Some people ogle over rock stars and movie mogals. I am giddy over chefs. Specifically Gavin Kaysen and Hugh Acheson—James Beard Award Winners and Restauranteurs. They delighted us last week at Spoon and Stable (my current favorite restaurant in Minneapolis) with Hugh’s new cookbook, The Broad Fork, and a five-course meal with wine pairings. They are incredibly talented, funny and down-to-earth guys.
With a farmers market crop of tomatoes, here is an adapted version of my new favorite salad from this dinner. It knocked my socks off and if I eat nothing other than this for the rest of the summer I will be quite happy. Farro is an ancient strain of cultivated wheat and gives this salad the perfect crisp texture in every bite. And the vinaigrette? Wow. Make this soon.
Tip: White Miso is readily available in most grocery stores, usually in the produce aisle.
- Kosher salt
- ½ cup farro
- 2 cups canola oil
- 2 pounds of tomatoes, cored, halved, and sliced into half-moons
- 1/3 cup Roasted Tomato–Miso Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
- 4 oz. Robiola Bosina cheese
- 2 cups arugula leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan, and add ½ teaspoon kosher salt and the farro. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook the farro until it is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Strain the farro. Spread it out on a large platter lined with paper towels to steam off and drain off as much of the water as possible.
- In a large saucepan, heat the canola oil to 350°F. Add the farro, in batches, and fry until crisp, 1 to 11/2 minutes.
- Remove from the oil and drain on the platter, lined with fresh paper towels. Season with kosher salt to taste.
- Smear cheese onto the bottom of the platter.
- Arrange the sliced tomatoes on a large platter and season them with kosher salt. Drizzle half of the vinaigrette over the tomatoes. In a large bowl, toss the arugula with the remaining vinaigrette. Place the greens over the tomatoes. Garnish with the crisp farro and season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- ROASTED TOMATO–MISO VINAIGRETTE
- Makes about 1½ cups
- 1 large heirloom tomato
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste
- 1 teaspoon Japanese soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1⁄3 cup olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Core the tomato and cut it into thick rounds. Season the tomato slices with the kosher salt and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in the oven
- and roast for 30 minutes, until the tomato slices are concentrated and very soft.
- Remove the tomatoes from the oven and let them cool to room temperature. When they have cooled, place them in a blender and add the thyme, miso, soy sauce, and vinegar. Puree until smooth, and then, with the motor still running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. The dressing will keep for a week in a jar in the fridge.