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.


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


  • 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.

Raw Tuscan Kale Salad with Pecorino

Lacinato Kale or Black Kale

Some of my brave Texas relatives who tried kale for the first time when the “Kale Crunch” recipe was posted on the Gourmay website have been pestering me for an encore.   Texans tend to think of “greens” as something you pull out of your wallet to buy a barbecue sandwich, but Thérèse and I hold out hope that some of these carnivores can be reformed.

In the interests of speeding this transformation I am pleased to present a Kale salad recipe that continues to be served frequently above the Mason-Dixon line.  Hope you enjoy.

Raw Tuscan Kale Salad with Pecorino 

Ingredients (yields 2 to 4 servings)

1 bunch of Tuscan kale (also known as black or lacinato kale)
1 thin slice country bread (part whole-wheat or rye is nice) or 1/4 cup homemade bread crumbs (coarse)
1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil, more for garnish
Juice from 1 freshly squeezed lemon
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tap red pepper flakes (more if Rick is invited)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese


  1. Trim bottom 2 inches off kale stems and discard (FYI Texans: Please feed stems to rabbits if you are raising them in your backyard).  Slice kale, including ribs, into 3/4-inch-wide ribbons.  You should have about four to five cups.  Place kale in a large bowl.
  2. If using bread (and you should), toast it until golden on both sides.  Tear it into small pieces and grind  in a food processor until mixture forms coarse crumbs.
  3. Using a mortar and pestle, or with the back of a knife, pound garlic into a paste.  Transfer garlic to a small bowl.  Add 1/4 cup of grated pecorino cheese, 3 Tbs of oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper flakes and black pepper and whisk to combine.  Pour dressing over kale and toss very well to thoroughly combine (dressing will be thick and needs lots of tossing to coat leaves).
  4. Let salad sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with bread crumbs, additional cheese and drizzle of oil. 

Keep the green in your diet.  Your bowels will thank you.


Barley and Spinach Salad with Tofu Dressing

This is a quite satisfying vegetarian diet meal that is served frequently in the May household. This basic recipe comes from the June, 2009 Food and Wine magazine.  The crumbled firm tofu in the sherry vinegar dressing adds extra protein.

Barley and Spinach Salad with Tofu Dressing


1 cup pearl barley (7 1/2 ounces)
2 cups chicken stock
2 thyme sprigs
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
10 oz cremini mushrooms quarted (makes about 4 cups)
Freshly ground pepper (tellicherry is best)
2 shallots, thinly sliced
7 oz baby spinach (8 cups)
1/4 cup basil leaves torn
3 Tbs chopped mint
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs light brown sugar
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
7 oz firm tofu, drained and crumbled


  1.  In a medium saucepan, combine the barley, chicken stock, thyme and half of the garlic.  Add a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil.  Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the barley is tender, 25 minutes.  Discard the thyme.  Drain the barley and transfer to a large bowl; cover and keep warm.   
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 Tbs of the oil.  Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring until lightly browned, 5 minutes.  add the shallots and cook, stirring until softened, 3 minutes longer.  Scrape the mushrooms into the barley and toss.  Add the spinach, basil and mint, but do not stir.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 Tbs of oil in the skillet.  Add the remaining garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened.  Add the vinegar, lemon juice and brown sugar and bring to a boil.  Cook until slightly thickened.  1 minute.  Add the tomatoes and cook until heated through.  Stir in the tofu and season with salt and pepper.  Scrape the sherry vinegar dressing over the salad and toss.  Serve warm.