Thursday, January 8, 2015

Mediterranean Farro Salad




Farro.

I've said it before and I'll say it again that farro is a very underused and underappreciated grain. It's the oldest cultivated grain in the world, and it says they were even eating it in biblical times. Read all about it here.

It has the bite of barley but it doesn't get soggy, and it's packed full of protein and nutrients and has twice the fiber of wheat.

This recipe is amazing because you can serve it warm or cold.  Eat it by itself or as a side dish.  Since I live in Florida I served it cold as a salad with grilled chicken and steak on the BBQ!!

Here's what you'll need:

2 cups farro
5 cups water
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 tomato, seeded
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pits removed and halved
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/2 fennel bulb, shaved into thin slices

For the dressing:
1 lemon
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Equipment you'll need:

A large pot
A fine mesh sieve
A large bowl

To start with, get the 5-6 cups of water on the stove and bring to a boil.  Add in the farro and allow to cook until chewy, about 30 minutes.



While the farro is boiling, chop all of your veggies, half your kalamata olives and shave the fennel (you can use a sharp knife or a mandolin).



**NOTE!!! THIS IS THE POINT IN MY PREPARATION WHEN I WAS SHAVING THE FENNEL AND SLICED HALF MY FINGERTIP OFF.  NEEDLESS TO SAY I DID NOT FINISH TAKING MY PROGRESS PICTURES.  I THREW AWAY THE FENNEL, STERILIZED MY MANDOLIN AND STARTED OVER! PLEASE BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR MANDOLIN FOLKS!***



Alright, well luckily it's not a very big deal to continue with the recipe without the pictures.  Once all your vegetables are chopped up, place in a large bowl.  When the farro is done cooking, drain and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, add the juice from your lemon with a little bit of zest, the clove of minced garlic, mustard and some salt and pepper.  You can also use a little of the juice from the olives. Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking until everything is thick and combined.

Pour the fennel on top of the vegetables and then pour the dressing over.  Mix to combine thoroughly.  (I just like a hint of flavor in my salad, if you like more then you can use a little more dressing).

That's it!  Like I said, I served cold at a BBQ but this would be nice with a piece of chicken served warm.  I hope you enjoy it!



Mediterranean Farro Salad 

2 cups farro 
5 cups water 
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 tomato, seeded 
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pits removed and halved
1/2 cup feta cheese 
1/2 fennel bulb, shaved into thin slices 

For the dressing:
1 lemon
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, chopped 
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste 

Bring the water to boil and add your farro. Cook for 25-30 minutes until cooked through.  Drain and set aside. 

In a large bowl, add all of your chopped vegetables, olives and feta cheese.  In a separate bowl, add the lemon juice, mustard, garlic and salt and pepper.  (And a splash of juice from the olive jar). Whisk while adding the olive oil in slowly until its thick and creamy. 

Add the farro to the vegetables and pour the dressing on top.  Stir to combine.  


Enjoy!

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Tips: If you can't find farro, you can use barley or spelt.  If you use barley, don't cook it all the way through.  It gets soggy if it's cooked too much and you add the dressing.  

(21 Day Fixers- I measured mine separately.  1 yellow of farro, 1 green veggies, 1/2 orange olives, 1/2 orange dressing, and 1/2 blue feta cheese) 






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