Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sasha's Kitchen: Farro Goat Cheese Salad

I have been to a number of farm to table style restaurants where I have had some fabulous farm fresh salads that incorporated farro in lieu of or in addition to lettuce or fresh greens. Farro is a nutty cereal grain that is perfect in a salad, served slightly warm. The two best farro salads that I have tasted, with a variety of garden fresh, farm to table ingredients, have been at Al Di Li, here in Park Slope, as well as Hen of the Wood in Waterbury, Vermont last summer. Here's a picture of that Hen of the Wood salad that incorporates farro, here. So, I decided it was time to try my hand at preparing some organic farro as part of my own salad. I knew putting in some goat cheese was a must, and a bit of mint. I considered but opted against basil this time, and added some baby spinach greens with the farro. A bit of sweetness was needed to balance the flavors, and since Brad is not a big fan of beets (which might have been my first choice), I opened for apple, which i caramelized in a bit of passion fruit juice.

My husband Brad didn't think he would like this (he kept calling it Pharaoh all week in preparation for the upcoming holiday of Passover, referring to the Steve Martin King Tut song from SNL). But he wound up loving the farro in the salad.

Sasha's Farro Goat Cheese Salad with Caramelized Apples (makes two salads)
2/3 cup of farro grains (cook in water, like rice)
two large handfulls of baby spinach
1 granny smith apple, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup passion fruit juice
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 T fresh mint leaves
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup canola oil, 2 T balsamic vinegar, 3 T lemon juice (for the dressing)

Cook the farro according to package instructions, much the same way you would cook rice. While the farro is still warm, assemble the other ingredients for the salad. While the farro is cooking, prepare the apples by caramelizing the apple slices in a saute pan with the passion fruit juice until they are browned nicely, but not burnt. Top with the dressing. This salad was amazing, fresh, healthy and delicious. My husband was a huge fan of the farro, so we will be making it again soon.


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