Today's recipe, reprinted from Simple Italian Snacks by Jason Denton and Kathryn Kellinger, is a gorgeous, jewel-toned salad just bursting with flavor and texture. I'm getting hungry just reading the ingredients list: pomegranate seeds, toasted almonds, chopped apples, smoked mozzarella, and roasted garlic?
The bountiful salad is built around farro, a chewy grain grown only in Italy. (If you have trouble finding it, substitute barley, quinoa or Israeli couscous.) Since it's a salad without greens, it can be dressed and refrigerated well in advance, making it an ideal dish for a party.
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- 6 cups water
- 1 cup farro
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup blanched almonds, roughly chopped
- Wine-roasted garlic (recipe follows)
- Seeds of 1 pomegranate (about 1 cup)
- 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 apples, unpeeled, cored and diced (submerge in a bowl of water containing the juice of 1 lemon to prevent discoloration)
- 6 ounces smoked mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
In a medium saucepan, combine the water, farro, and salt. Bring to a boil over a high flame, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes, or until tender.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 250°F.
Spread the almonds out on a small baking sheet and toast them in the oven until they are fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
Drain the farro and spread it on a paper-towel-lined tray to dry, 10 minutes.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the farro, toasted almonds, wine-roasted garlic, pomegranate seeds, parsley, drained apples, and mozzarella. Toss to combine.
Whisk the olive oil and the vinegar together in a large bowl. Add the farro mixture, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and toss well to combine. The salad can be made hours in advance and chilled.
- makes 1 cup -
20 cloves garlic (2 heads), unpeeled
1 tablespoon honey
Splash of rosé or white wine
Preheat the oven to 200°F.
Place the garlic cloves on a square of aluminum foil. Drizzle the honey over the garlic, and then add the splash of wine.
Wrap the garlic loosely in the foil and bake for 1 hour, or until the cloves are soft and buttery. Squeeze the garlic out of the peels before serving. If making the garlic in advance, keep the skins on until ready to use.