Sunday, June 10, 2007

Fava Bean & Farro Salad; (Mostly) Italian Protein Plate

We had a wonderfully intense weekend of celebrating Sweetpea's 7th birthday and her subsequent suddenly ability to swim (just like that). I felt tired in a happy way (which feels really good). I love the way that combination of sun and water both calms and depletes you. So I found myself craving protein and salads, which inspired this (Mostly) Italian Protein Plate.

I'm fortunate to have an excellent Italian deli, A.G. Ferrari very close to my home. Even more fortunate to have friendly, well-educated staff who, despite my vegetarianism, are happy to turn me on to new things. Both the Lentil & Spinach Salad:

and the incredible Cacio di Bosco Al Tartufo (I'm addicted!) are from A.G. Ferrari.

J. highly recommended farro to me and I recently purchased a 1lb bag of their Farro dell'Umbira, an organic Italian farro. Ferrari sell a farro and fava bean salad that is excellent, so I decided to give it a go myself. Farro is the "original grain from which all other grains derive", a high-protein, chewy grain that looks a lot like brown rice and is hard to overcook. It pairs nicely with other proteins (chickpeas, beans, cheeses) and very well with balsamic vinegar. My fava bean and farro salad was delicious! I also included green garlic, baby dinosaur kale, red wine, and balsamic vinegar (see recipe below).

With a side of black olive hummus and pita bread, this plate was very satisfying!

Fava Bean & Farro Salad:
2 oz farro, cooked per directions (I boiled the farro in salted water for 10 minutes)
3/4 cup fava beans, podded
1 tbsp olive oil
1 stalk green garlic, finely chopped
3/4 cup dinosaur kale leaves (I used tiny baby ones that I've never seen before, but you could tear regular dinosaur kale into 2" strips or use spinach or another green - adjust cooking time as needed)
1 tbsp red wine (optional)
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Cook the fava beans in salted water for 2-3 minutes. Strain and rinse with cold water and peel.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and sauted the green garlic for 4 minutes. Add the dinosaur kale (or other green) and cook until tender. Add the cooked farro and fava beans, cook 2 minutes. Add the wine (if using) and cook 2 minutes. Add the balsamic and season as desired. Serve hot or cold.


Blogger cookiecrumb said...

That is the picture of health and deliciosity. I'm kinda not a fava fan, but I bet I could do a reasonable knockoff with English peas. Thanks for the inspiration (and for the reminder of that truffle cheese!)
See you tomorrow at the market? Just give the air a sniff for truffle cheese and you'll find us.


10:42 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Hi there! Thanks to BS.

I'll be passing thru briefly aroudn 1pm and back with Sweetpea later in the afternoon. I'll look for you!

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Ravyn said...

This looks sooo yummy! One question though. Italian cheeses often contain animal rennet. Have you asked if the Cacio di Bosco Al Tartufo contains this ingredient?

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

looks delicious!

6:02 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Hi ravyn - thanks for your note. I have to admit I'm not careful about animal rennet, but I should look into this. Thanks for the reminder.

8:40 PM  
Blogger Billy Pilgrim said...

Lovely! I have fava beans in my garden, plus basil, grape tomatoes, and lemon trees, so this recipe had my name on it. I changed one thing - sauteed the arugula in olive oil with the garlic, rather than tossing it in raw. BTW - we use an oilve oil from Trader Joe's made with Kalamata olives, and it is superb.

8:50 PM  
Blogger Plate and Pour said...

I just came across your wonderful blog. I am also vegetarian and love making farro salads with different seasonal vegetables! Thanks for sharing!

9:54 AM  
Blogger msalleycat said...

I adore that same farro & fava bean salad, and just picked some farro up at Raley's today, and was determined to make my own at home. Thanks so much for posting your version's recipe!

6:49 PM  
Anonymous JenK said...

Hi there, I also love the salad from AJ Ferrari! Since it's not that easy to find fava beans, i used Fresh shelled Edemame. I bought the farro at Trader joe's and tossed with oil and vinegar. It was yummy...

6:19 PM  

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