Monday, June 27, 2011

Farro Salad

I recently made an amazing dish with farro as the base. Farro is a whole grain and unlike wheat, the husk adheres to the grain, which makes it high in fiber, vitamin B, and protein. It is considered the "mother of all grains" meaning that it is the original grain from which all others come from including rice, barley, rye, and wheat. It is estimated to have been around for more than 6,000 years! Why have I not been cooking with it more??? Add some beans and this would be a complete protein meal, or start serving it as a side dish for a different and healthy alternative to potato salads, rice, mashed potatoes, and even pasta.... etc.

Farro Salad with Farm Fresh Tomatoes
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

4 cups water
10 ounces farro (about 1 1/2 cups - farro is generally found on the pasta aisle)
2 tsp salt
1 pound farm fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1/4 cup snipped fresh chives (I don't eat chives so didn't add)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh italian parsley leaves
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 TBS balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp pepper or more to taste

Turn oven on to high broil.
Combine the water and the farro in a saucepan and add 2 tsp of salt. Bring this to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium low once boiling and simmer until the farro is tender, which takes about 30 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a serving bowl to cool.

Combine the tomatoes, onion, and garlic on a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil lining the bottom. Toss the tomatoes, onion, and garlic in olive oil until evenly covered, add a bit of salt and pepper and place under broiler. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the tomatoes start to brown slightly and the onions are tender to the touch. This varies, but you just want to make sure not to burn the veggies, so keep a close watch on them!

When veggies are broiled, add to the farro, then add the parsley and toss to combine well (add the chives here if using).

In a small bowl, add the garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper, and oil and whisk these together well. Add the vinaigrette to the farro and toss to coat well. Enjoy hot or cold, we loved it both ways!

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