Cover pan with foil and seal edges.
  6. Bake at 450° for 25 minutes or until the shrimp are done. Before serving, drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil.

Recipe Notes

Farro Salad!


Farro Salad!

Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4



  • 1 cup farrow


  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped fine
  • 1/2 medium red onion minced
  • 1 cucumber peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups baby arugula chopped
  • 1 cup sliced almonds


  • 1/2 Lemon juiced
  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp organic oregano dried
  • 1/2 tsp organic thyme dried
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp organic ground black pepper


  1. Rinse and drain farro.
  2. Bring farro and 3 cups of water to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and drain any excess water.
  3. While the farrow is cooking, combine all of the salad ingredients.
  4. Whisk together the Dressing ingredients.
  5. Toss the salad ingredients with the dressing.
  6. Once the farro has cooled, toss with the rest of the ingredients.

Tips for using Flavored Sea Salts

At the farmers’ markets last summer, we tested over 14 different flavored sea salts. We had sample tastings of everything from Habanero Sea Salt (a Texan favorite) to Ginger Beet Sea Salt (amazing color, but lacking in flavor at the time… this one is back in our test kitchen and we hope to re-introduce it next year). Based upon customer feedback, we narrowed our product offering to the following:

Black Truffle Sea Salt

Smoked Applewood Sea Salt

Lime Sea Salt

Rosemary Lavender Sea Salt

Garlic Sea Salt

Sel Gris (French grey sea salt)

Throughout the summer, loyal customers returned time and again to share how they had used the flavored sea salts. Below are a few of their tips. If you have any other recipe favorite, please let me know. We’d love to add them to our list.

Black Truffle Sea Salt was the hit of the Vail Farmers’ Market. We wish we had a video of the reactions… definitely YouTube material. Maybe next year we’ll become technically savvy enough to to take one. Sprinkle this Italian taste of heaven on:

– popcorn
– french fries (a la Lark Burger)
– hamburgers or steak
– pasta (especially good with Parmesan cheese)
– potatoes, eggs, mushrooms
– veggies (especially snow peas)
– soups, salads and stews…

We really haven’t found anything that doesn’t improve with just a little truffle salt. Be warned, a little goes a long way. The truffle is powerful, and too much is not a good thing. Get creative and enjoy.

Smoked Applewood Sea Salt has become the appetizer accompaniment in our house. Sprinkle a little on:

– blue cheese on a cracker, and serve with red wine (my favorite)
– a kobe beef hamburger
– steak
– eggs (almost as good as bacon)
– chicken, fish, lentils, pork, roast beef, potatoes, beans, tomatoes…
– rim your bloody mary glass!

Lime Sea Salt was very popular with the margarita crowd. Also good with fish, chicken, guacamole, and on fresh fruit.

Sel Gris is a favorite among our restaurant customers. Our chefs use it to finish dishes in their restaurants such as fish, scallops, chicken. This salt is high in minerals and moisture has a very clean taste. This is the salt of salts!

Garlic Sea Salt This is the best you will ever taste. Freshly ground for bold flavor, this is an excellent complement to Italian food – pizza especially. Also broccoli, popcorn, chicken, steak, potatoes, tomatoes, soups, stews, and of course bread!

Rosemary Lavender Sea Salt has fresh ground rosemary, lavender and French grey sea salt. It makes an excellent rub for chicken, pork, and steak. This was very popular with our vegetarian customers… think green beans, snow peas, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes…

These are just a few of our customers tips. There are no rules, get creative and sprinkle away!

Groomsmens’ cake

Last Memorial Day weekend, my sister-in-law, Mary Margaret, served a version of this cake, at the rehearsal dinner for my nephew and his bride to be.  It was fabulous … most people returned for seconds and thirds, even after a long night of eating and drinking. Whenever I eat this cake, I think of Mary Margaret’s mother , Josephine, a warm, charming matriarch of a large Italian family. When ever I came to visit, she opened her home and her heart. There was always room for one more at her large table, and she loved to gather with all her daughters (and their extended families) and celebrate life. She frequently made this cake for large family gatherings. This is an adaptation of her recipe. When you eat it, pause for a moment and remember someone special.

Groomsmens' cake

Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12


  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sherry
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


  1. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating in between.
  5. Add sour cream and sherry and mix till incorporated.
  6. Blend together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt).
  7. Add dry to wet and mix until just blended. (don't over mix)
  8. Mix in chocolate chips.
  9. Scoop batter into bundt pan and bake for 40-45 minutes.

More Garlic Bread!

Kids are notoriously finicky, and if you have friends with children coming for dinner, even mac & cheese isn’t a sure fire hit. You may have used penne when the kid only eats elbows, or ruined it for a cheddar cheese purist by adding Parmesan. But I’ve discovered that warm garlic bread is universally met with enthusiasm. The only possible error is not making enough. With your basic  spices on hand, it’s a fast and easy crowd-pleaser.

More Garlic Bread!

Course Side
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • big loaf of ciabatta or baguette if you prefer
  • butter
  • good quality olive oil
  • 2 tsp organic garlic powder
  • 2 tsp organic parsley dried
  • 2 cloves minced garlic optional; tastes delicious without as well


  1. Preheat oven to 350° .
  2. Slice bread horizontally, almost all the way through, and open flat.
  3. Microwave butter and olive oil in Pyrex cup or bowl until butter is melted.
  4. Brush butter/olive oil mixture on inside of loaf.
  5. Sprinkle parsley flakes and garlic powder.
  6. Warm in oven until slightly crusty and golden.
  7. Slice bread in vertical sections and place in basket.