Photo: Katie Huisman
The meal was entirely plant-based and I played the (fun) role of menu curator. My job was easy because I got to work with some of my very favourite chefs in the city: Alina Bobyleva & Scotia Corinne (The Juice Truck), Karen McAthy (Blue Heron Cheese) and Marika Richoz (Birds Nest Dining).
Their dishes blew me and our guests away.
Here’s one of them: The Juice Truck’s Farro Salad with Roasted Pears and Garlic-Poached Radishes. I begged Chefs Alina and Scotia for the recipe and they generously complied. So, here it is. I felt lucky to be in an ‘organizers role’, which meant I could sneak back to the kitchen for nibbles of this salad once guests had been served. I couldn’t stop! Hope you love it as much as I do. Thanks to Alina and Scotia for sharing! Check out their new Juice Truck menu here.
Photo: Katie Huisman
For the Pea Shoot Dressing:
¾ c. Apple cider vinegar
1 c. Olive oil
2 tbsp Mustard
1/2 c. Maple syrup
3 c. Pea shoots (we used Urban Cultivator’s)
a Clove garlic
S&P to taste
For the Farro:
2 c. Farro (we used Eat Grain’s)
1 c. Onions (diced)
1 Clove garlic
1 c. Celery (diced)
3 sprigs Thyme
3 sprigs Rosemary
2 tbsp. Salt
For the Balsamic Roasted Pears:
4 medium Pears (cored and sliced 3mm thick)
4 tbsp Maple syrup
4 tbsp Balsamic
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic (minced)
For the Garlic Poached Radishes and Shallots:
3 c. Olive Oil
2 sprigs Thyme
2 sprigs Rosemary
2 tbsp Salt
For the Nut Cheese Croutons
1/4 c. Chia seeds – ¼ cup
1/2 c. Sunflower seeds – ½ cup
1/4 c. Pumpkin seeds – ¼ cup
1/2 c. Water – ½ cup
1 clove Garlic (finely grated/chopped)
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 c. Vegan nut cheese (crumbled) (we used Blue Heron Cheese‘s)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- For the dressing, add all pea shoot dressing ingredients into a food processor, blend until smooth.
- For the farro, blanch the farro in boiling water for 30 min to get rid of any anti-nutrients. Drain and rinse.
- In the same pot combine diced onions, crushed garlic, diced celery, thyme, rosemary, ferro and fill with enough water to cover all ingredients so nothing is exposed — simmer on low for an hour or until tender.
- In a medium size bowl, marinate the pears in maple syrup, olive oil, balsamic and garlic for 30 minutes (leave at room temperature). Then, place the marinated pear slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet so they are not overlapping and bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- For the garlic-poached radishes & shallots: increase oven temperature to 400F and place all ingredients in a deep oven-safe container (so that the oil is covering all your ingredients). Cook until tender, but not falling apart.
- For the nut cheese croutons: reduce oven temperature to 350F. In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients but the cheese and let stand for 5-10 minutes to thicken. Crumble in the cheese and stir to combine. Using a spatula, spread onto a parchment covered baking sheet until 1/4″ thick. Bake at 350F for 15min.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Crumble the mixture and continue baking for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
- Toss the farro with the dressing and then garnish with pears, radishes, shallots and nut cheese croutons.