Our Favorite Summer Farro Salad Recipe

Our Favorite Summer Farro Salad Recipe

Summer Farro Salad. (Recipe by Marco Canora, Food&Wine. Photo credit John Kernick.)
Summer Farro Salad. (Recipe by Marco Canora, Food&Wine. Photo credit John Kernick.)

Over the past few years, we’ve compiled a great list of recipes and trending food topics thanks to Peter Salerno and his love for not only creating kitchen designs, but creating in the kitchen as well!

One of our favorite recipes of the last 5 years is a simple-yet-exquisite summer salad that always leaves us full and refreshed.

This fantastic summer farro salad comes courtesy of Food & Wine (F&W) and their star chef Marco Canora.

Famous for his Tuscan-inspired dishes, Marco Canora’s experience has taken him from Gramercy Tavern in NYC to Cibreo in Florence, Italy, and back again. Canora now calls Hearth & Terroir Wine Bar in New York City home.

If you’ve never eaten farro, it’s all the rage lately in a variety of dishes. From salads to soups to meat dishes, farro is a versatile hulled wheat grain that is well-loved by savvy eaters as a great source of fiber and a “smart carbohydrate”.

This summer salad combines the hearty, nutty flavor of farro with the crunch of carrots, celery and onions and the freshness of cucumbers and tomatoes. We’re sure you’ll love it at your table as much as Peter Salerno and his family love it at theirs.

Recipe: Summer Farro Salad (courtesy Food&Wine, Marco Canora)

Ingredients

  1. 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 small yellow onion, quartered
  3. 1 small carrot, halved
  4. 1 celery rib, halved
  5. 12 ounces farro (1 3/4 cups)
  6. 5 cups water
  7. Kosher salt
  8. 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  9. Freshly ground pepper
  10. 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  11. 1 small seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  12. 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  13. 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Preparation

  1. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the yellow onion, carrot and celery, cover and cook over moderately low heat until barely softened, about 5 minutes. Add the farro and stir to coat with oil. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the farro is barely tender, about 10 minutes; season with salt. Cover and simmer until the farro is al dente, about 10 minutes longer. Drain the farro and discard the onion, carrot and celery. Let cool completely.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 1/3 cup of olive oil with the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the farro, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes and basil, season with salt and pepper and serve.

 

Quartz Countertops Are Trendy: Are They Better Than Granite?

Quartz Countertops Are Trendy: Are They a Smart Choice For Your Kitchen?

Sitting in a recent meeting with Peter Salerno of Peter Salerno Inc. (our parent company), we were intrigued by a comment Peter made about one of this year’s hottest kitchen design trends: quartz kitchen countertops.

“Quartz [as a kitchen countertop material] is definitely in, and a lot of clients ask me whether quartz is a better option than granite,” Peter remarked.

The debate has begun to take over kitchen design, both among kitchen design experts and across the Internet. Should people be choosing quartz countertops for their kitchen design or kitchen remodeling project, or are granite countertops still the smart selection?

Quartz or granite - what's your preference in countertops? (Peter Salerno Inc.)
Quartz or granite – what’s your preference in countertops? (Peter Salerno Inc.)

Well, as is usually the case, the answer’s not so cut-and-dry.

Here’s what you need to know about quartz countertops, and how they compare to granite surfaces for your kitchen.

1. Quartz countertops are not 100% quartz – but that’s not a bad thing.

Most quartz countertops are around 95% quartz, with the remaining portion of the countertop surface made of polymers, resins and bonding materials. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Granite counters are almost always a 100% stone surface, meaning that they must be sealed to avoid stains and food items from sinking into the natural pores of the granite.

Whereas some high-end granite countertops may state they require a granite-specific cleaner, quartz countertops are virtually all amenable to simple soap and water cleaning. Many experts recommend that granite countertops should be re-sealed once a year; by contrast, a quartz countertop requires no such maintenance.

2. Quartz is harder than granite.

Due to the porous nature of granite, it’s susceptible to staining (and spills are a bit more troubling). Quartz countertops are sealed with polymer resins, so the resulting surface is actually a harder material than granite. Quartz countertop owners don’t have to worry as much about chips, falling items, spills and stains as a result.

The other upside to quartz’s hardness is it serves as a natural detractor to cross-contamination.

 

Quartz or granite - what's your preference in countertops? (Peter Salerno Inc.)
Quartz or granite – what’s your preference in countertops? (Peter Salerno Inc.)
3. Quartz countertops are heavier.

This isn’t an installation job that you’ll be doing yourself. Only homeowners with direct counter installation experience should be handling any countertop installation jobs, to be clear. But the weight of composite quartz countertops requires a bit more care than the average granite counter installation process.

Make sure you consult with a professional kitchen designer and installation expert to ensure that your space is equipped to handle the extra load of a quartz counter.

4. Are quartz countertops really cheaper than granite?

Again, sorry for the vague answer, but the truth is it depends on the individual job specifications. While the most inexpensive quartz counters are generally cheaper than granite, quartz’s price range is wider than that of granite.

As a result, the most expensive quartz countertops can exceed the price of high-end granite by a noticeable margin. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into with your countertop purchase, and don’t assume that quartz is always cheaper than granite – it’s not.

5. It’s all about your personal preference.

Granite vs. quartz is a debate that comes down to your personal taste. If you love the idea of a 100% natural surface in your home and don’t mind a little extra maintenance (and TLC), then granite countertops may be for you. If you want a little more durability, price flexibility (and color flexibility), then you should look into quartz.

Either way, a quality custom kitchen design team will point you in the proper direction and outline all the specifics on price, installation, maintenance and care.

So what’s your take on granite vs. quartz countertops? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Dazzling Butler’s Pantry Design Photos | Peter Salerno Inc.

Dazzling Butler’s Pantry Design Photos | Peter Salerno Inc.

A few weeks ago, we brought you exclusive photos from a stunning new kitchen design from Peter Salerno Inc. A modern kitchen that delicately balances 2018 trends with classic design elements, Peter Salerno and his team created a masterpiece that ranks with the finest new kitchen designs of the year.

But the kitchen design doesn’t come alone! It’s accompanied by a dazzling butler’s pantry and augmented by hallway cabinetry that elevate a luxurious kitchen design into a complete transformation of a home.

Butler's pantry and cabinetry design from Peter Salerno Inc., 2018.
Butler’s pantry and cabinetry design from Peter Salerno Inc., 2018.
Much like our previous article about this design, we’re going to keep the words to a minimum and let the photos do the talking! A few things we do want to point out:
  • We love the unique backsplash tile in the butler’s pantry, a glass mosaic tile from Stratta, the Tile Boutique;
  • The white Miele coffee maker in the butler’s pantry, which flows so seamlessly with the cabinetry and appliances;
  • The simple yet elegant brown leather pulls on the hallway cabinet, from Richelieu.
Butler's pantry and cabinetry design from Peter Salerno Inc., 2018.
Butler’s pantry and cabinetry design from Peter Salerno Inc., 2018.
Here are some of the overarching design stats, specs and points of information about supplies and sub-contractors!
Butler’s Pantry:
– White Miele Coffee Maker
– Crystal Knobs from Hardware Resources and Pulls from Richelieu
– Backsplash, glass mosaic from Stratta
Hallway Cabinet:
– Benjamin Moore Color Match to Blue Danube
– Brown Leather Pulls from Richelieu
Butler's pantry and cabinetry design from Peter Salerno Inc., 2018.
Butler’s pantry and cabinetry design from Peter Salerno Inc., 2018.
Butler's pantry and cabinetry design from Peter Salerno Inc., 2018.
Butler’s pantry and cabinetry design from Peter Salerno Inc., 2018.

Reminder: For a look at the full kitchen design, along with beautiful photography and design specifications, click here!

Peter Salerno Inc. “Showstopper” Showroom Featured by KBB [PHOTOS]

Peter Salerno Inc. “Showstopper” Showroom Featured by KBB [PHOTOS]

Thank You to the KBB For the Awesome Feature Article!

Peter Salerno Inc. was honored as Most Innovative Small Showroom at the 2015 KBIS convention during their inaugural Innovative Showroom Awards. The people at the KBB (Kitchen and Bath Business, the geniuses behind the KBIS convention) were generous enough to follow up Peter Salerno’s Innovative Showroom award with a wonderful piece about Peter’s award-winning design showroom in Wyckoff, New Jersey.

The La Cornue kitchen in Peter Salerno Inc.'s NJ showroom. (Photo: {Peter Rymwid)
The La Cornue kitchen in Peter Salerno Inc.’s NJ showroom. (Photo: {Peter Rymwid)

The article, titled “Showstopper” (click the link to read it!), covers various aspects of Peter Salerno Inc.’s renowned kitchen and bath design showroom, and includes quotes directly from Peter Salerno as well as a linked photo gallery of exclusive Peter Salerno Inc. showroom photos.

KBB journalist Erinn Waldo, the author of “Showstopper”, provides a comprehensive and enjoyable review of Peter’s showroom. From the birth of Peter’s showroom (with the gifted Ellen Cheever), to the 2015 KBIS Most Innovative Small Showroom award, it is quite a journey through time and design!

The animated fiber-optic kitchen island in Peter Salerno Inc.'s showroom, which you have to see to believe! (Photo: Peter Rymwid)
The animated fiber-optic kitchen island in Peter Salerno Inc.’s showroom, which you have to see to believe! (Photo: Peter Rymwid)

Special thanks goes out to Erinn Waldo, a thorough and highly professional journalist, for her coverage in this article. And, as listed in Erinn’s original KBB article, the Peter Salerno Inc. showroom truly was (and is) a collaborative effort. Thank you to ALL listed below, as well as Peter’s outstanding clientele and staff!

Designer: Peter Salerno, Peter Salerno Inc.; Ellen Cheever, Ellen Cheever & Associates

Photography: Peter Rymwid Photography 


Antique Tin Hoods/Panels: Simply Amy LLC, Milford, N.J.


Appliances: La Cornue, Paris France; Oberg & Lindquist Corp, Wyckoff N.J.; Sub-Zero Wolf Inc.

Concrete Counters and Specialty Pieces: J & M Lifestyles LLC, Randolph, N.J.

Lighting Fixtures: Capital Lighting Inc., Paramus, N.J.


Reclaimed Wood Products: Southbend Building Products, Cornelius, N.C.

Stone Counters: Stone Surfaces Inc., East Rutherford, N.J. Tile Backsplashes and Flooring: Stratta Inc., Wyckoff, N.J.

Stunning New Kitchen Design Photos from Peter Salerno Inc.

Stunning New Kitchen Design Photos from Peter Salerno Inc.

Sometimes, a good article is all about the photos. In the case of this dazzling new kitchen design from Peter Salerno Inc., we don’t feel the need to talk too much.

Stunning new kitchen design photos from Peter Salerno Inc.
Stunning new kitchen design photos from Peter Salerno Inc.

It’s a modern kitchen that delicately balances 2018 trends with classic design elements to create a clean, sleek kitchen design that will be “in” for decades. From the fresh, trendy subway tile backsplash (courtesy of Stratta, the Tile Boutique) to the custom RangeCraft range hood, the statement wall of the kitchen lives up to its billing.

Small details separate this kitchen from others like it. The bamboo work in the island sink from The Galley creates an appealing, unique accent. Brian Greer’s recessed tin ceiling work is dazzling in effect yet subtle in its artistic touches. And with suppliers like Sub-Zero and Miele,  you can be sure the appliances in this kitchen design are world class.

In a future article, we’ll feature the hallway closet and gorgeous butler’s pantry that tie in with this kitchen design.

As you scroll through the remainder of these kitchen design photos from Peter Salerno Inc., take a look at the official kitchen specs – range hood, kitchen island, counters, appliances and more!

Stunning new kitchen design photos from Peter Salerno Inc.
Stunning new kitchen design photos from Peter Salerno Inc.
Stunning new kitchen design photos from Peter Salerno Inc.
Stunning new kitchen design photos from Peter Salerno Inc.
Kitchen Design Specifications (courtesy of Peter Salerno Inc.):
– RangeCraft Hood – Miami Style
– Richelieu Hardware on all cabinets – Polished Nickel
– Island sink – The Galley Sink in Bamboo – we love this sink; it comes with tons of pieces for entertaining and cooking! 
– Countertops in the kitchen are Quartz
– Tin over the island is from – Brian Greer Tin Ceilings
– All appliances are Sub-Zero & Miele
– Backsplash was all done by Stratta
Stunning new kitchen design photos from Peter Salerno Inc.
Stunning new kitchen design photos from Peter Salerno Inc. (Tin ceiling: Brian Greer)
Stunning new kitchen design photos from Peter Salerno Inc.
Stunning new kitchen design photos from Peter Salerno Inc. (Bamboo galley sink)

How to Afford Luxury Home Design: Part 2 [Personalization, Not Price]

How to Afford Luxury Home Design: Part 2 [Personalization, Not Price]

In this series, Design Your Lifestyle shows you how luxury home design in 2018 can be far more affordable than you think. The series began with Part 1, where we stated that ‘luxury’ is a far more flexible term than you might think – especially when it comes to custom kitchen design and custom bath design.

The key to luxury home design is simple, and it’s the exact opposite of what you’re told to believe: you shouldn’t want to keep up with your neighbors. True luxury home design in today’s marketplace isn’t about trying to ‘one-up’ others; rather, it’s about focusing on yourself.

New kitchen design installation photos from Peter Salerno Inc.
New kitchen design installation photos from Peter Salerno Inc.

Achieving true luxury in your kitchen design, bath design or whole home design is all about personalization – not price.

Personalized Luxury is the best kind. What good is a beautiful home design if it’s sterile? Imagine a spacious, glamorous home full of the hottest design trends, posh furniture, luxury appliances and state-of-the-art technology. That would be a great place to hang out for awhile, but would it be a great place to live?

A house can be virtually anything. But your HOME has to reflect you. A home provides comfort, security, sentimental touches and reflections of your family, friends and loved ones. And if it doesn’t compliment your own personality and sense of style, then is it truly “yours”?

One of the reasons we lean on our parent company, Peter Salerno Inc., for constant design advice is simple. Peter Salerno and his team spend an inordinate amount of time honing their crafts, attending conferences and design showcases, and partnering with the finest brands and sub-contractors in the world. But they spend even more time learning about their clients.

Peter Salerno Inc. 2017 new white kitchen design - stunning and trendy.
Peter Salerno Inc. 2017 new white kitchen design – stunning and trendy.

The application of personal touches and ‘personalized luxury’ even extends into Peter Salerno’s own home. Peter’s home kitchen is adorned with hand-painted floral arrangements on each of his custom cabinets – one to signify the birth month of each of his family members.

There are two ways to approach the concept of adding value to your home through hiring a world-class custom designer. One is, of course, financial – resale value is an important measurable to consider for the future. But in the here and now, the second concept of added home value is invaluable – and that’s the idea of personal value.

Peter Salerno's 2014 NKBA Best Kitchen. (Credit Peter Rymwid)

We’ll put it this way. Whatever your current design (or re-design, or renovation) budget may be, would you rather spend it on impersonal items that will only serve to add re-sale value? Or would you choose to invest some or all of that budget in making your home a place where you (and the world) can feel a true connection to who you are and what you love?

Quality home design firms today must take the time to learn about you as a client. Everyone wants beauty in his or her daily life, but the definition of beauty is unique to each individual. Ultimately, your custom kitchen designer, custom bath designer, or whole home designer must answer to one standard of beauty – yours.

The details make the design, and they also make it personal. Whether it’s reclaiming materials from your first home for use in your new home, or finding decor from your hometown, or simply utilizing your favorite colors, expert designers like Peter Salerno understand the difference between ‘a gorgeous house’ and ‘your perfect home’. And by utilizing that thought process, they can provide you with luxury home design that focuses on personalization, not price.

Want more information about this article, personalized luxury, or the designers mentioned? Fill out the contact form below or leave a comment!

How to Afford Luxury Home Design: Part 1

How to Afford Luxury Home Design: Part 1

“Luxury” and “affordable” are 2 words that seem like polar opposites. This is especially the case when it comes to high-end home design, specifically custom kitchen design and custom bath design.

The world of luxury home design seems like a far-off fantasy to most people. (The author of this article is definitely guilty of perusing Pinterest for high-end home design photos and letting out a wistful sigh or two.) Whether your taste is gorgeous French ovens and ranges, state-of-the-art bath fixtures, custom tile work or unique accessories, luxury home design – and its price tag – appears to be a bit out of reach.

But luxury home design style can be attainable – and affordable.

Peter Salerno Inc. kitchen design, 2017 design trends

World-renowned design firms like the award-winning Peter Salerno Inc. are committing to make design fantasies into realities for a more reasonable cost than ever before.

(Before we dive into the topic further, we should be clear – it takes a respected design firm with years of networking, experience and success to deliver this level of luxury at an achievable price. Without the proper connections and a finely-tuned approach, it’s hard to streamline the design and delivery process of such high-quality materials on a competitive budget.)

The finest custom kitchen and bath design companies in the world are trending towards “affordable luxury” – the idea that high-end design shouldn’t always be reserved for high-end budgets. For Peter Salerno Inc., that idea takes shape in the form of the revamped Transitions™ collection.

Peter Salerno Inc. award winning transitional bath design, 2015. [Photo: Peter Rymwid]

Peter Salerno Inc. is the most award-winning North American custom kitchen and bath design firm of the last 15 years, with awards from prestigious organizations like the NKBA, KBIS, Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Signature Kitchens & Baths. Their tagline, “It’s all about the extraordinary”, now applies to more budgets and households than ever before.

A quote from the official Peter Salerno Inc. website:

For those that appreciate quality, craftsmanship, and design but don’t require a Rolls Royce; Transitions is the only choice. We bring our award-winning design expertise to your space accompanied by quality cabinetry with a wide variety of door styles, finishes, and moldings.

At a price-point 20%-45% less than our Tesoro line, this is the perfect option for builders and homeowners looking to furnish a home with something extraordinary while staying in budget.

The thing we love about the concept of “affordable luxury” is that the term is flexible. As we’ve discussed in previous articles, today’s best design trends are all about personalization, and that includes the design budget. After all, the term “affordable” is relative to each client. For Peter Salerno Inc., “affordable luxury” is as simple (and refreshing) as always providing the highest quality work, craftsmanship, design, materials and delivery for the client’s budget.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be talking more about affordable luxury in custom home design, and the best ways for you and your professional design firm to create the luxurious home space of your dreams without breaking the bank. Stay tuned!