Adding grains into salads kicks it up a notch in my book. Farro is a favorite grain that works well in salads. I learned how to make a great Farro salad in Vinci, Italy. I was all set to send you to a link in my blog with this salad adventure and realized that I never wrote a blog on this cooking class experience. Shame on me! I’ll include a few tidbits and pictures in the meantime, and create a blog on the farro salad in the near future.
Richardo working hard with our instructor Elizabetta. I’m cooking the farro on the stove. Yeah, they gave me the easy task (haha) because cooking the farro is like cooking risotto, you have to stand over the stove and cook and stir and cook and stir. The bonus to standing over a hot stove in the summertime is that you get an “Italian” facial from the steam escaping from the hot pot.
Farro vegetable salad was extremely flavorful. I would have never put some of the ingredients together.
As a treat after the cooking class and lunch, we ventured into town to see the Leonardo diVinci exhibit and some of his artwork depicted in statues around town. A famous diVinci drawing brought to life in a sculpture.
Enough reminiscing down memory lane, we must venture back to the U.S. and today’s recipe. Barley and Edamame Salad.
Barley and edamame? I thought this a somewhat odd combination of ingredients but was willing to give it a try.
Cooked barley and edamame mixed together.
Now to mix the red pepper sauce. I think this pepper sauce really made the recipe come to life.
Lightly toast the almonds.
This is a salad you can sink your teeth into with the chewy barley base.
The red pepper sauce adds zing.
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2/3 cup uncooked barley (I used pearl)
- 2 cups frozen shelled edamame
- 1 cup bottled roasted red sweet peppers
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped*
- Salt and black pepper
- Lettuce or spinach
- 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, and sliced
- 1 medium cucumber, seeded and cut into chunks
- OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese, feta, or ricotta salata**
- In a medium saucepan bring water & wine to boiling; add barley. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Stir in edamame. Cover and cook 10 minutes more or until barley is tender. Drain off any liquid. Cool slightly.
- RED PEPPER SAUCE: In a blender or food processor combine the next five ingredients (through garlic) and 2 Tbsp. of the almonds. Cover and pulse until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- ASSEMBLE: Arrange lettuce or spinach, barley mixture, avocado, and cucumber on a platter. Drizzle with red pepper drizzle and sprinkle with remaining almonds. If desired, sprinkle with cheese.
- *To toast the nuts: spread in a shallow pan. On low flame toast about 5 minutes or until lightly browned, shaking pan once or twice to avoid burning.
- **Ricotta salata is a firmer cheese than the fluffy type, and contains more salt than the traditional ricotta.