Looking for something a little different and delicious to add to the typical fare this Memorial Day? How about a fresh, whole grain and veggie salad to add a big boost of nutrition to the table? There are so many super tasty whole grains to try, and farro is one of them. It can be daunting to cook something you’ve never made before, but that’s where I come in. I’ve taken out the guess work out and now all you have to do is throw it together and enjoy!
Farro (pronounced Far-Oh) is an ancient whole grain that has a deliciously nutty flavor and pleasantly chewy texture. It mixes in easily with salads and can also be added to soups and stews. It is a complex carbohydrate, meaning it is minimally processed, and is high in fiber, B vitamins, and protein, along with other vitamins and minerals.
I first tried a farro dish when we were on a recent vacation and then discovered it here in town at Zoe’s Restaurant in a new salad called the Live Med Salad. It was great, but the portions are huge and when I looked the nutrition info up it tops out at a whopping 670 calories! So, I decided to create my own recipe.
I made this a few weeks ago for a teacher appreciation gathering and it was a big hit. I actually made the farro the day before to give it plenty of time to cool and then threw the salad together in about 10 minutes. It would be great alongside grilled chicken or fish this Memorial Day or any time.
Farro Salad with Veggies and Herbs
3 cups water
10 ounces farro (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 teaspoons salt
1-2 pints grape tomatoes, cut in halves (I used red and yellow for color)
1 cup Vidalia onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
2 ounces crumbled feta
1 zucchini, processed into ribbons with vegetable peeler
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Combine the water and farro in a medium saucepan. Add 2 teaspoons of salt to water and stir. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the farro is tender, about 40 minutes. Drain well, and then transfer to a large bowl to cool.
Add the grape tomatoes, onion, chives, parsley, and feta to the farro, and toss to combine. Lay zucchini on its side and run vegetable peeler along length to form ribbons. Stir zucchini ribbons gently into farro mixture.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Add the vinaigrette to the salad and toss to coat. Let flavors come together for an hour or two or overnight before serving.
Calories: 233 Fat: 8 g Saturated Fat: 1.5 g Sodium: 376 mg
Carbohydrates: 32 g Fiber: 6 g Protein: 7 g
I hope you try it and love it too! I always love to hear feedback, so shoot me a message and let me know what you think.
*Note: I wasn’t able to find farro yet at Publix, although they could order it I’m sure. I did find the Bob’s Red Mill brand at both Whole Foods and Fresh Market.