Friday, July 15, 2011

Qué comen los vegetarianos #4: Receta incluída

What you see above is a variation on a quick and all-purpose lunch that I adore and highly recommend. Now, I have to say, it does kind of look like something I would hate if it were served as a side dish or at a vegetarian buffet, but trust me when I say that I understand and share your precaution towards salads like this, and that, even so, this will become your new favorite lunch.

It is also what I make for lunch when I have lots of other things to do but I know I'm going to have to eat at some point and there are lots of random things in my fridge. But I still always look forward to it. 

It goes like this: if you have a rice cooker, use it here. I only found out recently how amazing rice cookers are. All I can say is, holy crap, and I am really not a gadget person. If you haven't yet entered into the bliss that is rice cookers, it's the same process, you just will have to pay a little bit more attention to the cooking time. So, saute some farro in a bit of oil just until well coated, add 2.5 times the water and a good big pinch of salt (the salt makes a huge difference; you want the farro to taste just a bit too salty on its own), cover and cook on low. Chop up some root vegetables, toss them with olive oil, salt, freshly ground pepper, a few sprigs of thyme, and smoked paprika if you have it (and you really really should; smoked paprika makes everything better). Roast in a hot oven. Go do something else. Come back in awhile and take the vegetables out of the oven so you don't burn them.

When the farro is done (tender but not mushy; the water should be totally evaporated, if it's not, strain it out), stir them lightly, toss in the roast vegetables, some sliced scallion, a handful of dried cranberries, lemon zest and juice, and more olive oil. If you happen to have them around, add in cooked chickpeas, crumbled feta, chopped parsley, mint or arugula. You can mix this with wild rice too, just make sure to cook the wild rice separately. Check for salt. Under no circumstances do you want to reheat this salad, that's how you find yourself back to nasty buffet food. Same thing goes for using raisins instead of cranberries. Eat, listening to Otis Redding.

Also: David Lebovitz has a really nice version of a similar wheat berry salad. I had thought that I had originally used his recipe as a model, which might still be the case (I can't remember), but when I went back to look at it they are actually fairly different, or perhaps mine has just diverged quite a bit. 


Ensalada de Trigo Entero

1 taza de trigo entero
un pedazo de zapallo, 3 zanahorias, una batata o otra verdura de raíz (o una combinación)
aceite de oliva
pimienta negra
pimenton ahumado (opcional pero delicioso)
una rama de cebolla larga (verdeo), picada 
jugo y cascara de un limón
un puñado de cranberries (o cerezas pasas o damascos picados)
opcional: un puñado de perejil, menta o rúcula picado
                garbanzos, queso cuajada o feta, arroz salvaje cocido 

Si tenes arrocera, usala aquí. Saltea el trigo en una cucharada de aceite durante un minuto y agregale 2.5 tazas de agua y una cucharada de sal. Tapa la olla y deja que cocine hasta que este tierno; si todavía queda agua, escurrilo (o simplemente espera que la arrocera se apague). Mientras tanto, calienta el horno a 200ºC y pica el zapallo en pedazos de 2 cm. En una bandeja, revuelve el zapallo con una cucharada de aceite de oliva, sal, pimienta negra, una pizca de pimenton ahumado y un par de ramas de tomillo (o una pizca). Mete la bandeja al horno.
Cuando el zapallo esté tierno y empezando a caramelizar por debajo, sacalo. Mezcalo con el trigo, la cebolla larga, cascara y jugo de limón y cranberries. Echale un chorrito de aceite de oliva, revuelvelo, y agrega el perejil y otras cositas si deseas. Fijate que estè bien de sal, aunque normalmente ya con la sal de la cocción del trigo está bien.


  1. Hi, I am Niki. Beautiful recipe.
    Just a question. Are you still in Colombia? And you can find farro there?

  2. Hi Niki! Yep, I´m in Cali. To be honest I have never been very good at telling the difference between wheat berries and farro, but from the cooking time and softer texture, what is sold as wheat berries here seems to be farro. You can find it as "granos de trigo entero" (whole wheat grains), either at supermarkets like la 14 (a mainly Cali chain) or sometimes at "graneros" where they sell everything in bulk.

  3. Thank you very much! You are very kind!