I wasn't paying attention and suddenly realized that this is my 100th post! Wow--I can't believe it happened that fast. Who would have thought I would have 100 things to say in the little over four months I have been at this. I have had a lot of fun, gotten to know some great people and have expanded my cooking experiences. Thanks to all of you who come by and visit--it means a lot!
It's time for the Royal Foodie Joust again, another chance to get creative with the three ingredients chosen by last month's winner Kittie from Kittens in the Kitchen. Her entry last month was truly spectacular and she chose three great ingredients for this month's joust: whole grains, ginger and citrus. I had my whole grain picked out pretty quickly as I had bought a small bag of farro the other day that I had been wanting to cook with. Farro, if you aren't familiar is (according to the Whole Foods website which seemed to have the simplest description) "an unhybridized grain belonging to the wheat family" (you can read the rest of the description here). I was torn between making soup or making a salad and finally decided to make a base ginger-citrus farro recipe and add a few different ingredients so it could be served either way. I like having the option of a bright refreshing grain salad on a hot day and a soothing earthy soup on a cooler day.
My base recipe includes the cooked farro, ginger, lemon zest, lemon juice and orange juice along with some edamame, green onion, chopped cilantro and thin pieces of carrot. I just boiled the farro in some vegetable broth for about 20 minutes, drained and lightly rinsed it and added the other ingredients and some seasoning. It was surprisingly good on it's own --maybe I should call it Ginger-Citrus Farro three ways!
For the salad I wanted to make it refreshing and really pump up the citrus flavor. I added some chopped cucumber, chopped orange sections, a few large shrimp and a garnish of mint and dressed it with a ginger-citrus vinaigrette. Served in small butter lettuce cups, it was bright, flavorful and filling.
I wanted the soup to be light but still earthy and comforting so I looked to a Japanese dish I enjoy; Ochazuke. (Also called Chazuke, its a very simple dish where a liquid, often green tea is poured over rice, sometimes with savory toppings, in a small bowl). Using the farro base in place of the rice, I also added some tofu pieces, shitake mushrooms and some pickled ginger. For the tea broth, I used a Mandarin green tea and added a couple of pieces of peeled. chopped ginger to the tea while brewing. I also sprinkled it with a bit of maccha salt to further enhance the flavor.
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth (low sodium preferred)
1 1/2 cups farro (I used a semi-pearled farro for quicker cooking)
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
zest of one lemon
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
1/4 cup cooked, shelled edamame
2 Tbsp grated carrot
2 tbsp chopped green onion
2 Tbsp cilantro
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
Rinse farro and put it in a medium sauce pan with broth. Bring to a boil and cook covered for 20 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Rinse lightly and drain cooked farro and place in a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix together. Eat as is or use in salad or soup recipe below.
Ginger-Citrus Farro Salad with Shrimp
Ginger-Citrus Farro mixture
1/2 cucumber, chopped and seeded
1/3 cup orange sections, chopped
large, cooked shrimp (4-5 per serving)
2 Tbsp mint leaves, chopped
Ginger-Citrus Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
butter lettuce leaves, washed and separated for serving (optional)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp orange juice
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp good olive oil
2 tsp freshly ground ginger
1 garlic clove crushed
1 pinch sugar or stevia
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together and pour over salad.-----------
To assemble salad mix ginger-citrus farro base with cucumbers and orange and dressing. Place a large scoop of salad in a butter lettuce leaf and place shrimp on top, garnish with mint leaves.
Ginger-Citrus Farro Soup (Ochazuke)
Ginger-Citrus Farro base
firm tofu, cubed (about 1 heaping Tbsp per serving)
shitake mushrooms, chopped (about 1 heaping Tbsp per serving)
pickled ginger (2-3 pieces per serving)
salt and pepper to taste
*Citrus-green tea brewed with two 2" pieces of ginger, peeled
Brew tea, adding 2 small pieces of peeled, ginger to tea and allowing it to steep 4-5 minutes. Place a large scoop of Ginger-Citrus Farro base in a small bowl. Garnish with tofu, shitakes and pickled ginger, salt and pepper to taste. When ready to serve, pour brewed tea over mixture and serve immediately. (*Note: if you can't find a citrus infused green tea, you can serve soup with wedges of lemon to squeeze in.)
So there you have it--you can enjoy the ginger-citrus farro on its own, as a simple nourishing soup or a bright, cool salad. All dishes go together easily and the citrus and ginger flavor were fully present in the base mixture as well as the soup and salad. There are some wonderful dishes posted already for the joust so it should prove to be another great battle this month. You can check it out here. (and if you are a FoodieBlogroll member, don't forget to vote for your favorite September 1-7th).