And I'm back with my x3 series, which I had to change from "3 ways" because some of you have filthy minds.
Anyway, I made all of these salads earlier in the Summer (as you may be able to tell by all the Summer produce), but just kept completely blanking on posting them. Seeing as most of these veggies are on their last leg, I figured you might be able to make at least one of the recipes before Fall officially arrives. It obviously hasn't in California.
Onto farro. Oh man, I love this stuff. It's, like, everything brown rice could only dream of being (if you're not familiar with the grain, you can read more about it here). Now, if you ask just about anyone, farro must be soaked before cooking... and that is a flat out lie. I've never soaked my farro. Not once. You simply have to cook it a little longer, and every single time, I promise, it will turn out perfect.
Farro, 1 cup
Chicken Broth, 2 1/2 cups (you can use veggie stock, or just salted water, if you are vegetarian)
EV Olive Oil, 1 tbsp
Place farro, stock, and oil in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce your heat to a low setting and cover your pan. Simmer for 15-30 minutes. The longer you simmer, the softer/mushier your farro will be. I like mine pretty al dente, so I just go for about 20 minutes. Drain any left over water and fluff with a fork.
Now you've got a blank slate that you can add just about anything to. Really, the possibilities are endless. Here are my variations:
1. Farro tossed with 1 medium roasted eggplant, 2 roasted bell peppers (I used yellow, my favorite), a small handful of toasted pinenuts, about 2-3 tbsp. of chopped basil, a touch of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
2. Farro tossed with roughly one cup of drained and rinsed black beans (I used canned because as you know, I am a lazy cook), 1 roasted ear of corn (you can even use raw corn if you don't feel like turning your oven on), about 1/2 of one chopped red onion, some chopped cilantro, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
3. Farro tossed with 1 cup of chickpeas (also canned), about 1 cup of halved grape tomatoes* (you can also use cherry), a healthy handful of chopped baby arugula, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
So easy, right? You can even double, or triple your farro recipe and make a few different variations throughout the week. Whatever the case, if you're a farro virgin, let's just say you're missing out on some good, not to mention good for you stuff.
*Quick tip: I ambitiously bought my tomatoes a little too early in the season, and they were quite flavorless. An easy fix for this, or any veggie, is to slow roast them to bring out their natural sugars. If you use tomatoes at the peak of their season, which is just about over, they're sweet enough that this step will actually interfere with their naturally flawless flavor.