Tuesday, November 4, 2014

BRAZEN BITES-Farro Salad

My mother is the reincarnated Barefoot Contessa...let’s just say the lady can cook.  From homemade breads, pastries, salad dressings and more I grew up learning how to cook from the best.  When my friends were eating frozen meals I was eating chicken pot pie from scratch with homemade buttermilk biscuits.  As I’ve grown older my diet has morphed to a mostly vegan and plant-based regime, but that's not to say she still doesn't tempt me with her carnivorous concoctions.  On my journey to becoming vegan I have learned about and tried lots of new foods and found some great vegan staples that I love (Luna & Larry’s coconut bliss ice cream…hold me back).  And through much trial and error I have culminated some great go-to recipes that are not only delicious, but healthy and easy to make.  The recipe below is one of them.  Farro is a healthy whole grain that is chock full of fiber and magnesium and it can normally be found near the rice and grains in most grocery stores.  This is a great dish to make on a Sunday night to pack for lunch for the week or as a side dish to compliment a protein.  It has lots of flavor and is simple to make.  It is best served cold and will last in the fridge for 4-5 days. There is a lot of chopping involved, but c’mon a little extra arm workout never hurt anyone.  So try it out and let me know what you guys think of my creation.  Bon Appetit!

Farro Salad Recipe

Farro Salad- Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

-1 ½ cup farro
-8 sundried tomatoes chopped (I find the ones canned in oil work best for this compared to the dehydrated ones)
-1 bunch asparagus
-1/2 red onion finely chopped
-1/2 cup walnuts
-Handful chopped fresh parsley
-1 garlic clove minced
-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
-2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
-2 tsp. salt plus salt & pepper to taste

Farro Salad Ingredients

1. Combine 1 ½ cup farro, 4 cups water, and 2 tsp. of salt in a medium pot.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the farro is tender, about 30 mins.  (Taste the farro at the 30 min mark.  If it still has a nutty bite, let it simmer for 2-3 minutes longer.) Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.

2. While your farro is cooking you can roast your asparagus.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Rinse the asparagus in cold water.  Next, snap off the woody base of each spear by bending the spear a few times to find a place where it breaks easily. Lay the asparagus out on a baking sheet, drizzling with olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper.  Get your hands in there to toss the asparagus and make sure each spear is evenly coated.  Roast for ten minutes.

asparagus

3. Now it’s time to chop up those vegetables.  Finely dice ½ of a red onion, chop up the sundried tomatoes, and mince the parsley adding to your large bowl.

chopped vegetables

4.  Next place your ½ cup of walnuts in a Ziploc bag.  Using a rolling pin or any other heavy blunt object you have lying around and gently smash your walnuts to break them into smaller pieces.  Place in a small nonstick pan on med-low heat.  Let them sit in the pan tossing every minute or so until they become fragrant then adding to the bowl with the chopped vegetables. 

5. And now for the vinaigrette.  Add 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar, ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, and 1 clove minced garlic in a small mixing bowl.  Whisk with a fork to combine the flavors and add to the large bowl, mixing well so everything is coated evenly. 

6. By this point your asparagus and farro should be done.  Place the cooked asparagus on a cutting board chopping the spears into smaller bite size pieces, adding to your large bowl.   Lastly, drain the farro getting rid of any excess water and add to your vegetable/vinaigrette mixture.  Mix well and add salt & pepper to taste.  (I find this dish doesn’t need much added salt considering the amount of salt the farro is cooked in, but this is to personal preference.)

Farro Salad Recipe
Recipe adapted from this Giada De Laurentiis Farro Salad recipe.  

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe, it’s one of my favorites!  Leave me a comment below letting me know some of your favorite go-to recipes. 

1 comment:

  1. I loved this salad! I had never had farro before and really liked the flavor of this nutty grain. Healthy and filling. Love your blog!

    ReplyDelete