Thursday, September 23, 2010
For the last month or so we’ve been trying to diet in the Minchilli household. That’s why there’s been a bit less on the pasta and cocktail front in terms of recipes. Our diet is mostly about eating whole grains, and cutting out things like pasta, sugar and....yes, alcohol. My sisters are on this diet too, and so what with all the moral support and recipe swapping, we’ve actually managed to lose weight.
One of the elements in this diet (which has such a stupid name I refuse to write it here) is eating brown rice as our daily source of carbohydrates. Let me tell you, brown rice gets old real quick. So I’ve been substituting other grains, which I figure is just fine.
One of my favorites is farro. There is an entire discussion about how to translate the word and weather it is emmer, or spelt or.....you can follow it here.
Suffice it to say it tastes great. It’s nutty and chewy and holds up to all sorts of vegetables and sauces. I like it as much cold as warm, and it’s great in soups. I know it’s more expensive in the States than it is here, which is why I always bring it as gifts. So make sure you pick some up if you are visiting Italy.
Domenico is designing a house in Lugano, and he was driving through Piemonte the other day, and stopped at a farmers market. He came back home (700 kilometers) with an entire crate of gorgeous red peppers. (Peperone Quadrato d'Asti, you can buy the seeds here.) So I decided to use them in this colorful, Lemony Farro Salad. Of course, feel free to experiment. If you con’t have peppers, use any sort of crunchy colorful vegetable - carrots, zucchini. Also, play around with the herbs. I only had parsley on hand, but I’m sure chives, or mint would be delicious. Even if you're not on a diet.
Lemony Farro Salad
2 cups farro
1 red pepper
2 tablespoons capers
1/4 cup green olives
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 stalk celery
1 tablespoon of olive oil
salt and pepper
Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add farro and cook until tender. This will usually take about 40 minutes.
Drain and let cool, and place in bowl.
Chop the red pepper and celery into small dice. Add to the farro.
Add chopped green olives, capers, chopped parsley and toss.
Grate the rind from the lemon and add, then juice the lemon and add the juice.
Add olive oil, salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Toss well and serve.