Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Salmon & Farro...

...2 things that go great together.. apparently! It was my first time trying farro FINALLY- it's been a feat to find but alas, thanks to Gourmet Glatt, it is finally in stock. My friend Michal has been talking about farro for a long time and I've been trying to get a hold of it but obviously Florida is more advanced than NY in that department! :-)

With my farro (which I had absolutely no idea what I was gonna do with it), I decided to make wild salmon filet. I usually make my salmon with the same simple ingredients because I don't like to over think things with fish and my mantra for it is less is best. I may have posted a similar recipe for salmon before, though I can't remember and frankly am too lazy to search through the archives of my blog! But nevertheless, it may be slightly different as I tried a few new things.

As far as the farro goes, the entire thing was literally a whim. I followed the directions on the package, which I found worked wonders- it said to let boil for 15 minutes versus a recipe I found online which said to boil (the same amount) for 45 minutes- after 15-20 minutes the farro was really nicely done, I can imagine it would have been like mush after 45. So I'm glad I trusted the bag. Farro- it's a grain... wheat... protein. It's very similar to wheatberries (which I posted about in the beginning of my blogging days), but requires a shorter cook time. Like rice or couscous, it's basically a blank canvas. So I opened my fridge and the first 2 things I saw were a package of peeled and cut up butternut squash, and a container of blueberries... ??? ... blueberries in a rice-like dish? YES! I decided that I would make it work. As you already know from previous recipes, I am a huge fan of putting sweet in my savory (I never tried putting savory in my sweet though- hmmm food for thought!)- fruit in salad, preserves in chicken dishes, etc. It usually works out to my advantage, and I was really happy with the result this time!

Garlic Rubbed Maple Dijon Salmon
-large filet of salmon big enough for 2 people (or 2 regular sized portions)
-2 cloves of garlic
-sprig of dill
-juice of 1/2 a lemon
-3 tbsp. dijon mustard
-3 tbsp. REAL maple syrup (NOTTTT Aunt Jemima's pancake syrup!!!)- [try TJ or Target for the best prices]
-spoonful of roughly chopped capers

-preheat the oven to 425. Season the salmon with salt & fresh cracked lemon pepper
-grate the garlic cloves on a microplane and rub into the fish (yes with your hands)
-combine the dijon, lemon, and maple and then pour over the fish (you can leave a little leftover to drizzle/baste on during the last few minutes of cooking time if you want)
-sprinkle with chopped dill & the capers.
-cut the lemon half in pieces and place  in the baking dish
-bake for 20 minutes until flakes off easily but do NOT overcook- dry salmon, well, really sucks!
-when it's done, sprinkle with more fresh dill

Farro with Roasted Butternut Squash & Blueberries
-1 cup butternut squash, cut into small cubes.
-1 large shallot, finely chopped
-1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
-handful of blueberries
-3 basil leaves, chiffonade

-Roast on a baking sheet seasoned with olive oil salt and pepper for about 20 minutes (do this preferably before preparing the fish, at 450 degrees. Cut the cubes bite size, easier to eat, and easier to roast faster). Broil on low for a few minutes if you don't want to wait long but make sure it's well coated with olive oil or olive oil spray so they don't burn.
-Prepare the farro as per the bags instructions, drizzle with olive oil when it's done, and season with salt (I like to salt the water too)
-Saute the shallot with a little salt and sugar, and add to the farro with the butternut squash when it's done
-Drizzle in the balsamic, add the basil & top with blueberries

Don't let the blueberries scare you- they totally go!