Friday, June 29, 2012

Farm Fridays: Farro Salad with Basil and Corn

What a day! I can't believe I have the energy to post right now. After finishing the second-to-last week of my class - a week that, work-wise, was the roughest of them all - I ended up getting sick. I tried to brush it off, ascribing my symptoms to allergies (which may well be the cause), but it evolved into an earache which landed me at the doctor this morning. He confirmed that not only were both ears infected, but I was also running a fever, so I should take some antibiotics, go home and rest.

Rest, unfortunately, was not on the agenda for the next five hours. Since Jeff is not home tonight, I had to race around doing all of my end-of-the day chores (I contemplated not watering the garden, but it was 95 degrees out today - it was pretty necessary). Only now am I finally collapsing on the couch, with time to write up this awesome recipe.

I started my morning at the farm, picking up my share: three heads of lettuce (I keep taking the red romaine because the heads are relatively small), half a pound of lacinato kale, a pound of rainbow chard, a bunch of green onions, a bunch of basil and assorted peas. The crop of snap and snow peas was not good this year. Today was the first time I got any, and it was a gleaning day. I took advantage of the gleaning. I spent a good forty minutes in that field sifting through the weeds to find any reasonably mature pea left on the plants. I ended up with three-quarters of a pint, although none of them were very good quality.

When I was planning my recipes, I focused on using up the basil. Basil goes in a lot of things, but not in the sort of quantity I have (except for pesto, which I didn't feel like making this time around). After considering several recipes, I decided on a farro salad from June's Cooking Light. Good decision. I'd been wanting to expand my whole grain repertoire, and farro sounded like a good option. It is quick-cooking (just 20 minutes), pleasantly chewy and slightly nutty. I'm a big fan. And combined with sweet corn, aromatic basil and a zingy vinaigrette, it was a great summer side dish. I served it today with leftover tandoori chicken on a bed of lettuce, but I can see it working as a side dish with a summery meal off the grill as well. Maybe next time I'll even add some grilled zucchini to the salad! 

Farro Salad with Basil and Corn
Adapted from Cooking Light June 2012.

9 oz farro 
2 ears corn
1 1/2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 c basil leaves

Cook the farro according to the package directions (mine was cooked 20 minutes in salted boiling water). Four minutes before the farro is done, pop the corn into the same pot. When cooked, remove the corn from the water, then drain the farro and cool it under running water.

Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, mustard, salt, pepper and garlic. Set aside.

When the corn has cooled a little, slice the kernels off the cobs. Thinly slice the basil.

In a large bowl, toss together the farro, corn, basil and vinaigrette. Serve room temperature.

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