After a snow-dumping, deep freeze kind of winter in New York, it's nice that the pounding, driving rains have arrived. Why? That means sunshine, spring and amazing produce are weeks rather than months away. Matter of fact, my raised flowerbed on my balcony currently has sprouting leaves from 10 of the bulbs I planted last Fall. Hooray, looks like I will soon have crocuses and tulips! We're already starting to see some spring produce in the stores and a local farmer is now selling Mache, one of my favorite salad greens. Thus, a quick and delicious main-course salad or elegant appetizer you can make now to bridge that gap between seasons. Here's my "Mache and Farro Salad with Salmon".
Farro is another really incredible product, an ancient grain that is packed with flavor, chewy texture and nutrition. It's a protein bomb! My favorite variety is from a producer that also has incredible oats and polenta and must be soaked first for the highest quality result. You can soak it overnight before you'd like to use it or just soak it and have it ready for a day or two in your fridge. Use these Instructions from the farro I most recommend.
After you've soaked and strained the farro, you can pick up with my recipe below. Enjoy!
2 six-ounce portions fresh salmon, filleted and de-skinned
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 c. farro that's been soaked overnight, drained
2 1/2 c. homemade chicken or vegetable stock
1 fresh heirloom tomato, chopped
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Season the salmon liberally with kosher salt and black pepper, sprinkle on the smoked paprika and rub gently into the flesh. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and roast the salmon until cooked all the way through and opaque, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
2. In a saucepan bring the stock to a boil and add the farro and a couple pinches of kosher or sea salt. Stir occasionally and simmer gently until the farro is tender and cooked but still a bit chewy. Remove from the heat and place a lid on and let the farro absorb the rest of the stock for 5 minutes.
3. Wash and spin dry the mache and arrange on wide plates. Chop the tomato and sprinkle on the mache. Top each plate with a piece of salmon. In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, three pinches of kosher salt, a few grinds of freshly cracked black pepper. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking vigorously to create a thick lemon dressing.
4. Remove the lid from the farro and fluff up. With a large tablespoon, sprinkle the farro all over the salad. Drizzle the salad with the lemon vinaigrette and enjoy!