Salmon and Farro Salad

Aware that I am into the World Cup in a big way, Gourmay readers across the world are asking me what we serve guests during the game. It used to be that we would serve some antipasti and, perhaps, a little pasta to whet the appetites of our guests. Sadly, after the biting incident in the Italy-Uruguay match, we have had to reconsider our menu because Luis Suarez gives new meaning to the term “al dente” when dining Italian.

Suarez_Cone.jpg

Mind you, I am a refined carnivore and prefer my meat cooked rather than still on the hoof, but I can understand why some people might be attracted to someone’s shoulder if they haven’t been weaned properly as a child. In any event, we have now decided that a trio of salads would be better to keep nationalistic passions in check. Found below is a useful salmon and farro salad courtesy of Mamacita:

Poached Salmon and Farro Salad

Ingredients (Serves 4 to 6)

  • 1 1/4 lb salmon
  • 4 tsp of red wine
  • 4 to 5 sprigs of dill
  • 1/2 cup barley or farro
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 Tbs capers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs dill snipped
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil

Preparation

  • Poach salmon in water with 4 tsp of red wine and 4 to sprigs of dill.  Cool and flake.
  • Cook barley or farro and then toss with 2 tsp of olive oil and let cool.
  • Combine vegetables with salmon, grain and Dijon.  Season with wine vinegar, lemon juice and salt and pepper.

A penitent Luis Suarez tells me that the salmon salad is best eaten at room temperature.

Fresh Snow Pea Salad by Daniel Humm

snow peasThe July edition of Food and Wine has a delightful recipe for Fresh Snow Pea salad (p 230). Mind you, this is not for vegetarians because it contains pancetta, but if you are a carnivore looking for something that is both tasteful and beautiful to accompany your Rib-Eye steak or even grilled salmon, this is a real beauty.

David Hamm is the chef at Manhattan’s Eleven Madison Park.  He is certainly on my radar when I venture into New York City again.

Fresh Snow Pea Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 pound snow peas—strings removed, peas sliced on the diagonal 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces thickly sliced pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, torn
  • 2 ounces shaved Pecorino Sardo cheese

Preparation

  1. Soak the snow peas in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry. In a medium bowl, whisk 1/4 cup of the olive oil with the lemon juice and lemon oil and season the dressing with salt and pepper. Add the snow peas.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook over moderate heat until lightly browned and the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 minutes.
  3. Scrape the pancetta into the snow pea salad. Add half of the mint, season with salt and pepper and toss well. Garnish with the remaining mint and the Pecorino and serve.

Rediscovering Coleslaw

Most people with any sense of taste will generally give coleslaw a pass. Sure, it works well to wet the pulled pork sandwich, but generally this mayonnaise-laden side-dish adds color but very little flavor in fast food chains.  Thankfully, Thérèse has never succumbed to the temptation to subject luscious fresh vegetables to a coating of factory-processed mayo.

While Thérèse is not afraid to experiment, her coleslaw recipe has been remarkably consistent over the last twenty years.  The “secret” recipe dates back 50 years+ and is actually an amalgamation of her Grandmother’s “Fred Harvey’s Railroad Slaw” and her own food experiments at VEPCO (“Virginia Electric Power Company”).  The basic difference is that Fred Harvey’s recipe calls for twice as much oil as vinegar.  Thérèse recommends equal portions.  This recipe  which serves 8 and easily lasts up to 5 days if refrigerated.

Variations on Fred Harvey’s Railroad Coleslaw

Ingedients

4 cups of shredded cabbage
2-4 Tbs minced onion
1-2 carrots shredded
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tsp celery seed
1 Tbs sugar
1/2 cup of white vinegar
1/2 cup of oil

Preparation

  • Toss cabbage, onion and carrots
  • In saucepan, combine other ingredients and bring to a boil.
  • Pour over cabbage mixture and chill 4 to 6 hours.

Sure, it’s simple but far better than the mayo-processed variety.