Saturday, August 15, 2009

One of my favorites: Farro Salad

I love grain salads, using good for you grains like quinoa (love!), bulghur, barley and ... farro! I first saw a farro salad recipe in a Giada di Laurentiis cookbook, tried it, loved it, and then made it my own.

You can find farro at Whole Foods, and likely also in the international section of many grocery stores, delis and specialty shops. It's just a wheat, commonly used in Italy (more formally called "Emmer Wheat"). I like to cook mine in chicken or vegetable or mushroom broth, for a little extra flavor. Similar to my other salads, it's "anything goes," or "use up what you have on hand." Great tasting and very good for you!

Farro Salad

One package of farro
Extra virgin olive oil (organic's best!)
One lemon (juiced and zested)
Garlic cloves, crushed or minced (to taste)
Sea salt (grey salt's best, if you have it)
Fresh cracked black pepper
Half a bunch of italian parsley, coarsely chopped
Handful of basil, rolled like cigars and very thinly slice (chiffonade)
A pint of organic grape and/or pear tomatoes (slice each in half and reserve the juice/seeds)

That's the basic ingredients. Cook the farro according to the package directions (but use broth instead of water if you like). Drain and immediately toss with olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and crushed or minced garlic. Don't hesitate to be generous with the olive oil and lemon - the farro will soak up a lot of it! Toss with the tomatoes (along with their juice/seeds, basil and parsley). Flavor, to taste, with sea salt and pepper. Cover and let rest for at least 15 minutes to let the flavor bloom. I think it's fantastic the next day, stored in the fridge. Easy!

Extra ingredients

Now for the good part. Above is the basic recipe, but then you can add whatever you like! Here are examples:

  • Fresh garden zucchini, sliced very thin
  • Asparagus, snap off the woody stems, slice ~3/4" wide, add to cooking farro about 30 seconds before draining OR microwave in a covered bowl with a bit of water for 20-30 seconds (I like mine crisp)
  • Red or yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced thin
  • Carrots, shredded
  • Whatever else you have in the fridge or garden!
  • Really good olives
  • Capers
  • Feta cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Crisp croutons
  • Green beans
  • Lentils
  • Other beans
With the bowl I photographed here, I added a few slices of pork tenderloin, which was quite tasty.

Hope you enjoy!


Karen said...

Super yum! Thanks for sharing your recipe! I'll have to try soon with some summer veggies!

paperhill said...

wow, that looks wonderful! isn't it fun to take someone's recipe and make it your own? i'll have to give this one a try! thanks :) xo