I liken cooking other people's recipes to dancing in other people's dance shows. It's a chance to let someone else tell me what to do, rather than having to come up with the ideas myself. It happens in dancing like it happens with dinner. I was once told by a choreographer--in all earnestness--to "be a tree". I waved my branches in the wind, and thought to myself--with complete indifference: "I'm a tree. I'm a tree." I liken the ordeal to being midway through a new recipe, and wondering what on earth I've gotten myself into. Conversely, every recipe I have ever made from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty has made me gastronomically smarter. I come away understanding something new about how to put food together, what can go with what, how to make things taste amazing. With every new first bite, my eyes widen and I wonder how he does it. When making his Farro and roasted red pepper salad, I bought a jar of roasted red peppers rather than making my own (I can only imagine...), and I, for some reason, skipped adding honey to the dressing. I might have added agave syrup for a sweetener, and it looks like I may have thrown a few capers in at the end. I also cooked the scallions a little, to soften the taste.
150 g farro
1 jar (220 grams, drained) roasted red pepper
10 pitted black olives (I'm sure I used more)
Thyme (as I've said before, I just pick leaves off the stem until I'm sick of picking, and that's usually enough, but this recipe called for 1 tbspn)
100 g feta, broken into chunks
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbspn olive oil
1/4 tspn ground allspice
1/4 tspn smoked paprika
1/2 garlic clove, crushed
Salt & pepper
Prepare the farro by the directions on the package.
Chop scallions and sauté until soft. Add chopped peppers and season. Combine with the farro.
Add olives, thyme and feta to the farro.
Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and spices (and also, probably, about a tablespoon of sweetener).
Dress the salad and adjust the seasoning.
Excellent recipe from an excellent cook book.