Farro with Crispy Prosciutto, Toasted Walnuts and Feta


Farro is one of my favorite grains. It’s good for you, goes a long way and has a great texture. Crisping up prosciutto is also a great way to add texture and lots of flavor. The apricots, feta and walnuts balance out this ‘salad’ with sweet-salty-earthy flavors.

  • 2 cups pearled farro (dry)
  • 8 oz (1/2 lb) prosciutto
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup feta
  • 1/2 cup scallions
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • dash of nutmeg
  • glug of champagne vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a couple of handfuls of spinach
  1. pre-heat oven to 350º F and spread walnuts on a small baking tray and toast for 8 minutes
  2. cook farro according to instructions (2 cups farro, 4 cups salted water)
  3. in a skillet heat one tablespoon olive oil and lay prosciutto in one flat layer, cook for 15 minutes on low or until brown on the bottom then flip each piece and continue cooking until crispy, remove from pan and let cool
  4. move farro to a large bowl when finished cooking and season to taste with remaining tablespoon olive oil, champagne vinegar and nutmeg
  5. dice dried apricots into small pieces, slice green onions, tear prosciutto and break walnuts into smaller pieces and crumble feta into the farro bowl
  6. when you’re almost ready to serve, roughly chop or tear spinach and stir into the salad

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Chocolatey Date and Banana Breakfast Bowl


This one goes out to the late Beach City Burrito. Which closed a long time ago and has been many things since but still haunts my memory with its date shakes. When I was learning to surf as a youngin with my dad, the mention of a date shake was a sure fire way of getting me out there even in the worst conditions. They came in big styrofoam cups and were so creamy! What was their secret? We’ll never know. And I’m sure they were nowhere near healthy.

Well, life goes on so I guess I’ll just work on perfecting my rendition. This really wasn’t anything like ye old BCB date shake but it had dates and bananas and tasted really really good so.. there’s a connection.

  • 3 dates
  • 1 1/2 frozen bananas + a couple slices of a non-frozen one for garnish (optional)
  • 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • a few dashes cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seed butter (or your nut butter of choice)
  • a splash water
  • chia seeds/ flax seeds
  1. pit dates and cut one in quarters for garnish (optional)
  2. in a blender blend frozen bananas, yogurt, sunflower seed butter, cocoa powder and some cinnamon and some water
  3. add water as needed for your desired consistency
  4. pour into a bowl (or cup, whatever floats your boat) and top with more cinnamon, seeds, banana slices and the last date

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Farro with Goat Cheese, Arugula and Blistered Tomatoes


I love farro. My mom is pretty on top of food trends and caught on to this one early on..Not that I’d say it’s become a “craze” per se, but it’s definitely more common and popular since it first appeared on our dinner table. It’s nutty and chewy and called “the mother of all wheat” by some. According to bob’s red mill, it nourished the Roman legions and was even used as a form of currency. Trader Joe’s has a 10 minute version that is a life saver- or at least a huge time saver. Also it’s less than $2.

I used a beautiful aged goat cheese for this but you can use fresh goat cheese too.

{serves 1}

  • 2 handfuls arugula
  • 1 egg
  • 5 mini heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 spoon fulls capers
  • 2 tsps black pepper corns
  • 1 clove garlic
  • generous dollop dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup farro (uncooked)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 mini bell peppers
  • dollop goat cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • salt/pepper
  1. heat a medium sized sauce pan and add pine nuts, dry toast them, stirring them occasionally until they smell nutty and are golden brown
  2. meanwhile bring the chicken broth and pepper corns to a boil and cook the farro in it (according to directions)
  3. mince garlic and slice the bell peppers
  4. remove the pine nuts from the pan and add the olive oil
  5. cook the garlic for a minute then add the bell peppers, capers and whole tomatoes and cover
  6. let tomatoes blister then remove from heat
  7. poach or fry your egg
  8. fluff the farro then stir mustard into it and add arugula (you may (probably will) have leftover farro and veggies…depending on your appetite)
  9. serve the farro mixture into a bowl, top it with the tomato- bell pepper saute, chunks of goat cheese and the egg

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Penne with Tomato-Goat Cheese Sauce and Sauteed Spinach


This is a super simple, pretty healthy and wholly satisfying meal. Also very affordable. These were all just things I happened to pick up at Trader Joe’s the other day.

(serves 1)

  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • red chili flakes
  • 2 cups whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 generous handfuls of spinach
  1. heat olive oil in a medium sized pan over medium high heat add (minced) garlic and tomatoes and cover
  2. cook pasta according to instructions
  3. once tomatoes start to blister, pop them with a knife or fork and add goat cheese
  4. once goat cheese starts melting, mix it with the tomato juices and add rosemary (remove from stem), bring down heat and let simmer
  5. when pasta is finished, drain and quickly steam spinach in the pasta pot with a couple teaspoons of water
  6. remove spinach with tongs, shaking off excess liquid, and add it into the goat cheese sauce pan and take that off the heat, season with salt and pepper to taste
  7. pour sauce over pasta, sprinkle with chili flakes, pour yourself a glass of wine and dig in!

© 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Pickled Blueberry and Burrata Black Rice

IMG_3090When I saw the recipe for pickled blueberries I thought it sounded interesting and I wanted to try it. But never during the process of buying the ingredients and pickling the blueberries did I think about what I was going to do with such a strange flavor combination. They were very salty but still a little sweet and the rosemary gave them a nice earthiness but they were definitely not something you want to snack on by themselves. They sat in the fridge for a couple of days becoming saltier and saltier while I pondered what to do with them.  Food52 suggested pairing them with ice cream but I’m not much of a sweets person and I am most definitely a cheese person so my mind jumped to a mellow cheese like ricotta or mozzarella.

My mom had picked up this black forbidden rice at Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago and we were trying to figure out a recipe to try with that too. I decided to throw them together with some sweet golden raisins and caramelized shallots to balance the saltiness, pistachios for crunch and burrata to pull it all together. Burrata is the king of mellow cheeses in my opinion. If you don’t know what it is, you should go get some and read this.

  • 2 cups forbidden black rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup roasted pistachios
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1 pint pickled blueberries drained
  • 1 roasted shallot
  • 1/3 cup chopped pickled onions
  • 1 sack burrata
  1. cover a baking sheet with parchment and roast shallot in skin at 300° for 45 minutes or until skin is golden brown and it’s soft on the inside
  2. cook rice according to directions
  3. let rice cool and move to a large mixing bowl
  4. when shallot is finished, let cool and slice
  5. add raisins, blueberries, onions and the shallot to the bowl of rice and mix
  6. divide the burrata and dollop onto the rice when you’re ready to serve

© 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Pasta in Red Wine Mushroom-Tomato Sauce with Swiss Chard


There’s nothing like a hearty red sauce on a rainy day. When I was growing up my mom always used to make big batches of red sauce on rainy days (which weren’t often because I grew up in San Diego). I remember coming home to the smell of a full-bodied pasta sauce that had been simmering all day. It was like her version of baking cookies.

  • 1 can tomatoes (diced ideally)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 10 crimini mushrooms
  • 1 large shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 pats butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt/pepper
  • pasta (to serve four)
  • 1 bunch swiss chard
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (plus more for grating)
  • 1/4 cup saucisson (dried sausage) or prosciutto
  1. melt butter in large pot with olive oil over medium low heat
  2. mince garlic and slice shallot, add to the pot
  3.  slice mushrooms and add to the pot when shallots are browned
  4. add the wine and let simmer until mushrooms turn dark brown
  5. dice saucisson into small pieces and grate parmesan, add to the sauce
  6. add tomatoes, cover and let cook down, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes
  7. cook pasta according to directions
  8. in a medium sized pot steam swiss chard briefly, then drain and add to the sauce, grate parmesan and add to sauce then add pasta into the pot, serve with crusty bread and more parm and red wine

© 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Breakfast Hash

summer bulgur-heirloom tomato salad
Veteran’s Day was gloomy and kind of cold. My roommate and I both had a lot of studying to do so we decided we would hole up at home (not too out of the ordinary for us). I made this comforting breakfast hash to get the day off to a good start. It made the house smell nice all day and then I re-heated the leftovers for an easy dinner. Caramelized onions make anything 10 times better. Especially potatoes. The secret to making good caramelized onions, is keeping the heat low and letting them cook low and slow them for a long time.

  • 3 medium sized potatoes
  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 1 pat butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil plus 3 more
  • splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 white onions
  • 1o baby bell peppers (or capsicum)
  • a few sprigs each rosemary, thyme and or sage, whatever you have/can find
  • salt and pepper
    1. melt butter and olive oil over medium low heat in a non-stick skillet
    2. slice onions thinly and add to the skillet
    3. let caramelize, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, add a splash of balsamic vinegar
    4. seed and slice the capsicum and add to the skillet, caramelize for 5 more minutes then take off the heat
    5. pre-heat the oven to 400 F and line a large baking pan with tin foil or parchment paper
    6. dice potatoes and sweet potatoes as uniformly as possible

summer bulgur-heirloom tomato salad

    1. in a large bowl mix potatoes and sweet potatoes with herbs, 3 tbsp olive oil and generous amounts of salt and pepper
    2. spread out the mixture in the pan and bake for 20 minutes stirring occasionally
    3. remove and add caramelized onion mixture, continue baking for 25 more minutes or until potatoes reach the consistency you’re after. serve with eggs, toast, cottage cheese or pretty much anything. Parsley Chimichurri (pictured) is a great addition!

© 2014 – 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

(Mostly) Vegetarian Fall Stew

summer bulgur-heirloom tomato saladThere’s nothing like warm soup during these cold months and there is so much good seasonal produce to use. Another plus of slow-cooking a soup like this, is it makes your house smell really nice and cozy.

  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 2 small yellow onions
  • 1 large fuji apple
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 celery
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • salt n pepper
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 sprig each sage and thyme
  • 1 pat butter
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can canellini beans
  • 5 small carrots
  • 1 bunch kale
  1. slice onions and mince garlic
  2. add butter to large pot, add onions, garlic, spices and herbs to pot
  3. let cook at medium low heat until onions start turning opaque
  4. peel carrots and sweet potato, then slice them along with the celery and apple, into smaller-than-bite-size pieces
  5. add these fruits and veggies to the pot and add the chicken broth and water
  6. drain canellini beans and add them to the pot
  7. cover and let cook on medium low heat for 5 hours, the longer it cooks the more flavorful it will be
  8. clean and slice kale away from the stem and add to the pot
  9. continue cooking until kale begins to wilt, serve with hearty bread, with some garlic and melted cheese perhaps

© 2014 – 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

The Cheesiest Mac n Cheese

This is arguably one of the most decadent dishes I’ve ever made but sometimes baked mac n cheese just hits the spot and we happened to have 10 kinds of cheese in the fridge so I thought what the heck, might as well just throw them all in. You can never have enough cheese.

  • 1 pack of pasta to feed 8 (preferably something with some texture to capture the creamy sauce)
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth plus 2 tbsp
  • 1 leek
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp brie
  • 2 tbsp bleu cheese
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated asiago
  1. cook cauliflower in pot of boiling water until tender
  2. cut cauliflower into bite size pieces and blend in a food processor or in a pot with an immersion blender
  3. mince garlic; slice leek thinly, removing rough outer layers
  4. heat olive oil and add garlic and leek, add the 2 tbsp chicken broth and tomatoes, cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until fragrant
  5. place cauliflower in pot over medium-high heat and add butter and brie, stirring occasionally until butter and brie are melted
  6. while this is working it’s magic, boil water and cook the pasta in another pot
  7. pre-heat oven to 350°F
  8. add chicken broth, milk and heavy cream, mustard and chili flakes to the cheesy cauliflower sauce
  9. crumble the bleu cheese and goat cheese into the mix
  10. once pasta is done, drain and return to the pasta cooking pot, drizzle with olive oil and pour cheese sauce over it
  11. mix well, then spread into an oven-proof pan and bake until starting to brown, about 10 minutes
  12. sprinkle asiago on top and put it under the broiler for 3 more minutes until asiago is completely melted
  13. serve warm…also good cold as leftovers. if you wanna get really crazy, slice a piece off the next day, put more cheese on it and put it back in its’ rightful place under the broiler.

© 2014 – 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.


      • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
      • 2 tbsp brown sugar
      • 1 tsp baking soda
      • 2 tsp baking powder
      • 1 cup cornmeal or polenta
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 6 oz buttermilk or whey water (if you happen to have some leftover from cheese-making)
      • 8 oz (1/2 pint) cottage cheese
      • 2 lg eggs
      • 2 tbsp nutmeg
      1. pre-heat over to 350°F
      2. mix dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl
      3. add buttermilk, cottage cheese and eggs and mix well
      4. pour into a lined baking pan and bake for 40 minutes or until golden and toothpick comes out clean


© 2014 – 2015, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

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