I finally got my wish and the weather in Bristol is sizzling hot. Too hot for my Greek-born kitty, who having lived here now for almost 4 years is no longer used to relentless summer heat. It looks as though she has not managed to shed enough of her thick fur as this heatwave has caught her by complete surprise! Poor thing! I hate seeing her suffer so I’ve turned into an annoying helicopter cat mom walking after her with iced filled water bowls, which she sniffs at and walks off. Moments later I catch her drinking remnants of some smelly rainwater from a bucket I left in the garden. Aaaah cats!!
One thing this relentless heat does to me is to force me out of bed at the crazy (for me! I realise that many people get up at this time – I used to) time of 7 am in an effort to keep my newly established running routine going. It’s painful, I am not a morning person in the slightest and I don’t think I will keep this habit once it gets cool again (I tease Duncan that I’ve turned into an annoying morning person who does not understand why everybody isn’t getting up with the sunrise – he is NOT worried) but right now this is the only way I can run without getting a heatstroke. I love sleeping in and I don’t usually have any desire to be up at the crack of dawn but I’ve got to admit there is something nice about it too – the world is nice and quiet and after your run, you get to sit in the garden and hear nothing apart from chirping birds. It’s so nice!
Recipewise, all I am craving in this heat are salads, sorbets (I have one on the go right now) and cold coffees. This salad is surprisingly simple and contains few seasonal ingredients but it’s a joy to eat and thanks to chewy farro and some chickpeas, it’s substantial enough to keep you full for ages. I sometimes vary some of the ingredients by adding in a little fresh fennel or shredded young green cabbage but the core of this salad remains the same and we eat it for lunch all the time so I thought I would share. It has a satisfying mixture of flavours and textures and it’s fragrant with lemon and fresh basil (although mint works nicely too), which I’ve managed to grow from seed for the first time this year and which I am therefore putting into everything right now.
Farro is a lovely grain, traditionally eaten in the Middle East, that makes a great addition to salads. It’s nutty and chewy and doesn’t go soggy. I tend to cook a cup or two ahead of time and then simply use it to bulk up my salads throughout the week. It goes really well with grilled vegetables and it’s easy to cook too – you cook it like pasta, in plenty of water. If you cannot have wheat (farro is a wheat grain) simply swap it out for quinoa, red or wild rice. I hope you’ll enjoy this simple salad as much as we have.
PS: If you make my summer farro salad, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @lazycatkitchen and use the #lazycatkitchen hashtag. I love seeing your takes on my recipes!