Monday, January 11, 2010

A Little Bit of Tuscany

After a couple of gloriously sunny days, we're back to winter weather in the Puget Sound.  It's gray, misty, and pouring rain.  To counteract this dreariness I wanted something for lunch that was bright and the complete opposite of what's going on outside.  After digging around in the cupboard, this is what I came up with:

When we were in Italy last year we stayed in Lucca for a few days, unaware upon arrival that the area is know in particular for it's olive oil and farro.  We ate farro in many forms- in soups and chilled salads mainly.  This farro salad is my take on what we ate almost every day there.

Grilled Squid and Farro Salad
three to four first-course servings

1 c. farro
6-7 squid, cleaned
1 small clove of garlic, finely minced
1/4 c. minced fresh parsley
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil, unfiltered if possible
salt and pepper to taste

Simmer the farro in salted water until tender (usually about 15 minutes, but check frequently).  Drain well and then dress immediately with the lemon, garlic, and olive oil.  Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.  Meanwhile, heat a grill pan (or other grill) and lightly oil and salt the squid.  Once the pan is very hot, throw the squid on and cook for about 30 seconds.  Turn each piece and cook for about 10 seconds longer.  Remember that squid is best cooked either very quickly or very slowly; in between and it will be like eating fishy bubble gum.  Remove the squid from the grill and add in to the farro.  Add the parsley and season to taste with the salt and pepper, and feel free to add more oil and lemon to suit your palate.  As a side note, I think next time I will serve this on a bed of wild arugula. 

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