Thursday, August 19, 2010

Buttermilk farro salad

I was very happy to see this recipe appear on 101 Cookbooks last week, since I had half a carton of buttermilk left over from my brief infatuation with cucumber/avocado soup and a small bag of farro I'd picked up to try. I knew I'd be getting some vegetables in my CSA pick-up that would work well, so held out until Tuesday night to make it. I used a small zucchini, sliced very thin, a handful of French breakfast radishes, also sliced very thin, and a head of lettuce, chopped. My share also included a small bunch of dill, which went into the dressing.

It turned out to be a perfectly serviceable, though not especially exciting, dish, full of whole grains and vegetables, well suited to bringing to work for lunch. (I'll eat anything if I bring it to work.) It missed the mark for a couple of reasons: This was my first time eating farro and I think I'd prefer it as one element in a mixed-grain dish, rather than on its own. It has a fairly aggressive texture that would be great when mixed with, say, brown rice, barley, and quinoa. It doesn't taste like wild rice, but I had the same reaction to it; a little goes a long way. Also, I substituted red wine vinegar, which I had, for the white wine vinegar, which I didn't, and it was a little vinegar-heavy even for me, who drinks vinegar for pleasure. And the very thin dressing worked well with the grains and crunchy vegetables, soaking in nicely, but left the lettuce limp and sad.

Still, I'm always happy to find new uses for buttermilk (oatmeal season is coming!) and this will be a good dish to keep in the make-ahead-and-eat-for-lunches rotation, as long as I tweak the dressing proportions and am savvier about the vegetables I use.

No comments: