Flattery Farro Salad

12 Sep

On Sunday, after a huge Mexican brunch at my new favorite East Village restaurant we decided to explore the other end of the island. We walked up the Hudson, saw the Little Red Lighthouse, the place where the earth ate the cars and the grave of John James Audubon.

Eventually, we turned inland (which isn’t hard up there, the island gets very narrow) and headed north into the wilds of Ft. Tryon Park (best known as the home of The Cloisters). It’s very hard to believe you’re still in The City when you’re in that park. Look at that picture of the Cloisters. It almost looks like we spent the day in Tuscany. And that picture of the collonade? There’s a highway just on the other side of those arches. We rambled about looking at plants and the view until my legs began to give out and the boy got attacked by an acorn.

It was time to pack it in and think about dinner.

All day I had been quietly obsessing over what I wanted to make. I kept thinking back to a few posts I had read recently. Tiny Banquet Committee had exhorted us to remember that corn season is nearly over! Then there’s Sher who recently tossed out a Succotash and a rice, corn and bean salad, both of which made my heart go thumpity thump. Ilva made farro caprese, Gothamist pulled back the shell on fresh peas, Luisa‘s gone corn crazy and Heidi made an, as usual, gorgeous and complicated gnocchi and shell bean salad.

You can see where this is going. I wanted corn. I wanted beans. And I wanted grains.

We finally made it back to our stomping grounds, the Tompkins’ Square Greenmarket, only to find all the stands were sold out of corn and beans. Dang. Well, at least I was able to score some of the teeniest, tiniest, tomatoes and some of Dines Farms insanely good bacon.

Having to settle for bodega corn and frozen edamame when you had your heart set on farm fresh goodness is kind of a bummer, but you know what? When the meal comes out this good, who cares? This was easy and seriously, seriously delicious. It was hearty, yet fresh, toothsome, yet elegant and has gone immediately to the head of the “do again!” recipe list!

Head below the jump for Flattery Farro Salad.

Warm Farro Salad

prep time: 30 minutes ~ cooking time: 60 minutes

  • 1 handful (about 1/2 cup) Farro per person
  • Bacon cut into small strips (this is a personal preference as to how much you want to make)
  • 4 cloves Garlic, passed through a garlic press
  • 1/3 c Dry Vermouth
  • 1 tbsp Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 c frozen shelled Edamame
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 cobs of Corn per person
  • 1/2 cup Tiny Tomatoes, whole or the same amount of Cherry Tomatoes halved or quartered depending on size.
  • 1 tsp Vegeta Mediteran (this is by all means unnecessary, but I had forgotten to buy any fresh herbs and had this herb-flavored seasoning from Croatia to hand, so I used it)
  • Good Olive Oil

In a small pot cover the farro with water, add salt and set over a high flame to boil. When the water comes to a boil, turn the heat down so that the water is at a bare simmer. Cover and allow to cook until the farro is tender, about 30 minutes. When it has reached an al dente texture, drain and return to the pot, cover and set aside.

In a small, heavy bottom dutch oven, cook the bacon. When it has cooked completely, turn off the heat, tip the pot, and very carefully remove all but about 1/2 tablespoon of fat.

Return the pot to the burner, set the flame to low and add the garlic. Everything will probably start sticking to the bottom of the pot at this time, so jack the heat up to high and carefully add the vermouth and vinegar and be sure to scrape up all the lovely yummy brown bits on the bottom of the pan.

When the liquid has begun to obviously reduce, add the edamame and stir to break up any frozen lumps of beans. Season with salt & pepper.

When the liquid has nearly reduced (about 3-5 minutes), reduce the heat to low and add the farro into the pan. Stir to coat and warm through. Turn off the flame.

Cut the corn off the cob at this time and add to the pan. Stir to incorporate. Add the tomatoes. Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, Vegeta or fresh herbs and a glug of good olive oil to loosen.

Serve in a bowl and prepare to be adored!



6 Responses to “Flattery Farro Salad”

  1. deb September 12, 2006 at 11:29 am #

    Yum, yum. This looks great, and better yet, seasonal, but mostly because it’s got bacon and can therefore do no wrong.

    I had no idea there was a little red lighthouse up there until my husband and I took a bike ride a few weeks ago and found it. We have yet to make it to the Cloisters, though, a cause of great shame. I can’t believe we haven’t been kicked off the island for this sin yet.

  2. bloglily September 12, 2006 at 1:52 pm #

    How lovely to take a walk in the Cloisters before having such a delish meal. I’ve never made farro before. I wonder if this would be nice with something like israeli cous-cous as your grain? And I’m with deb on the bacon.

  3. Tiny Banquet Committee September 12, 2006 at 6:22 pm #

    That sounds (and looks) SO good. I haven’t made farro before either but I love all the other ingredients – even dry vermouth; I am a big fan of Noilly Prat!

  4. sher September 12, 2006 at 7:06 pm #

    Bacon! The Cloisters! Edamame (who cares if it’s frozen?). What a great post! The salad looks fabulous. I love that you really explore NYC. Your pictures are great, keep them coming. And thanks for mentioning me!!!

  5. ann September 13, 2006 at 12:18 pm #

    hi guys!
    just wanted to post a note. Our router has completely crapped out at home and thus, I have no internet, and in fine NYC fashion our ISP is being a pain in the patookis about helping us replace/fix it. So, sorry about all the disgusting spam comments that have been popping up, I can only delete them at work, which is perilous b/c I could get in trouble *SIGH*

    Deb — you’ve got to read the kids book about the lighthouse, it’s soooo cooool!
    and don’t worry about the Cloisters, I’ve only been once, and it was in 10th grade, my boyfriend has never been, but I’m going to make him soon, everyone should see the Unicorn Tapestries at least once in their lifetime! and hear! hear! on the bacon… god I love the pig!

    Bloglilly — try farro! it’s SO easy to cook, and oh so very healthy since it’s a whole grain. But I do love israeli couscous and yes, I think this would be delicious with that as well!

    TBC — how did you know I used Noilly Prat? have you been spying on me? just kidding…

    Sher — of course I mentioned you! how could I not!? and don’t worry, there’s always a new corner of NYC to explore… and with my fancy new camera in tow, there will always be piccies!!!

  6. Julie September 15, 2006 at 11:48 am #

    This is good — farro is on my list of things to try in my ongoing (and so far not overly succesful) attempt to introduce more whole grains into my diet.

    I’m enjoying this exploring thing you’ve been doing. Ft Tryon park looks completely woodsy and rural. I’ve heard of the Cloisters but never the park.

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