There is certain produce that, once it comes into season, I cook and eat compulsively until it disappears from the market. Green garlic – the immature garlic bulb that isn’t yet papery on the outside – is one example. I use a mandoline to thinly slice the whole bulb, and then sauté as I would minced garlic. Zucchini is another and this year I’ve discovered the fresh joy of it raw: just ribbons with salt, lemon juice and good olive oil. Here, both treatments get elevated. I love grain-and-vegetable salads: they’re happy in the fridge for many days, they serve a crowd and they’re great for picnics/cook-outs/travel.
- 1.125 litres (4½ cups) water
- 1 tbsp salt, plus 1 tsp extra
- 125 ml (½ cup) apple cider vinegar
- 1 bay leaf
- 290 g (1½ cups) farro
- 1 very small red onion, cut into half-moon slices
- 1 large (275 g) zucchini, thinly sliced into rounds
- 1 large lemon, zest and juice, plus 1 tsp lemon juice extra
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) olive oil
- 2 bulbs green garlic, finely chopped (see Note)
- ½ long red chilli, seeds removed, thinly sliced
- 1 cup shaved parmesan
- ½ cup finely chopped chives
- 1½ cups chopped parsley leaves
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Combine the water and 1 tbsp salt in a large saucepan. Add the vinegar and bay leaf. Bring to the boil over high heat, then add the farro. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the farro is chewy and al dente. Drain the farro, and allow it to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, soak the onion slices in lukewarm water for 10 minutes to make the flavour less harsh. Drain and dry the onion slices.
Toss the zucchini rounds with the extra 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp lemon juice. Stand for 15 minutes or until it softens.
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the green garlic and chilli, and cook for 1 minute or until translucent and soft. Transfer to a mortar and pestle. Add the lemon zest and juice, and remaining 60 ml (¼ cup) oil and stir to make a vinaigrette.
Place the farro in a serving bowl and fold in the vinaigrette. Fold in the onion and zucchini, then the parmesan, chives, parsley and pumpkin seeds. Adjust the lemon juice, if needed. Serve slightly warm, or at room temperature.
• Green or spring garlic is available from farmers’ markets or selected greengrocers.
Recipe from The Roaming Kitchen by Cristina Sciarra, with photography by Cristina Sciarra.
Read our Blog Appétit interview with Cristina Sciarra and view more recipes by her.