April 18, 2014
Has farro’s season in the sun ended? Have kamut or wheat berry edged in as the new favorites? Whatever it is that currently sits in your pantry, this recipe will do the trick. For now, I’m sticking with farro. Farro has such a delicious, nutty taste, is packed with protein and so versatile.
I’ll cook-up the whole bag, store it in the fridge and use it throughout the week. You can add it to salads, soups and sautés. If you’ve got the picky people problem, just toss warm farro with melted butter and a sprinkle of chives and Parmesan and they will love it, my picky ones do.
This spring farro salad recipe was first shared with my girlfriends at a recent cooking demo and lunch. It was a must share because it’s a perfect mix of early spring flavors and works well for entertaining since you can serve it at room temperature. This is so tasty that it made the cut for my Easter menu. Most of the produce will come straight from my garden which is always awesome.
Spring Farro Salad with Feta and Sumac Vinaigrette
Serves a crowd: About 3 quarts / 8-10 servings
Note: Farro is not gluten-free, but those with mild wheat sensitivities find it easier to digest.
2 cups of farro uncooked (see cooking instructions below)
1 bunch parsley
1 small bunch of mint (6-8 sprigs)
8 ounces (about 2 cups) sugar snap peas
1 pound fava beans
1 large fennel bulb
1 bunch radishes
2 cups wild arugula
1 cup feta, crumbled (My favorite is the Israeli feta from TJ’s)
½ teaspoon sumac
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt (I like Diamond Crystal)
¼ teaspoon cracked pepper
Cook the farro:
Cover farro with water and let soak for 25 minutes. Drain & transfer farro to a pot.
Cover with 2 quarts water with salt (how much salt?) and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer & cook uncovered about 25 minutes. Strain into a fine mesh strainer. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Fluff with a fork. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes, while it cools you can prepare your veggies.
Prep your veggies:
Clean, dry the fresh herbs. Remove the leaves from the stem and chop well. The parsley will yield about 1 cup and the mint about 1/2 cup after they’re chopped.
Bring a large pot of salty water to boil on high heat for the fava beans. Recruit your kids (or anyone who happens to be home) to help you peel the fava beans out of the pod.
While you wait for the water to boil prep your other veggies. Clean sugar snap peas and remove the string. Slice on bias. Quarter the fennel removing the heart and thinly slice with a hand mandolin or slice with a knife. Clean and slice the radishes the same thickness as the fennel. Rough chop the arugula.
Once the water is boiling add the shelled beans to the pot. Cook the beans for 2 minutes. Remove from the water. Once they have cooled enough to handle pop the top off the fava bean and the bean inside should pop right out. You should have about 1 cup if you have a little more or less – no worries, throw ‘em all in.
Make your dressing:
Whisk vinegar and olive oil together and then add in sumac, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, pour in the cooled farro then throw in all the prepped veggies and fresh herbs. Toss to incorporate. Just before serving, add 3/4 of the dressing and toss. Taste and add more dressing, salt or pepper if needed — I always end up using all the dressing. Top with the feta and serve.
Any leftovers will keep in the fridge for three days and make for a very happy lunch.