Monday, January 24, 2011

"Clean and Wholesome Food"

Today was my first day in the Chef's Training Program at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health & Culinary Arts, and I left feeling comforted and inspired by all of the talk of "clean and wholesome food," as several of the instructors described the school's philosophy. I left class with a boost of kitchen-confidence and a hankering for the farro and squash dish that I recently saw posted on one of my favorite blogs, Coconut & Quinoa. Regardless of the freezing cold weather here in NYC (6 degrees...eek!), my innards were instantly warmed from this whole grain salad, served over wilted swiss chard greens. I have to admit, the glass of Cabernet Sauvignon helped take the tingle from my toes a bit too...

Try this recipe! It was extremely easy and quick (altogether about 45 minutes). Perfect for a dinner for one (or more, if you are lucky to have the company!), and I am looking forward to the leftovers...yum. If your store doesn't stock kabocha squash, try substituting a smaller-sized butternut, like I did. Enjoy! 

warm farro roasted squash salad

serves 4

¼ medium kabocha squash, cut in ¼ inch slices
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup farro (semi perlato) or emmer, soaked overnight in filtered water
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 bunch of swiss chard, stems removed
2 tablespoons spiced pumpkin seeds
6 oz goat milk feta
4 teaspoons reduced balsamic vinegar, see recipe below

preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.

place squash, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper on a parchment lined baking sheet and toss to combine. place in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes, stirring half way. remove from oven when they are beginning to brown. set aside.

drain farro, place in a small saucepan with 3 cups of filtered water and bring to a boil. lower heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until they are tender. if you’re using emmer it will take about 1 to 1 ½ hours to cook and you may need to add more water too. drain well and return to pot, add chickpeas, remaining tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and the roasted squash. place saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring every couple of minutes while you wilt the chard.

rinse chard leaves and place in a skillet over high heat, turning with tongs until leaves begin to wilt. reduce heat to low and cover for one minute. remove lid and stir until all leaves are deep green and wilted.

divide onto 4 plates a top with about ¾ cup farro mixture. crumble feta on top, sprinkle each salad with pumpkin seeds and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of reduced balsamic vinegar.

1 comment:

Russell James | Raw Food Recipes said...

Really nice dish, definitely one for that weahter you're having in NYC right now.

I'll be following your posts from NGI with interest as I looked round there in December.