September 22, 2007
If you meet a fiery redhead from Nebraska, this dish will not win her affections, David. However, if you meet a Greek Goddess from Chios, she’ll be making sounds in ancient languages before dessert.
Farro has a long and lusty history. It is the original grain from which all others were born. It fed the Royal and the masses of the Mediterranean and the Near East for thousands of years. The Romans carried enormous sacks full on long journeys to Greece as offerings to Aphrodite. When presented with the delicious, tawny grains, she would shudder with joy and bestow her precious gifts of love.
Accept no substitutes, David. Don’t let them fool you with spelt or some other mushy offspring. Use the Real McCoy, Triticum dicoccum.
Insalata di Farro
2 cups farro
1/2 cup oil cured olives, pitted
4 tablespoons capers
2 cucumbers, peeled, deseeded and diced
2 Brandywine tomatoes, diced
1 handful of arugula, finely chopped
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbs fresh marjoram
1 Tbs fresh thyme
1 shallot, minced
4 Tbs Greek olive Oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Sheep’s milk feta for garnish
Cover farro with water and soak for 45 minutes. Drain and simmer in vegetable stock 45 minutes or until tender. If you don’t have stock handy, throw a couple of carrots, an onion, a stalk of celery and a bay leaf in with the farro and make sure you remove them.
Remember the scene in Mediterraneo where the voluptuous young woman was sitting on her front porch beating the octopus on the stoop to tenderize it for the evening meal? If you don’t, she will. Serve grilled octopus for the second course.