Italian Wedding Salad with Farro
So you know when you get back from traveling and all you want to do is sleep and eat massive amounts of salads?? Yeah, that's happening right now. We were lucky enough to spend the last two weeks traveling around Europe (fun European-inspired recipes to come..), but now we're back home and craving food that won't make us feel any more lethargic and jet-lagged than we're already feeling.Since we've had a bit of a lack of fruits and veggies (or, sorry, "fruit and veg" as they say), we decided to focus on salads for our first week back. Plus, I have to detox all those pastries out of my system in some way! I recently purchased a lovely new cookbook called Salad Samurai, and it's full of great salad recipes that are packed with ingredients and full of flavor. The kind of salads that you can get a guy to eat. Which isn't that easy to do...So I flipped to the Fall section, found this tasty recipe for an Italian Wedding Salad with Farro and ran off to the grocery store. (Well, it was more like a slow lumber...but still, I was off to the store.) This recipe is based off of a recipe for Italian Wedding Soup - which I love because it's just a big jumble of everything that's in season - and it was a perfect lunch for our (slightly) colder Sunday. This could easily be a main dish, or a side if you wanted to serve it along a bowl of soup or a piece of meat.
- Farro Salad
- 1/2 cup uncooked farro
- 3 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup lightly packed, chiffonaded (thinly sliced) fresh basil
- 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 (14 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 lb ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1/2 lb yellow summer squash, finely diced
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- Rinse the farro and combine it with the water and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, until the farro is tender. Save 1/4 cup of the farro water and drain the rest of the water. Set the farro aside and let it cool. You can also cook this the night before and chill it in the fridge overnight.
- In a blender or a food processor, pulse the dressing ingredients together with the reserved 1/4 cup farro water.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the farro, salad ingredients, and the dressing. Cover and let the salad sit for 10 minutes in the fridge so the flavors can combine.
- Serve with rotisserie chicken.
The original recipe is vegetarian - I think all the salads in the book are - but we decided to throw some rotisserie chicken on the top to add a bit more protein to the salad. With a nice slice of crispy French bread, we were two happy campers. This salad is pretty easy to throw together - m0st of the cooking time is spent waiting for the farro to cook. It's also super adaptable. You could throw in other veggies like bell peppers or zucchini and make a different version each time.