Farro Salad

June 17, 2013

Grains are food Gods.  Powerhouses of nutrition.  Protectors of my heart and arteries.  I feel saddened that I’m just now learning about their wonderful qualities in the past few years of my adult life.  Why didn’t I grow up eating quinoa and millet… MOM and DAD!?  Grains and legumes have been harvested since the beginning of time and are a main staple of other culture’s daily diets.  They should have just plopped a plate full of steamy lentils and brown rice in front of my Little Mermaid-obsessed eyes and forced me to eat.  Yeah right.  I’m sure I’ll understand a little more when it’s my turn to feed a child of my own.

However, I must give credit where credit is due… my parents did do a great job on the vegetable-front.  Feeding me frozen peas straight from the package when I could barely walk, sautéing button mushrooms for a toddler, teaching me how to cook and eat an artichoke when I was in Middle School, and that eggplant and asparagus are really great foods if you cook them correctly.  Congrats parents, you rock.

If you’re like me and just learning about grains, then Farro is a great place to start.  Pronounced FARH-oh… don’t pronounce it like I first did, like Pharaoh.  It’s an ancient grain, believed to have sustained the Roman legions before finding its way to the New World.  It’s now grown specifically in Central and Northern Italian regions, which is a sentimental plus for me.  The texture is similar to rice, but tastes nuttier and more complex.  It’s much like barley and can be used similarly in recipes… soups, stews, salads, etc.  High in fiber, protein, and iron.  Easy to prepare.  It’s a win-win situation.

Enough of that, let’s get to the food.

Farro Salad from Simplified Feast 3

Oh dang.  There’s a lot of veggie chopping for this one, but it’s worth it.

Finely dice the following; 1 red onion, 1 red bell pepper, 1 carrot, and 2 stalks celery.

Farro Salad from Simplified Feast 1

Rinse 1 cup farro and place in a saucepan with 3 cups water and a dash of salt.  Cover and bring to a low boil for about 15 minutes or until farro is chewy.  I used Nature’s Earthly Choice Italian Pearled Farro, but obviously use whatever brand you’d like and prepare it according to the package directions.

While farro is cooking, saute the diced onions in a large heavy-bottomed pot with a few tbs. of olive oil over medium heat, until translucent.  I cooked mine a bit longer because I’m not quite comfortable with the crunch of onions yet.  Baby steps.

Add the remaining vegetables (bell pepper, carrot, and celery) and cook with onions for a few minutes, just until they warm slightly.  Add a few good glugs of olive oil to the veggies with about 3 tbs. of balsamic vinegar.  Remove from heat and stir until well-coated.  Drain cooked farro and add to the vegetables, stir.  Season with salt and pepper and let the mixture sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.  Add 1/3 c. crumbled feta cheese after salad has cooled a bit.

Farro Salad from Simplified Feast 2

Oh gosh, look!  It’s a vision of Summer-time health!  Or at least a few days worth of leftover lunches for me.  Salad can be served warm, at room-temperature, or cold.

Recipe slightly adapted from Shutterbean and Barefoot Contessa.  For the full recipe, click here:  Farro Salad from Simplified Feast

One Response to “Farro Salad”

  1. […] The Simplified Feast made my Farro Salad […]

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