Pondermountain Summer Dinner At Belted Cow 2013

Pondermountain Summer Dinner At Belted Cow 2013

Chef John and Caitlin of the Belted Cow hosted close to thirty people for dinner last Thursday night. It was a beautiful summer evening which added to the wonderful summer food and the good cheer of the evening. The menu began with a sweet corn soup topped with chives and garlic croutons.

This was followed by a mediterranean green bean salad with celery, red onion, feta, cured olives and red wine vinaigrette.

photo courtesy of Laura Schantz

photo courtesy of Laura Schantz

The second appetizer which was so so good was a Maple Brook mozzarella toast with summer tomato crude and basil pesto.

photo coutesy of Laura Schantz

photo coutesy of Laura Schantz

The main course was a creamy Vermont sweet corn and roasted mushroom farrotto (farro cooked in the same manner as risotto) with organic pea shoots and parmesan.

photo courtesy of Laura Schantz

photo courtesy of Laura Schantz

For many people, the farro was a treat as they had never tried it before. It was cooked to perfection and delicious. Farro is an Italian grain that is chewy, yet has a light nutty flavor. There are three types of farro but emer wheat(Triticum diccocum)  grown in abundance in Tuscany and Abruzzo is considered true farro. Farro is one of the oldest grains on earth. Half a cup is 170 calories. Farro is high in magnesium and iron and is a good source of protein and has quite a bit of dietary fiber. Although high in calories, it contains phytonutrients that lower cholesterol and blood sugar and has been shown to reduce inflammation.

How do you cook farro? Farro first needs to be soaked for a hour and then boiled with two parts water to one part grain, simmer for approximately 30 minutes. Farro can be added to soup, used in place of pasta and it can be a wonderful breakfast alternative with peaches, berries and honey in the summer. We often add a bit of almond milk along with the berries.

Heirloom tomatoes were used on the toast that Chef John served. Heirloom tomatoes or heirloom vegetables keep their traits using open pollination and not genetic modification. Heirloom seeds are passed down from generation to generation, each farmer or gardener collecting the seeds from their crops to be used in the next season. Heirloom seeds can be planted in the next season and reliably produce the same plant as the year before. Hybrid seeds cannot be counted on to produce the same plants in the ensuing year because they are a combination of different varieties of plant bred for specific characteristics.

This dinner was the last in our seasonal nutrition series. We look forward to our new series of dinners beginning in the fall. Check the site for details. Thank you John and Catlin for another wonderful evening.

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