Sunday, May 22, 2011

Farro Salad with Sugar Snap Peas and Radishes

Should you find yourself in Napa Valley.  A must-see, off-the-beaten-path place is the Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufacturing Co.  It's an old house that at one time housed an olive mill.  It's a cool respite from the heat in the summer and an even-keeled 55 degrees or so in the cold, damp winters.  Inside you will find not only the least expensive locally made olive oil in Napa Valley, but you will find a plethora of imported Italian goods along with the very-kind, Italian speaking family running the place.

On my last trip in, besides the requisite oil-cured olives ($4.50 for almost a pound) and fennel pepperoni ($1) I found a bag of farro.  I had been reading recipes in magazines about it and saw Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos make a fabulous looking Shrimp, Farro and Cucumber salad.  So, always open to new grains, I thought I'd give it a shot even though it's not in my pantry normally.

(NOTE:  It's NOT gluten-free contrary to many opinions.  It's Emmer wheat which of course is still wheat and contains gluten.  However, since I do occasionally eat gluten, I was okay eating it.)

The directions I saw for the above salad were about as straightforward as pasta, however on the package (by the way, look carefully if you buy Farro directly imported, the English is there among all the small print.) it says to soak it for 12 hours. Not having that kind of soaking time, I struck the middle ground and soaked it for an hour or so then cooked it for about 20 minutes.  I also laid it out on shallow pans to cool so it would separate and not be gummy.

Farro is not on The List so unless you want to add it, feel free to make brown rice or quinoa and use in place of the farro.

CWYG Stats

Veggie Box and Personal Garden - Radishes, sugar snap peas, green garlic, English peas, mint

CWYG List Items - shallots, lemons, olive oil,

Farro Salad with Sugar Snap Peas and Radishes
1 cup farro, uncooked or 3 cups cooked brown rice
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 bunch radishes, cleaned, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 lb Sugar Snap Peas, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh English peas, optional just use a few more Sugar Snaps instead
1/4 cup thinly sliced green garlic or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
2 tbsp olive oil
fresh mint, optional (use parsley, basil, or oregano)
salt and black pepper to taste

Rinse farro well.  Soak it for an hour, drain and rinse.  Add to a pan with 2 cups of water and 2 tsp salt.  Bring to a low simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes but testing after 15.  You want the grains to be slightly chewy and definitely NOT mushy.

If you don't want to soak, simply cook longer.  It may take up to 45 minutes so just keep checking.

Mix with remaining ingredients. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with additional chopped mint.

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