Warm Farro Salad with Cranberry Beans and Red Beet Mousse

7376 Beet & Bean Farro

7376 Beet & Bean Farro

I think I already told you that I don’t mind a little extra padding in the winter: it’s way more practical than having to wear an extra puffer coat, and gives me a great excuse to overindulge in cheesy dishes. However, I’ve lost count of all the snowstorms we’ve had this year, and maybe – just maybe – I’ll start wiggling my way out of hibernation. This morning I even made it to a workout class, and no cheese tonight!

7379 Farro w beet and beans

Warm Farro Salad with Cranberry Beans and Red Beet Mousse

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb farro or spelt
  • 1 cooked beet
  • 1/2 lb cooked Borlotti (cranberry beans) (canned OK)
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt (OK to leave out for a dairy-free version, just add 1 more beet)
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Rinse the farro or spelt, and cook it in salted boiling water according to the package instructions (if you are in a rush, you can use the quick-cooking farro by Pedon).

Drain it, dress it with the oil, toss and set aside.

Peel the onion, slice it very thinly (I prefer to use a mandolin) and soak the slices in a bowl of cold milk or ice water until use (this step takes the bite out of the onion... and helps with onion breath!).

Dice the beet and place it in your food processor with the cream (or greek yogurt), salt and pepper. You can process until smooth, or leave it somewhat chunky.

Add the drained onion and beans to the warm farro, dress with the remaining oil. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves and serve with the beet mousse

* the beet and yogurt should be kept at room temperature, not cold.

http://dinnerinvenice.com/2014/02/27/warm-farro-salad-with-cranberry-beans-and-red-beet-mousse/

Orzotto: Barley “Risotto”

“Orzotto” with Vegetables – Barley “Risotto” (Parve or Dairy)

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Last fall I gave a demo on healthful and elegant Italian cuisine at the JCC Manhattan during their Fitness for Everybody Fair. One of the ingredients I presented was barley, a grain with many beneficial properties. Unlike wheat, it contains a high amount of soluble fibers (betaglucans), which have a positive effect on cholesterol and provide an immediate sense of satiety – something that will be appreciated by those of you who are trying to keep their weight in check. It’s full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and has been shown to help liver and kidney function. What’s not to like? This way of cooking barley, with the same technique that Italians apply to rice in risottos, is typical of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, in the North-East, and I tried it in dozens of variations when I was a student in Trieste.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 3 or 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 a large onion, finely chopped
  • 1½ cups pearl barley
  • ½ cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 6 cups hot vegetable stock or as needed
  • 1 cup total diced vegetables (you can use 3 or 4 of your favorites, such as carrots, peppers, asparagus, zucchini, green peas, corn…)
  • about ¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano or Grana cheese (optional, for a dairy version)
  • salt and pepper

Directions
Heat 2 or 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in a heavy-bottomed or non-stick pot over medium heat. Add the onion, and sauté until translucent, adding a tablespoon of water if it starts sticking to the bottom. Add any of the vegetables that require a longer cooking time, such as carrots, peppers or potatoes, and cook stirring for 4 minutes. Add the barley, and cook for 2 minutes on higher heat, stirring . Add the wine, and allow it to evaporate. Season with salt and pepper, and begin adding the hot stock ione or two ladlefuls at a time, stirring frequently, and adding more stock as soon as the liquid is absorbed. After about 10-15 minutes add the diced zucchini and/or asparagus (or any quick-cooking vegetables) and keep cooking, stirring and adding hot stock, until al dente, about 30-35 minutes. It should be creamy and not too thick: add enough liquid. When cooked, remove from the heat, season with more salt and pepper, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of your best extra-virgin olive oil. If you are eating dairy, add about 1 to 2 tablespoons of freshly grated parmigiano or grand cheese, and serve immediately.
(At the JCC I made this dish with onions and fennel, added at the start, and an exotic touch of saffron)

Edible Mosaic with Yogurt Sauces

Edible Mosaic with Yogurt Sauces

Edible Mosaic by DinnerinVenice.com

Growing up in Venice, I was always fascinated with glass mosaic – an ancient art that can create, through the careful rhythm of colored enamels and gold leaf, a magical world where time seems to stand still.

Edible Mosaic by DinnerinVenice.com 1279

Why not experiment with summer fruit? Your kids will love this project!

Edible Mosaic by DinnerinVenice.com 1287

Edible Mosaic with Yogurt Sauces

Ingredients

  • watermelon
  • cantaloupe
  • white melon
  • mango or pineapple
  • kiwi
  • 3 small containers or 1 large container plain yogurt
  • brown sugar and honey to taste
  • mint, lemongrass or lavender, lemon and lime juice
  • 1/2 container blueberries
  • cocoa and cinnamon to taste

Directions

Dice the different types of fruit into pieces, all the same size. If using white fruit, drizzle with lemon to prevent it from darkening.

Make layers of fruit cubes on a serving platter, alternating the different colors, and even creating patterns if you feel particularly artistic.

Decorate with fresh mint.

Serve with at least 3 different yogurt sauces made by blending yogurt with any of the following:

1) blueberries and sugar; 2) honey and fresh mint; 3) lemon or lime, brown sugar and lemongrass or lavender; 4) cocoa powder, cinnamon and sugar....

http://dinnerinvenice.com/2012/06/24/edible-mosaic-with-yogurt-sauces/