Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I Feel The Need, The Need for........Parsley...??

You know how it goes. One day, you're reading a cooking magazine or watching Food TV and then the craving hits you- you MUST MUST MUST eat (fill in the blank) now! Trust me, it happens to me on a weekly basis....that longing for Mexican food after seeing a Rick Bayless show.......the uncontrollable urge for onion rings when you get a whiff of them walking past a fast food joint, when you read food blogs....it happens to the best of us. It happened to me just the other day actually. My name is Anne, and I'm a food craver. There, I said it.

The very strange thing is actually the food (if you can even call it that) I suddenly got a craving for. Although we've all certainly had our salad cravings after the holidays, this was a first for me. As I sat at my desk, minding my own business, I got to thinking about how I just needed parsley. Yep- that green stuff that gets regulated to the side of a plate to make everything else look more appealing. Mind you- it wasn't Garnish King curly parsley that I wanted- I wanted its Italian cousin, the Flat Leaf. Now before you jump to conclusions, there is no little tokyoastrogirl on the way (my 6 cups of sake last night should prove that!). I supposed I may have seen a photo of tabbouleh somewhere, but those are the flavors I craved- lemon, parsley, olive oil and something nutty.

Luckily, I had all of the ingredients I needed to whip together this crave buster. I had recently purchased a bag of farro from the Cheese Store of Silverlake, and was waiting for the perfect opportunity to bust it out. It was quite simple- soak and boil the farro, drain it, then mix it with over a cup of chopped parsley, a squeeze of lemon juice and a nice drizzle of good olive oil. Toss in a handful of diced red onion, a pinch of salt and a sprinkling of pepper and it was done, ready to defeat my craving.

I tossed some shrimp with a mixture of cumin, madras curry powder, garlic powder and turmeric and baked for 5 minutes to accompany my farro salad. The slightly chewy farro was delicious- especially mixed in with my beloved parsley. The minute the greens hit my tongue, I was satisfied. I have to say, it was nice to have a craving for something so healthy for a change!

Farro salad

2 cups farro
juice of one lemon
1/4 cup good, fruity olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
salt & pepper to taste

Soak farro for 20 minutes, drain. Cover with water by about 2 inches and bring to a boil- cook for about 15 minutes, but check for a texture that you like- I like mine to stay slightly chewy. Drain, mix immediately with red onion, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Let cool before adding parsley, mix well and enjoy.

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