Seasonal Bounty Summer Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Seasonal Bounty Summer Salad with Basil Vinaigrette 667 844 Spencer Hochman

Summer Arugula Salad with Toasted Farro, Strawberries, Roasted Summer Veggies, and Curried Almonds with Basil-Lime Vinaigrette

Summer Salad, Arugula, Corn, Carrots, Strawberries, Farro, Almonds, Basil Vinaigrette - Wine4FoodSummertime is all about grilled meats, enjoying adult beverages with friends, and figuring out other indulgent ways to sabotage the beach body you spent three months promising yourself you’d get. But chances are you’d like a break from the meats to eat a little bit lighter.  Why not treat yourself to a nice salad that highlights the best of summer’s bounty? After all…you’re going to need some vegetables to ward off those seemingly inevitable meat sweats.

Arugula and farro are a go-to salad base.  It’s so easy to start there and add in whatever seasonal components are striking your fancy at the moment. Including elements with different textures, cooking styles (grilled, roasted), and colors keep it interesting and full of variety. For this summer variety, we’re highlighting a few favorite warm-weather ingredients: strawberries, corn, and basil.  Roasted carrots add a nice earthy note to the dish, and the radishes and micro greens add great color and keep it feeling fresh. In this version, we’ve forgone a cheese component in the interest of maintaining the lightness of the dish. But if you simply can’t imagine a meal without cheese, add a quality feta in brine.  Splurge for the good stuff… it’s worth it!
Prep Time: 30 mins
Active time: 40 Min
Serves: 6-8 as an appetizer or side


1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 small shallot, small dice
1/2 cup Italian Pearled Farro
3 tablespoons white wine
1 cup water
2 teaspoon kosher salt

Salad components:
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 ear of Yellow Corn
6 medium carrots, mixed colors, peeled and sliced into 1/8 in rounds
3/4 cup ripe Strawberries, cut into quarters
4 ounces Raw Almonds
2 teaspoon Yellow Curry Powder
4 Red Radish, sliced thin on a mandolin.
3 ounces Baby Arugula
Salt and Pepper

Yields; 1 cup
3 Limes, zest one and juice all three into the same bowl (1/4 cup of juice)
1 tablespoon of Honey
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
3/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 leaves of basil, sliced thin (chiffonade)
Salt and Pepper


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  

To cook the farro, heat oil in a small saucepan on medium heat. Place chopped shallot in the pan and stir, making sure they do not take on any color. When they are slightly cooked, about three minutes, add the farro in. Continue to stir for two minutes, slightly toasting the farro. Add in white wine, let cook for thirty seconds. Then add the water and salt and bring the pot to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and stir often. Check the farro after twenty minutes. It should be cooked through but also still have some chewy texture. Once cooked, pour the farro onto a parchment lined sheet tray. Place in the fridge to cool.

While the farro is cooking, prepare the corn and the carrots. Preheat a cast iron pan or grill plate on medium-high heat. Season the carrots in a bowl with one tablespoon of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook for twenty minutes, until tender.

Rub the ear of corn with one tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt. Char the corn in the cast iron pan, cooking each side for one minute. Place on a plate to cool. Once cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off the cob into a bowl and set aside.

Remove the carrots from the oven. Then turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Spread almonds out onto a baking sheet and once the oven is ready, season the almonds with one tablespoon of olive oil, two teaspoons for curry powder and table salt to taste. Toast for eight minutes and allow to cool. Once cool, chop the almonds.

To make the salad dressing, place the first four ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir to combine. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while stirring with a whisk. Add in the sliced basil and season with salt and pepper.

Now it’s time to build the salad! In a mixing bowl, place the Arugula and farro along with most of the roasted carrots, charred corn, strawberries, radishes, and almonds, setting some of each aside for topping and presentation. Pour the dressing into the bowl and toss ingredients until fully incorporated. Transfer to a serving bowl, top the salad with the remaining ingredients then serve and enjoy!






Spencer Hochman is a Private Chef in Sonoma County, CA who recently moved to wine country after growing up and spending the formative years of his culinary career in various well-known kitchens in NYC. He developed his market drive Italian style during his four years at L’Artusi in the West Village. With a desire to be closer to what he feels is the gastronomic heartbeat of America, Spencer’s west coast move has allowed him to be an arm’s length from some of the best farmers, fishmongers, vintners, and artisan food purveyors in the world!

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