ITALIAN FARRO SALAD WITH VEGETABLES
I’ve been telling you all about my Dinner on the Dock recently. I made a delicious and healthy Italian Farro Salad with Vegetables for that dinner and want to share the recipe tutorial with you.
Farro (pronounced FAHR-oh) is a whole grain from the wheat species. It is similar to barley in both appearance, taste and texture and can be used interchangeably with barley in many recipes. Farro is quite versatile and can be eaten plain as a side dish or used in soups, salads or cooked like a risotto. It can also be enjoyed as you would a hot breakfast cereal. Although Farro is an ancient grain that has been cultivated and eaten for centuries, it is now one of those trendy foods that is currently on many folks radar. It has recently gained popularity in the United States because it is now readily available in most grocery stores. I have come to really appreciate its nutty, earthy flavor and its satisfying bite. Plus, Farro is a great substitute for rice or potatoes and has a lot of nutritional value in comparison.
So, I dreamed up this salad to serve as the starch component at my Dinner on the Dock. The Farro I used is the quick-cooking type. I suggest you purchase this type to avoid the need for overnight soaking and long cooking times. Granted, quick-cooking Farro, also known as the semi-pearled type, has had a portion of its bran and germ removed which does also remove some of the important nutrients. But it is still loaded with B vitamins and important minerals such as manganese and zinc.
So, here is how to make my delicious and healthy Italian Farro Salad with Vegetables:
Start by adding 1 cup of Quick Cooking Farro to a small saucepan.
I have recently discovered a product made by Knorr that is dried garlic in mini cube form. I used two cubes of this garlic seasoning, adding it to 1-1/2 cups of water. I then added 1 heaping tablespoon of beef flavored Better Than Bouillon paste and stirred it up to combine. The garlic cube is quite firm and may take some effort to get it to dissolve. It may be better to crush the cube before placing it in the cooking liquid.
Transfer the liquid to the small pot containing the Farro and bring it to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and cook the Farro for 10 minutes.
After about 10 minutes your Farro should be fork tender but still al dente, with a semi-firm bite to it. At this point there will likely be a bit of liquid remaining in the Farro which you will need to drain. Then set the Farro aside to cool completely while you prepare the “vegetables” for your Italian Farro Salad with Vegetables.
You could actually get creative with your choice of vegetables, using what ever you might have on hand. In my case I used two types of Cherry tomatoes, red & yellow. My grocery store sells these Nature Sweet brand of “Cherubs” tomatoes and I have fallen in love with them. They always seem to be firm yet ripe with a delicious full flavor. I used one cup of each, then sliced them in half to make them easier to eat.
Throw your cut tomatoes into a medium size bowl.
Next I peeled and julienned 2 medium sized carrots. I have this nifty tool that I love for a quick way to julienne vegetables.
Throw the carrots in with the tomatoes.
Now grab a handful of fresh spinach and give it a rough chop. I used one cup of chopped spinach in my salad, measuring it after it was chopped.
Throw the chopped spinach in with the other vegetables.
You may have noticed by now that I love Feta Cheese. I have shared several recipes containing Feta. However, I get that it is a pungent cheese and may not be enjoyed by all. So, if you don’t care for Feta simply leave it out or substitue another type of cheese. I used 1/2 cup of crumbled Feta cheese.
Once your Farro is cooled to room temperature add it to the bowl of prepared vegetables and give it a toss to combine.
Now it’s time to prepare the Honey Mustard Dressing that I like to use on this salad. I am a huge fan of Grey Poupon Country Style Dijon Mustard. I always have extra jars on hand in my pantry because I use it frequently. So, I start by adding 2 tablespoons of this mustard to a mason jar. Next I squeeze a fresh lemon and add 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to the jar along with 2 tablespoons of honey.
Then pour in 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil and fresh ground pepper to taste. Close the jar and give it a good shaking to combine.
Typically you never dress a salad until the moment of serving because the dressing will wilt the greens. However, in the case of this salad it is best to go ahead and dress the salad in advance of serving to let the Farro absorb some of the flavors of the dressing and to marinate the vegetables. So, go ahead and dress your salad to taste. Then refrigerate your Italian Farro Salad with Vegetables until ready to serve.
Farro was found in the tombs of Egyptian kings. It has been said that Farro was a staple in the diets of the Roman Legions. And, Italians have dined on Farro for centuries. Now it’s time you tried it too! You’ll be glad you did
So there you have it: Italian Farro Salad with Vegetables.
- 1 Cup Italian Farro, Quick Cooking Type
- 1-1/2 Cups Water
- 2 Knorr Brand Mini Garlic Cubes
- 1 Heaping Tablespoon Better Than Bouillon, Beef Flavor
- 1 Cup Yellow Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
- 1 Cup Red Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
- 2 Carrots, Julienned
- 1 Cup Chopped Fresh Spinach
- ½ Crumbled Feta Cheese
- 2 Tablespoons Seeded Country Style Dijon Mustard
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
- 2 Tablespoons Honey
- ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Fresh Ground Pepper To Taste
- Place Farro in a small saucepan.
- Crush garlic cubes and add to water along with the Better Than Bouillon, mix to incorporate.
- Add the liquid to the farro and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low, cover saucepan and cook for approximately 10 minutes until Farro is fork tender and al dente.
- Remove from heat and drain any remaining liquid. Set aside and cool to room temperature.
- Add tomatoes, carrots, spinach and feta cheese to a bowl.
- Add farro to vegetables and mix to combine.
- Add the mustard, lemon juice, honey and extra virgin olive oil to a mason jar.
- Shake vigorously to combine.
- Add pepper to taste.
- Pour dressing to taste over Farro and vegetables and mix to combine.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
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