The renowned vegan chef, Tal Ronnen has created lovely, distinctive specialty items for the restaurants at the Wynn, and after receiving a challenge from the team at www.vegas.com/, to individualize one of these dishes, I chose to remake the Farro and Zucca Soup from the Allegro restaurant, into a salad.
The soup was full of butternut squash, potato, farro, spinach, mushrooms and garlic, but I felt a crisp and flavorful salad was more seasonally appropriate for this time of year.
The Farro and Zucca Soup from Allegro
I used a combination of Japanese and Purple sweet potatoes, in place of the butternut squash and potato, for diversity and additional visual appeal, and roasted them to intensify their flavor. To soften its spiciness, I cooked the garlic with the farro, and I mixed in a handful of toasted walnuts once all the water had evaporated. The salad greens, in place of the wilted spinach, provided a fabulous freshness and crunch and the brightness of the Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette added a lively spring feel and was the perfect complement to the earthiness of the sweet potatoes and farro.
SWEET POTATO FARRO SALAD WITH A LEMON THYME VINAIGRETTE
Heat oven to 325F. Peel and chop 1 Japanese sweet potato and 1 purple sweet potato. Place on a baking sheet and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes, or until cooked.
Meanwhile, add 1/2 cup farro to 3 cups of water. Stir in 2 crushed garlic cloves and season with salt. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, drain excess water. Toss with 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley, 1/2 cup toasted, chopped walnuts, arugula, sweet potatoes and Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette.
LEMON THYME VINAIGRETTE
Mix together 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon chopped lemon thyme, scant 1/3 cup of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.