Farro is one of those wonderful ancient grains that is so satisfying it might just turn you into a vegetarian. I’m using an organic, whole-grain farro which I buy at nuts.com. You can also make this with a pearled version of farro. Since the cooking times are very different, follow the cooking instructions on the farro you buy. This salad is from Giada DeLaurentiis, slightly tweaked by me. It is a wonderful side dish to grilled fish or meat. If you add some cubed feta or Bulgarian cheese, it becomes a light meal in itself.
Herbed Farro Salad
Yield: 6 servings
1.5 cups of farro, cooked according to instructions on package
1.5 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half if small or quarters if larger (If you can buy the small heirloom tomatoes, it makes for a very delicious and colorful salad.)
1/2 chopped sweet or red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1 bunch chopped flat-leaf parsley or a mixture of cilantro, parsley and mint (I used a mixture this time, but have made it with just parsley as well.)
1-2 cloves of minced garlic
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Fresh cracked black pepper or Aleppo Pepper to taste
about 1/4 cup EVOO
- Drain the farro and allow to cool to just warm.
- Add the tomatoes, onion, chive and parsley and mix through.
- In a jar or small bowl, mix together the garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper and EVOO and add to the farro salad. Toss to coat everything.
NOTE: This salad is best eaten at room temperature so if you make it ahead of time and refrigerate it, take it out 30 minutes before serving.
Cooking Farro: There are many different methods, but the following is how I cooked it.
For whole-grain organic farro, I used these directions:
Soak farro in water for 8 hours or overnight to reduce overall cooking time. To cook whole-grain farro on the stove top, combine 3 parts liquid to one part farro. Bring the farro to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook uncovered for approximately 30-45 minutes, or until the grain is tender. It is a bit of personal taste just how chewy you like your farro.
For pearled farro, use these directions:
Use 3 parts liquid to 1 part farro. Bring water or broth to a rolling boil, and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the farro and let it cook for 20 minutes. For a chewy texture, cook for less time. For a mushy texture, cook longer.