Wow, another grain and vegetable salad! Katie, really you’ve outdone yourself!
I know I’m a bit of a broken record on the greens and grains thing. I can’t help it -it’s the best way I know to transform a green salad into something more substantial, a fabulous side dish, but hearty enough to be a main dish, especially for the vegetarians at the gate.
And today, farro is the grain of choice, and one of my all-time favorites.
Farro is a wheat grain, popular throughout the Mediterranean, and Italy is the capital of farro consumption; it was in fact the main grain of ancient Rome. When you really dig into the world of farro you’ll find there are actually three species of farro, but the emmer variety is the one that is most commonly available.
Make sure you buy the semi-pearled variety, which cooks much faster, and allows you to skip the overnight soaking step. Not all packaging is very clear about this, so make sure to read the cooking instructions on the farro you buy to see if this step is necessary.
If you want your farro to have even more flavor, cook it in broth. If you are billing this dish as vegetarian, make sure the broth is also vegetarian. I like to use a very light broth to cook my grains, so the flavor of the broth doesn’t overpower the flavor of the grain itself. Just dilute store-bought broth with an equal amount of water, and you’ll be all set.
It’s nice if you can let the dressed farro sit for a couple of hours before adding the rest of the ingredients and serving, but not necessary. The whole salad can sit happily at cool room temp for a few hours before serving.
I made this for one of my best friends on his birthday, right before we were all going to theater, and he said, “I have to eat very fast so I can have more before it’s time to leave.”
That’s always a good sign.
Up above you can see this salad paired with Red Quinoa Salad with Arugula, Artichoke Hearts, and Olives and Sesame-Honey Quinoa and Carrot Salad with Sliced Avocado for a little whole grain salad medley. Instant side dish buffet – just add a main course.
More Grain Salad Recipes:
- Kale Quinoa Salad with Honey, Lemon and Dijon Dressing
- Summer Whole Grain and Vegetable Salad
- Kamut Tabbouleh Salad
Also read: How to Cook Perfect Grains on the Stove.
Farro and Arugula Salad with Orange Herb Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
- 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
- 3 tablespoons chopped shallots
- Coarse or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar rice vinegar or fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups cooled cooked farro cook according to package directions
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 5 cups baby arugula leaves
- In a small food processor combine the basil, tarragon, shallots, and salt and pepper. Add the olive oil, orange juice, and vinegar and blend until it is a thick dressing.
- Place the farro in a large bowl, add the dressing and toss to combine well. Let sit at room temperature for an hour, if possible, or refrigerate for up to one day. Add the tomatoes and the arugula and toss to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Serve at room temperature.
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