Friday, October 20, 2006

Farro Salad with Thinly Sliced Zucchini, Pine Nuts, and Lemon Zest

Copyright: The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The New Classics

Farro is a type of hulled what that has been cultivated in Italy for centuries. Look for it at gourmet shops and health-food stores, where it is also sold as spelt. Other grains, such as barley or bulgur wheat, can also be used; cook them according to package instructions.

3/4 pound farro (I used barley)
Coarse salt
1 small shallot, minced
Grated zest and juice of 1 1/2 lemons
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 pound zucchini, ends trimmed
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
Freshly ground pepper
4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (I left out)

1. Place the farro in a large saucepan, and add enough cold water to cover by about 3 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat; add salt, and stir once. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until the farro is al dente, according to package instructions, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, and let cool.

2. In a small bowl, combine the shallot with the lemon juice and salt; let stand 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat, and add the pine nuts. Cook, stirring, until they are lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and add the lemon zest. (Cook's note: Pull this off the heat, then take a good, deep sniff. This pan smells so good at this point you'll want to rub some on you and wear it like perfume!)

3. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the zucchini crosswise as thinly as possible; place in a large bowl. Add the farro, pine nut mixture, and parsley; stir to combine. Stir in shallot mixture; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large serving bowl.

4. Using a vegetable peeler, shave half the cheese over the salad; toss to combine. The salad can be stored up to 6 hours in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap. Just before serving, shave the remaining cheese on top.

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