Yes... it's another farro "dish". That's what happens when I go out and buy farro in bulk. And having no idea what dinner was going to be the other night, it eventually ended up as a Farro + Salmon + Asparagus Salad, since that is what I had in my pantry and fridge.
This is a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants recipe. Make changes or additions as you see fit. I gently boiled the asparagus, and I'm not sure quite why I did that... It's my least favorite way to make and eat asparagus. I won't do it again. My favorite asparagus preparation is either roasted with olive oil in a 375˚- 400˚F oven, or sautéed in an olive oil-butter mix. So much more flavor than steamed or boiled.
RECIPE: 1. Measure 1 cup of farro (see NOTE below) and place into a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly with cool water for about 1 minute. Drain. Place a two quart saucepan over low heat and add the farro. Toast the farro, stirring, for about 3 minutes. This adds wonderful flavor to the grain. Add 3 cups of cold water plus a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until farro becomes tender. Turn off heat and allow farro to rest for 5 minutes. Turn the farro into a mesh strainer and drain off any remaining water. 2. While the farro is cooking squeeze the juice from half a fresh lemon into a small dish. Whisk in some good extra virgin olive oil (the same amount as the lemon juice or slightly more... your preference) and kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Combine with the drained farro in a large bowl. 3. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Place 2 5-ounce pieces of salmon in a baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Chop some fresh dill and generously scatter over the salmon pieces. Lightly drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, then place the baking dish on the middle rack of the oven. Roast the salmon until it flakes easily with a fork. Remove from oven. 4. Slice the tough ends from a bunch of asparagus and rinse the stems under cold water. Cut the stems into pieces about 2-inches in length. Either roast or pan fry the asparagus (see second paragraph on preparing asparagus). Sprinkle with kosher salt. 5. Remove the roasted salmon from its skin and break into chunks. Add the salmon to the farro along with the cooked asparagus pieces. Gently fold into the farro. Adjust seasoning. Using a block of Parmigiano-Reggiano, take a vegetable peeler and slice large chards of the Parmesan. Sprinkle chards generously over the top of the salad. Top the salad with toasted sliced almonds or pine nuts.
NOTE: Farro is an ancient grain. Look for the semipearled variety of farro for this recipe. It has had some of the bran removed for quicker cooking. The whole grain variety will need overnight soaking before you can proceed.
TAKE a LOOK:
It's been a glorious summer so far. There have been few days when it is so hot, I question whether I should be in my kitchen baking. That's not the case at all this year. I've been able to bake like crazy. The dew point, much of the time, would even allow meringues! My kitchen has produced many sweet and savory tarts, and one of my favorite has been this Pea and Salmon Tart that made use of freshly picked peas from my garden. For me, there is just nothing better than walking out back and picking dinner.
We have been eating every evening meal alfresco. Until a couple of nights ago, we weren't even bothered by Minnesota mosquitoes. Ideal conditions!
Fresh dill from my herb garden, above. Hydrangea, below, also from my backyard gardens.
This is the first time in many years that we have been home in Saint Paul over the 4th of July holiday. As my husband knows, I really dislike going anywhere during the summer months. I wait all winter... long Minnesota winters... for my kitchen garden. And to leave just when the haricot verts are ready to pick turns me into quite the curmudgeon.
• 1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
• 4 tablespoons ice water
• extra flour for rolling pastry
• 1/2 cup fresh garden peas
• 1 poached, baked, or grilled wild salmon fillet, skin removed, and cut into pieces
• grated zest of 1 lemon
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
• 4 large eggs
• 1 cup fresh ricotta
• 1/4 cup heavy cream
• 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Pulse 1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour and salt in a food processor. Add butter; pulse until pea-size lumps form. Drizzle 3 tablespoons ice water over the mixture. Pulse until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by drips if dry. Gather dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic; chill 2 hours or overnight.
2. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a round or square tart pan (I used a 10-inch-by-10-inch pan); gently press onto bottom and up sides of the tart pan. Wrap in plastic and freeze while preheating oven to 400˚F.
3. Line dough with foil; fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 17 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Return to oven and bake until crust is golden. Remove crust and reduce oven temperature to 375˚F.
4. In a medium bowl, gently mix together the peas, salmon, lemon zest, dill and shallot. Transfer the mixture to the tart crust and distribute evenly over the crust. In another bowl, whisk the eggs to break up. Add the fresh ricotta, heavy cream, Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste; whisk to combine. Pour evenly over the peas and salmon.
5. Place the tart on the middle rack of the oven and bake until set, about 25 minutes. Serve warm.
TAKE a LOOK:
I finally got around to making this colorful dish of Salmon with Rhubarb and Red Cabbage. I have had this recipe squirreled away for years, always running across it when rhubarb season was over and all of my red cabbage had been used up or given to friends. But this time my (rather unorganized) recipe files (found on all three levels of my house) didn't get the better of me. I ran across the recipe at the most opportune time -- when I was again wondering what I should do with all of my rhubarb. Of course, it is far too early to be eating red cabbage from my garden; the plants only went in two weeks ago. But this dish will certainly be on my menu again this summer.
I made some slight changes to the original recipe. Instead of roasting the salmon in the oven, it was grilled outdoors on a cedar plank. And assorted garden lettuces were tucked under the tender red cabbage that was simmered in a syrup of orange and spices. I can also see this rhubarb and cabbage served with an herb encrusted pork tenderloin, seared and finished in the oven. So many possibilities.
+ Grilled Salmon with Rhubarb and Red Cabbage +
• adapted from a recipe in Bon Appetit | April 2010
• 4 teaspoons black or yellow mustard seeds
• 1 1/4 cups fresh orange juice
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/3 cup water
• 2 tablespoons finely grated orange peel
• 4 teaspoons coriander seeds
• 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
• 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
• 3 cups 2-inch-long, 1/4-inch-thick matchstick-size strips of rhubarb (from 12 ounces trimmed rhubarb)
• 8 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (from about 1/2 medium head)
• 1/2 cup Sherry wine vinegar
• 1/2 cup dry red wine
• 6 6-ounce salmon fillets with skin
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 3 cups assorted lettuces
• 3/4 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
1. Stir mustard seeds in small dry skillet over medium heat until beginning to pop, about 3 minutes. Transfer to small bowl; reserve.
2. Bring orange juice, sugar, 1/3 cup water, and orange peel to a boil in a large skillet, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium; add reserved mustard seeds, coriander seeds, caraway seeds, and ginger. Simmer until syrupy, 10 minutes. Add rhubarb; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until rhubarb is tender but intact, 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer rhubarb to microwave-safe bowl; reserve.
3. Bring syrup in skillet to a simmer. Add cabbage, vinegar, and wine; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer until cabbage is soft and most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, about 45 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
4. Place salmon pieces on a pre-soaked cedar plank. Brush salmon with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill salmon over medium-low heat until it is just opague in center. Rewarm reserved rhubarb in microwave just until warm.
5. Divide lettuces among 6 plates or shallow bowls. Scoop cabbage onto the lettuce. Lift the skins off of the salmon fillets and place a fillet atop the cabbage. Spoon a dollop of Greek yogurt onto the salmon; arrange strips of rhubarb on the yogurt.
TAKE a LOOK:
I've made this salad twice in the past week. It's loaded with citrus that I crave this time of year, plus two of my favorite things... salmon and avocados.
And I serve the salad with another favorite of mine... Pain aux Olives. I try to keep these olive rolls in my freezer at all times. I keep containers of olives in my refrigerator, just in case I run out of the rolls and needs to bake more.
And in case you're wondering why I haven't been posting as often... it's all because of little Bisous, below. He's been keeping me very busy, which is just the way I like it.