I whipped up this great grain salad the other day as a side dish to serve with some pork chops from the grill….it was sublime. The earthy chew of the farro accented by the brininess of the olives, the sweetness of the tomatoes, and veggie goodness brought by the artichokes and spinach had this one firing on all cylinders.
The fresh bite of the scallions, the crunch of the pistachios and the creamy saltiness of the feta finish the dish off in style. Best thing about it is its ability to keep well in the fridge for a few days, making it a great meat-free lunch or dinner entree for another day.
Cheers – Steve
- 1 cup farro
- 1 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- pinch of salt
- 16 oil cured black, or kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
- 3 canned artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
- 16 grape tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves, lightly packed
- 1/3 cup shelled pistachios
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- zest of 1 lemon
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 6 tablespoons EVOO
- 2 teaspoons freshly minced rosemary
to cook the farro:
- Set a heavy saucepan over medium heat and toast the farro lightly, stirring frequently for about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully add the chicken stock (it will splatter, be careful), season with a generous pinch of salt and the bay leaf. Put the pan back over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for 20-30 minutes, until tender when bitten. Drain any excess stock from the farro, remove the bay leaf and dump it into a large bowl to cool to room temperature.
- Make the vinaigrette by whisking the mustard, lemon juice and some salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the EVOO, whisking constantly to emulsify. Add the minced rosemary and check for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if desired.
- To finish the salad, toss the balance of ingredients into the bowl with the farro, dress with the vinaigrette to your liking, 3-4 tablespoons should do it (yes, this vinaigrette recipe will leave you plenty left-over for other salads). Toss to combine and taste for seasoning. Serve chilled or at room temperature.