Beluga . . . Parisian nibble . . . Kashmir . . . Roman Holiday . . . unctuously delicious . . . moistest chocolate cake . . . I’m guessing these words and phrases don’t automatically conjure up lentils for you. But that is all about to change.
We are going to banish the wet-wooley-hiking socks reputation that has dogged the lovely lentil and rehabilitate the image of this nutritious gift from the garden. Long the victims of sludgey brown casseroles, lentils have been relegated to the slag heap of cuisine for decades. Sure, the occasional chef has tossed them into his confit of duck, but for the home cook, lentils have suffered from the curse of miserly good-for-you-ness. But no more. Today’s post begins the renaissance of the perfect pulse.
To start with we are going to ignore the lentil’s goody-goody two shoes rep, so I want you to pay no attention to the fact that lentils are Read more
Books For Cooks, a wonderful bookstore in London, publishes a small anthology of favorite recipes every year. The following is adapted from Jennifer Joyce’s Small Bites and excerpted in Book for Cooks Vol. 7. I usually soak farro in advance for several hours or overnight to reduce the cooking time.
1 cup whole grain farro (not pearled)
1 small red onion, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and black pepper
3 stalks, celery, finely chopped
2 ounces Pecorino cheese, grated, coursely
1/4 cup currants, soaked in hot water
Chopped mint, basil, parsley
6 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tsp runny honey
Soak the farro for several hours or overnight. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the faro, return the water to a boil, reduce and simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes (depending on how long you’ve soaked the grain).
In the meantime, marinate the chopped red onion in the lemon juice — this will help to reduce the harshness of the onion. Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the cherry tomatoes in a shallow roasting pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes or until some tomatoes are softened and some are burst. For the vinaigrette, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, and honey in a bowl.
Toss the cooked farro with the red onion and lemon juice and then add in the roasted cherry tomatoes, chopped celery, grated Pecorino cheese, soaked currents and herbs Toss with the vinaigrette and serve.