Summer farro salad is a really simple recipe that manages to pack in lots of flavor. It pairs equally well with fish, chicken, or pork, but it is also substantial enough to stand on its own. I love the soft crunchiness of the farro as well as its complex, nutty taste. This salad is quite adaptable to your taste, and don’t be afraid to use up ingredients in your fridge. Crumbled goat cheese or feta would be a nice addition, as would pickled shallots, onions, or corn. Farro is a food product composed of the grains of certain wheat species in whole form. The exact definition is debated. It is sold dried and is prepared by cooking in water until soft, but still crunchy (many recommend first soaking overnight). It may be eaten plain, though it is often used as an ingredient in dishes such as salads and soups.
Olive oil, for cooking
2 large shallots (or 1 sweet onion), finely chopped
2 cups farro (uncooked)
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/2 large English (hothouse) cucumber, diced or sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat a few tablespoons olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the farro and cook, stirring to coat each grain, 1 to 2 minutes.
Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until farro is soft but still chewy in the center, about 12 minutes. If there is more than a tablespoon or two of leftover stock, strain it out.
Cool the farro to room temperature. Add the red wine vinegar and olive oil, and stir to combine. Fold in tomatoes, cucumbers, and basil. Season with salt and pepper, and adjust vinegar and oil amounts to taste. Serve chilled or at room temperature.