Monday, September 20, 2010
Meatless Monday: Toasted Farro with Zucchini and Tahini
Happy Monday, Divas!
I'm off to Chicago on Wednesday, but I thought I'd make sure to leave you with a fabulous meatless recipe I whipped up last week for dinner. Don't you get tired of eating the same old grains? Well, I've made a concerted effort to incorporate more farro (pearl barley) into my life. It has a rich, nut-like flavor and a chewy, pasta-like, satisfying texture. It's also chocked full of a special type of fiber that acts as food for the "friendly" bacteria in the large intestine and lowers cholesterol.
To make my farro more interesting, I toasted it before I cooked it, giving it an even richer, nuttier flavor. Then, I stirred in roasted zucchini, heirloom cherry tomatoes, shallots, and chopped mint. I finished it off with a delicious lemon-tahini sauce, giving the dish a slightly Mediterranean flare.
This was a satisfying, filling, healthy dish that worked as a main course for dinner. It's also a great side dish for any meal. So give it a try!
Toasted Farro with Zucchini and Tahini
Serves 4-6 people
Cooking time: 30 minutes
1 cup farro (pearl barley)
1 1/2 cups filtered water
2 cups zucchini, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons sesame tahini
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Place the zucchini in a roasting pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, tossing to combine. Roast uncovered in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until softened and slightly caramelized. Remove and set aside.
Meanwhile, place the farro in a dry saute pan and toast it over medium high heat until aromatic. Set aside to cool. Boil the filtered water in a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Stir in the farro, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. If the liquid is gone and the farro still uncooked, add a little more water and cook a little longer. Barley should have a chewy texture with a slight crunch. Set aside.
To make the tahini sauce, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, and cumin in a bowl. Add water as needed to thin to a nice consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To assemble the dish, place the farro, roasted zucchini, tomatoes, and shallots in a large mixing bowl. Top with the tahini sauce and toss to combine. Check seasoning (salt and pepper). Finish with the chopped mint. Enjoy!
Source for Ingredients
organic pearl barley (farro) and organic sesame tahini from Whole Foods
organic zucchini, heirloom cherry tomatoes, and organic shallots from the West Hollywood Farmers Market
With this meal, we drank a fabulous bottle of Copain Pinot Noir (Hacienda Secoea, Anderson Valley, 2006). The 2006's appear to be drinking great right now, and this bottle was one of the better pinots I've tasted recently.