Monday, February 18, 2008

Warm Grain Salad for a Cold Night


Usually I don't make recipes that aren't accompanied by photos. I flip through magazines and am attracted by the pictures. I pick up cookbooks with gorgeous covers that are filled with color pictures. In other words, I judge a recipe by its picture.
Which I realize is totally the wrong way to do things. I mean, I can easily think of a handful of dishes that I love that are absolutely hideous and would take an enormous amound of talent to make appear appetizing. (Ghormeh sabzi is one, I mean, its a dark green stew with brown bobs and chunks of meat and kidney beans bobbing around. If anything, its the kidney beans that might save it.) This dish is not one of those. This picture does not do it justice because we were sick and hungry and didn't have the patience for me to try to get a good picture; my goal here was just not blurry.

Oh, wait, I was talking about a cookbook. I picked up A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen by Jack Bishop, and couldn't put it back down. I mean, who could when there are gorgeous squash blossoms on the cover and a tomato-goat cheese tart on the back. It made me start dreaming of summer.
And yes, there are 8 pages of color inserts, but I kind of ignored them and flipped straight to the back of the book where the winter section is. And I wasn't dissapointed. I immediated ripped up a piece of paper and bookmarked two recipes. I still haven't even flipped through them all yet. The first one, a warm farro salad with roasted mushrroms and sheep's milk cheese, is what the picture above is of. I had the cheese in the fridge, so why not give it a try?
It was good - though not as good as it could have been, though that is all due to my modifications. The mushrooms, tomatoes, and shallots were awesome after roasted in the oven, and the cheese went wonderfully with it. The only problems were that I forgot to buy parsley and couldn't find any arugula and used spinach instead. It was good with spinach, but I think arugula would have been a bit nicer with it.

Since I didn't change anything about it, I'm not sure it would be right to post it here. So if you want to try it, it's on page 360 of the book.

Now I just need to try a few other recipes from it, like the Carribean Black Beans with Sautéed Plantains.

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