The CSA adventure continues! This past Thursday, I got something called verdolagas in my veggie share. I know–what are verdolagas? They taste kind of like watercress. I’ve seen several recipes for sauces featuring or incorporating verdolagas, and evidently they’re popular in salads. A couple friends of mine went to Diner in South Williamsburg (amazing grass-fed burgers!) for dinner last night and some long-haired man sitting behind them apparently exclaimed, “Um, why is there, like, a b-ranch in my salad?!” when his salad showed up with a branch of verdolagas on top. I can imagine his surprise looked like this:
I had farro for the first time in college. I guess I sort of had the same reaction to farro that Mr. Shiny Locks had to verdolagas. I remember thinking, “Who put RICE in my salad?” Because imagine soggy rice at the bottom of a salad bowl. Farro, unlike rice, holds its own when dressed. It tastes as nutty as it looks, and I think it’s best cooked al dente, with a little bite. Similar to bulgur, and just as filling, it’s a great grain addition to salads, but might be too dense to serve as a rice-like side dish. Although I’m sure people enjoy it that way too.
Put water and farro in a pot in a 2:1 ratio of water to grain. Reduce to a simmer once water starts to boil. Let simmer for 30 minutes, or until farro is cooked al dente. Make sure to salt the water! 1 tsp per cup of farro. Chop vegetables that you want in your salad. I used tomatoes and verdolaga. My aromatics were parsley and scallions. Make a vinaigrette. I mixed balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and mustard together with some salt & pepper. Toss and enjoy!
Last photo, courtesy of Instagram, and only because all the cool(er) kids are doing it: