Photo by Andrea Chesman
Farro is a fairly recent addition to the pantry, but it’s an ancient form of wheat. The term “farro” can refer to three wheat species: spelt (Triticum spelta), emmer (T. dicoccum), and einkorn (T. monococcum) — all of them types of hulled wheat. Because farro was recently introduced to the U.S. via Italian chefs, you may find it labeled with Italian names: farro grande (spelt), farro medio (emmer), and farro piccolo (einkorn). If you can, buy pearled farro, which has the bran removed and cooks faster. Whenever you’re unsure of the timing for cooking any grain, including rice, just boil it like pasta, and taste until it’s the chewy texture you prefer.
Yield: 4 servings.
- 1 cup pearled farro or spelt
- 1 cup cut green beans, steamed and cooled
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, cubed, or 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 cucumber, quartered, seeded, and sliced
- 1/4 sweet onion, diced
- 15 ounces cooked chickpeas
- 1 cup brine-cured black olives, such as Kalamata
- 4 cups mixed salad greens
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Add the farro and cook until al dente or until it reaches your preferred texture, anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes. Drain in a colander, and then line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spread the farro out on it to cool and dry.
In a salad bowl, combine the farro, green beans, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, chickpeas, olives, salad greens, basil, and oregano; toss gently. Add the oil and lemon juice and toss again. Taste, add salt and pepper to taste, and toss again.
Learn to create cool, healthy, seasonal salads with these additional tips and recipes:
- Make Salads for Supper
- Smoked Trout Salad with Summer Berries Recipe
- Vietnamese Shrimp and Rice Noodle Salad Recipe
Andrea Chesman cooks, writes, and teaches in Vermont, where she lives on a 1-acre homestead. She’s the author of many cookbooks, including Serving Up the Harvest and The Fat Kitchen. Her book 101 One-Dish Dinners is available below.