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3 Fabulous Farro Salads

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Farro (pronounced FAHR-oh)is an ancient grain that is believed to have sustained the Roman legions. But it existed even before that, as it fed the Mediterranean and Near Eastern populations for thousands of years. It’s believed to be the Mother Grain of all grains. What has happened between then and now for it’s recognition to be so subdued you ask? Well, it has a relatively low yield, compared to other grains such as wheat, and difficult growing conditions has made this grain almost extinct. But there are certain regions of Italy where it still is harvested. Thanks to it’s resurgence on the menu’s of chic restaurants and on the radar of health-conscious chefs, farro has again found it’s place in the food world. There are 3 versions known asfarro piccolo(aka German einkorn),farro medio(aka emmer), andfarro grande(aka spelt). Low in gluten, high in the b vitamins, fiber, and protein, it’s a pretty nifty whole grain. Nutty, chewy, and works well in soups, salads, or on it’s own. I bought a hefty bag in the bulk section of my local natural foods market for less than a grande latte from Starbucks.

I’ve been so into this grain lately because of it’s versatility and infinite possibilities to create delicious side dishes or whole meals with. These three dishes are tied together with one common thread and it is this: farro, of course, and mint. Perhaps it’s a yearning for spring to arrive, but the mint has accentuated these dishes with just the right punch of freshness. 

In the two dishes with roasted vegetables, I’ve blended the mint into a dressing with parsley and chives, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil but the arugula parmigiano, I left the mint free to be it’s leafy-self in the salad. Each dish also has a nut or seed to give some crunch.

The key is to make the farro tasty enough to be eaten on it’s own, so cooking it with a broth or apple cider vinegar added, some bay leaves, does the trick. Then, a high-quality olive oil to give it an earthy balance.

Farro with roasted veggies and hazelnuts

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Farro, roasted beet, sweet potato, sunflower seeds and kale.

Sweet potato has starred in two of these dishes, and with good reason. It’s sweetness was a perfect balance to the nuttiness of the farro.  A great winter dish.

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Farro, arugula, parmigiano, and mint and much more!

This is my twist on a salad I recently had at Charlie Bird’s in NYC, which I highly recommend, btw. My dear sister and I had a very inspiring meal on a snowy/slushy/rare/#nightinthecitywithoutkids, evening. While old-school hip-hop drummed in the background, we savored the creations set before us while sipping unfiltered Italian Barbera d’Alba from Vietti. Delight.

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Recipes

Farro, arugula, parmigiano & mint
A fresh, vibrant salad that'll have your tastebuds singing
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup farro
  2. 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  3. 1.5 cups water
  4. ..................................
  5. 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
  6. 1 handful mint leaves
  7. 1 handful basil leaves
  8. a few leaves of parsley for good measure (optional)
  9. 2 oz freshly shaved parmigiano (or grano padano)
  10. 1/2 daikon radish, peeled and thinly sliced
  11. 1/2 cup chopped pistachio nuts
  12. ..................................
Dressing
  1. juice of 1/2 lemon
  2. 1/3 cup olive oil
  3. 1 garlic clove, crushed
  4. pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Bring farro, apple cider, salt, bay leaves and 2 cups water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Simmer until farro is tender and liquid evaporates, about 30 minutes.
  2. If all the liquid evaporates before the farro is done, add a little more water.
  3. Discard bay leaves.
  4. ..........................
  5. In a large salad bowl, using a fork mash garlic clove with sea salt
  6. Add lemon juice and olive oil
  7. Add farro and rest fresh vegetables and toss until well combined.
  8. Add freshly shaved parmigiano and pistachios just before serving.
Adapted from Charlie Bird's
Adapted from Charlie Bird's
Molly Bea https://www.mollybea.com/
Farro with roasted vegetables and hazelnut
A savory side dish
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup farro
  2. 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  3. 1.5 cups water
  4. 4 bay leaves
  5. .............................
  6. 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  7. 1 small fennel bulb, stems removed, 1/4 inch slices
  8. 1 medium onion, quartered
  9. 1.5 cups baby brussel sprouts, halved
  10. a couple sprigs of thyme
  11. roasted hazelnuts for topping
  12. ..............................
  13. 10 mint leaves
  14. handful parsley
  15. 5 chives
  16. 3 garlic cloves
  17. 1/4 cup olive oil
  18. juice of half of lemon
  19. ...............................
  20. avocado (optional, just a nice accompaniment)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 on roast setting if possible
  2. Roast sweet potato, brussel sprouts, fennel with drizzle of olive oil and thyme leaves, stems removed
  3. 35 minutes or until they begin to brown
  4. ...........................
  5. Meanwhile, prepare farro.
  6. Bring to boil apple cider vinegar and water in a medium saucepan.
  7. Add farro and bay leaves, cook until all water is absorbed, about 25-30 min.
  8. Add more water if water absorbs before farro is done. ( it should be a little chewy, but tender)
  9. Remove bay leaves
  10. ........................
Dressing
  1. Blend together lemon juice, garlic, fresh herbs and olive oil
  2. Season to taste.
  3. ........................
  4. Toast hazelnuts on a small sheet pan in oven for 15 min.
  5. Rub vigorously in a kitchen towel to remove skin
  6. Roughly crush
  7. .......................
  8. Combine all ingredients and sprinkle with crushed hazelnuts...serve!
Notes
  1. Vegetables and dressing can be made a day ahead for easier prep.
  2. Make a larger batch of hazelnuts to have on hand to add to your salads throughout the week!
Molly Bea https://www.mollybea.com/
Farro, roasted beet and kale, herb vinaigrette
A hearty grain salad with a delicious vinaigrette
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup farro
  2. 2.5 cups water of vegetable broth
  3. pinch of salt
  4. .............................
  5. 1 medium size beet, peeled and cubed
  6. 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  7. 1 onion, quartered
  8. 5 kale leaves, stems removed and loosely chopped
  9. sunflower seeds for topping
  10. ..........................
  11. 2 handful of mint leaves
  12. 1 handful parsley
  13. juice of half lemon
  14. 1/3 cup olive oil
  15. 4 garlic cloves
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Place all vegetables (except kale) on a baking dish or sheet pan with a generous drizzle of olive oil.
  3. Roast for 35 minutes, or until soft.
  4. You can either sautee kale in olive oil until wilted or add to vegetables in oven for last 10 minutes.
  5. ........................
  6. Bring to boil water or vegetable broth
  7. Add farro and cook for 25 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
  8. .......................
Dressing
  1. Blend together lemon juice, garlic, fresh herbs and olive oil
  2. Season to taste.
  3. ......................
  4. Toss the farro with roasted vegetables, kale and dressing.
  5. Add sunflower seeds and serve.
Molly Bea https://www.mollybea.com/

2 thoughts on “3 Fabulous Farro Salads

  1. Je vais essayer ces recettes, ça a l’air super bon ! Par contre, je ne connais pas le “kale”, je crois que ça n’existe pas ici … !
    Bises des suisses.
    Laurène.

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