When Rob and I traveled to Italy recently, we did our food shopping daily and prepared very simple dinners at home. I kept feeling like the trip was far too short to sample all the lovely ingredients and prepared foods that I wanted to try (not that we didn’t do quite well for ourselves, dinner-wise).
I spotted farro salad in many of the little shops we stepped into, but didn’t have a chance to try any. No worries: I had a packet of farro at home, and this simple farro and vegetable salad was among the first things I made when we returned. In fact, I took it to our family picnic to celebrate my grandmother’s 92nd birthday last weekend.
This farro-vegetable salad is endlessly flexible (you can swap in any vegetables you’d like), and it serves a crowd. I love farro salad as a side dish for grilled chicken or fish; it also makes a tasty and good-for-you packable lunch.
No farro? No problem: You could substitute any cooked whole grain, including brown rice, quinoa or wheat berries.
FARRO SALAD WITH SUMMER VEGETABLES RECIPE
3 cups cooked farro (I used pearled, or quick-cooking, farro)
5 ears fresh sweet corn, kernels cut off
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup slivered fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/3 cup good quality olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt; add the corn kernels and cook for 2 minutes. Remove corn to a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Transfer the farro, the corn, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and herbs to a large serving bowl. In a glass measuring cup, whisk together the garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt. Pour the dressing over the salad and add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Can be made several hours ahead of serving.