The ninth installment of our Sous Chef Series brings us to Los Angeles' renowned Campanile. The restaurant's farro salad is rich in flavor and color, eradicating any thoughts of lettuce being mandatory in salads. Campanile's recently departed chef de cuisine, Erica Lins, starts the dish by toasting the ancient grain farro, further enhancing its nutty flavor. She then cooks the farro in water, while making the cumin-scented dressing. Laced with lemon juice and red wine vinegar, the dressing bursts with the spicy aroma of ground cumin. The cooked farro is tossed with the dressing and a mix of sliced pears and black olives, punctuating the dish with sweet and salty notes. Topped with brilliant pink pomegranate seeds and mild ricotta salata, this farro salad is a balanced blend of earthy, sweet and bright flavors--ideal enjoyed either as a side dish or a light meal.
Yield: 4 servings
1. Make the farro: In a medium skillet set over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the farro and cook, stirring frequently, until the farro has darkened slightly in color and smells toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Cover the farro with the water, bring to a boil, cover the pan and simmer until the farro is tender and the water has been absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then refrigerate until cool, about 20 minutes.
2. Make the dressing: In a large mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice, cumin, shallot, red wine vinegar and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley, pear, black olives and the reserved farro. Toss to combine, spread the salad out on a large platter, top evenly with the ricotta salata and pomegranate seeds and serve immediately.Download This Recipe