Farro With Blistered Tomatoes and Pesto Is a Half-Hour Hero

Also on the table in 30 minutes (or less): grilled tofu tacos, jerk chicken meatballs and a very versatile ginger-dill salmon.

By Melissa Clark

One of the unsung heroes of my prodigious pantry is the pesto in the freezer (I consider my freezer to be part of the pantry). It might not be as chic as chili crisp or as multitask-y as mayo, yet it adds an herby, garlicky brightness to all kinds of meals and requires no extra work (unless you made the pesto yourself and froze it, in which case, yay past you!).

In her latest vegetarian weeknight wonder, Yasmin Fahr uses pesto to season a colorful mix of farro, blistered cherry tomatoes and spinach, along with some onions and mozzarella for complexity and creaminess. It’s both virtuous (all those grains and vegetables) and lush (melty mozzarella), and you can put it together in 40 minutes. Save the leftovers for lunch the next day.

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Farro With Blistered Tomatoes, Pesto and Spinach

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Speaking of meatless and speedy, Kay Chun’s spicy new recipe for grilled tofu tacos is inspired by the flavors of Baja fried fish tacos. She coats the tofu in a quick, garlicky marinade of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and then grills the slices until the edges are singed. A shredded cabbage topping adds crunch, while a green-speckled cilantro cream tames the heat. These cook up beautifully in a cast-iron skillet if grilling outside isn’t an option.

Feel more like fish than tofu? If you haven’t gotten around to making Ali Slagle’s buttery-fleshed, ginger-dill salmon yet, this could be the week to give it a go. With a cooking time of under 30 minutes, Ali’s recipe elicits the most intense flavor from just a few ingredients: fresh dill, ginger, grapefruit and orange. In this short video, she’ll show you just how effortlessly it all comes together.

Another mouthwatering new video features Millie Peartree whipping up her fabulous jerk chicken meatballs. Made with jerk seasoning and pineapple juice, they have a spicy-sweet glaze flavored with ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Serve them over rice or tuck them into a sandwich, maybe with a little shredded cabbage again for crunchy contrast.

Finally, here’s something sweet to sip. Gabriella Lewis, who brought us her memorable Brazilian limonada a few months ago, is back with a strawberry matcha latte. Striped green, white and red from layers of frothy matcha, milky foam and juicy bits of fresh strawberry, it’s a fun morning eye-opener or afternoon pick-me-up that is as pretty as it is refreshing.

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PS: I’ll be on vacation for the next two weeks, but I look forward to seeing you back here in July. In the meantime, you can spy on the meals I’ll be cooking on Instagram, where I’m @clarkbar. Bring on the tomatoes!

Melissa Clark has been a columnist for the Food section since 2007. She reports on food trends, creates recipes and appears in cooking videos linked to her column, A Good Appetite. She has also written dozens of cookbooks. @MelissaClark Facebook

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