Saturday, May 22, 2010

Farro, Asparagus and Prosciutto Salad

My fellow culinary students had a birthday gathering last night to enjoy delicious food and have quality "down time" we desperately needed.  These gatherings are one of the best ways to get me excited about cooking something creative and experimental. I turned to the grain book to present the curious foodies with something new and decided on the Farro Salad that uses Asparagus and Prosciutto, with a mustard and lemon vinaigrette dressing.  The recipe had a number of delicious ingredients I thought would go well together, so I was feeling confident.  Strangely enough, another girl brought an asparagus and prosciutto dish (hers was asparagus bundles, wrapped with a piece of prosciutto and grilled)!

Overall the dish was well received.  Everyone knows how much I love to try new grains and are always curious to see what I'm working with this week.  The farro received some compliments, chewy and hearty, holding up well to the asparagus.  One person mentioned it's visual similarity to rice, doesn't translate texturally, which is a bit strange to discover in the first bite. I had a personal issue with the gooey texture of the prosciutto once it's mixed in with the vinaigrette, so I will probably try crisping it up first if I make it again.

Overall I would give it a 3 out of 5 grains. I think in general I need to start salting my grains more & this came out with this dish in particular. According to my nutrition teacher, grains don't taste very well without sodium. As I try to adjust my normally "bland" preparation of variety grains into something other people will enjoy eating, salting is something I need to work on.  Cold salads with grains though...I love these kinds of dishes ;)

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