One of my favorite grains is farro, thought to be the most ancient going back 5,000 years. The Roman legions consumed it in their journeys as it is nutritious and satisfying. It was considered virtually sacred among the Latins, the Umbrians, and other regional people of ancient times. Italians commonly use farro in soups, salads, even desserts. It is nutty, sturdy, wholesome, and utterly delicious! Try this summer salad either as a side dish or part of a buffet.
Summer Farro Salad
-1 1/2 cups farro
-2 cups cherry tomatoes
-1 cup pitted kalamata olives
-1 cup crumbled feta (or less if you prefer)
-1/2/cup finely chopped red onion
-1 cup very finely chopped curly kale
-1/2 cup raisins
-1/2 cup olive oil
1.Cook the farro. You can either cook it the traditional way by adding 4-6 cups of water in a pot. Let it come to a boil, then add a teaspoon of salt. Add the farro and cook it for about 25 minutes or until soft and the consistency you prefer. You can also cook it in the Instant Pot (especially nice to do on a hot day!). The ratio of farro to water is about 1:2. I prefer a bit more water to avoid the farro becoming too sticky. Add a teaspoon of salt , close the lid and set it on Manual for 10 minutes. Allow a natural pressure release of 5-6 minutes, then a quick release. Drain the farro in a colander and allow to cool. 2.While the farro is cooling, prep the other ingredients. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half. If they are particularly small, leave them whole. Slice the kalamata olives and set aside. Prepare the red onions and kale by chopping them finely. Once the the farro has cooled, add all the ingredients including the raisins. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dress it with olive oil and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Start with this amount and then increase to suit your taste. Cover and refrigerate.
-This salad is best made the day before. You may want to adjust the seasoning and the dressing after letting it sit for a bit and the flavors will meld.
-Instead of the “summer” option with tomatoes, try an autumnal option with cubed roasted butternut squash.