Written by Chris –
Farro is an ancient wheat grain that can be found in specialty foods stores, natural foods stores, and Italian markets. It’s sold whole (which is the most nutritious), semi-pearled, or pearled, all of which can be used in place of barley and other grains in salads. In Italy, where most farro is grown, the grain is often added to soups. It can be substituted for rice in risotto as well. And it’s fabulous for breakfast.
Farro has a hearty texture and nutty taste, making it the perfect base for this spring salad. I chose to use pearled farro because it can be prepared quickly. Since it’s hulled, the cook time is reduced to 15 to 20 minutes. If you prefer to use whole grain farro, plan on cooking it for about 45-60 minutes.
Grain salads make a satisfying lunch, simple side or nutritious snack. Use whatever vegetables are in season and you really can’t go wrong. I chose fresh English peas, English cucumber, green onions, dill, micro greens and avocado. I didn’t plan to have everything green in color; it’s just what I had on hand. Fresh lemon vinaigrette brings it all together!
Ingredients needed for four 1-cup servings:
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup pearled farro
- 1 ½ teaspoons MAGGI Instant Chicken Flavor Bouillon
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup English peas, blanched* (these are super tasty raw too!)
- ½ cup sliced and quartered English cucumber, seeded if desired
- ½ cup micro greens or wild arugula
- ¼ cup sliced green onions
- 2 tablespoons snipped fresh dill
- ½ cup diced avocado
COMBINE water, farro and bouillon in medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; cook for 15 to 20 minutes or just until farro is tender (it will not absorb all the water). Drain and set aside to cool.
WHISK together oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, vinegar and pepper in large bowl. Add farro; toss to coat. Add peas, cucumber, micro greens, green onions and dill; toss gently to coat. Taste and season salad with sea salt, if needed; fold in avocado. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
*Set aside a bowl of ice water and slotted spoon. Bring a pan of water to boil over high heat. Add a teaspoon of salt and the peas and boil just until bright green (about 30 seconds to 1 minute). Quickly remove the peas with the slotted spoon and plunge them into the ice.
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