My closest people would say that I rarely repeat a dish twice, and in a way it’s true. Once I’ve poked and prodded and looked at a recipe from the inside out, I’m ready to let it go.
But there is another type of dish, the dish that is not really a recipe, the one that comes naturally- without thought. These are the dishes Joshua and I eat throughout the week. Packed off to work in Mason jars, shared with friends who stop by unexpectedly. Never precious, never fancy, always satisfying… these are the meals that warrant lunchtime texts of “Mmmm… thanks for lunch. Soo good. Do we have leftovers?”
Farro serves as a major staple in our house- and provides the basis of many such dishes. It is an ancient grain related to wheat and spelt with a much lower gluten content than wheat. Some people with gluten intolerances (though not Celiacs) have success with eating farro. I love it for it’s sweet and nutty flavor, it’s firm texture, and it’s versatility. Depending on how long farro is cooked, it can be eaten like a risotto or more like a breakfast porridge. It can be eaten hot or cold or even at room temperature.
This farro dish is served cold, but the flavors are bold, and spicy with a Japanese influence. A dish at Boulette’s Larder in the Ferry Building provided my original inspiration. When I first tasted it, I was taken aback by the bold and nutty olive oil & black sesame dressing. This version adds nanami togarashi, a Japanese spice mixture including dried peppers, orange peel, and seaweed. Each time I’ve made it, it has gotten a little spicier, a little tangier, and now it’s just perfect. So, now, I’m sharing with you. I hope you’ll pack it in mason jars, share it with your friends, and eat it with gusto. Kampai!
- INGREDIENTS JAPANESE FARRO SALAD
- 3 cups semi-pearled farro
- 4 ounces brown rice vinegar (unseasoned)
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce (I used Bourbon Barrel Foods Soy)
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon muscavado sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1(+-) tablespoon nanami togarashi (to taste)*
- 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds*
- 1 sheet of toasted nori finely chopped*
- 4 scallions finely chopped, white and light green parts only*
* (you may also want to some extra scallions, nanami togarshi, sesame seeds, and nori for garnish)
- INSTRUCTIONS JAPANESE FARRO SALAD
- Add farro to 5 cups boiling salted water, return to a boil, and lower to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes until farro is just tender. Drain if there is any water left over.
- In a small bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, and sugar until combined. Add in sesame oil and grapeseed oil and whisk until emulsified. Add in nanami togarashi, and whisk again (adding more or less to taste)
- Place farro in a large serving bowl, toss dressing in and mix well. Add in sesame seeds, nori, and scallions and give another good toss. Adjust seasonings to taste.