Ricette: Summer Harvest Meal

In Recipes by Sarah


During the height of the growing season, there is nothing quite like a meal highlighting ingredients from your own garden, local farmers market, or favorite farm stand.

In the summer of 2023, we compiled four of our favorite simple summer dishes so you can enjoy them at your own table, either individually—offered as antipasti/primi (appetizers/first courses) or contorti (sides) to accompany the rest of your own menu—or serve all four together and you've got an entire beautiful summer harvest meal planned out for you. 

These dishes can be prepared ahead and served at room temperature, which makes them especially enticing for summer picnics, pot lucks, and heat waves! Buon appetito!

A white ceramic serving bowl filled with farro, chopped tomatoes, basil, and green olives. Garnished with fresh basil and set on a woven placemat and wood table.
SALAD Ingredients:

Serves 6

250 grams (1 1/3 cups) semi-pearled farro

Basil Pesto (recipe follows)

250 grams (about 1/2 pound) cherry tomatoes, halved (or quartered if large)  

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Green and/or black olives, pitted (optional)


Fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

SALAD Instructions:

Wash the farro well in a fine mesh strainer. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the farro and cook, stirring occasionally and skimming off any foam, for 30 minutes (or according to package instructions), until tender. Strain the farro and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the farro, pesto, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, and olives, if using. Stir until the farro is coated, and season with salt to taste. Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator to cool until ready to serve. Garnish with the fresh basil just before serving.

Tip: To help the farro cool more efficiently, spread out the cooked farro in an even layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet after straining.

Basil Pesto Ingredients:

4 large bunches basil

30 grams (1/4 cup) pine nuts

1 to 2 cloves garlic

6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


6 to 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Pesto Instructions:

Remove the stems from the basil and wash the leaves very well. Dry the basil carefully with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel (avoid crushing the leaves so that they don’t turn black). 

In a food processor, combine the basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan, and a pinch of salt and blend until the pine nuts are fairly ground and the mixture is almost smooth. With the motor running, add 6 tablespoons of the olive oil in a steady stream and continue to blend until very smooth. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of the olive oil if the pesto seems dry. Season with additional salt to taste.

Note: If not using the pesto right away or for any leftovers, transfer to an airtight container, cover with a layer of olive oil to prevent browning, and store in the refrigerator for a few days.