Farro, a fundamental ingredient in the Farro and Citrus Salad and one of humanity’s first cultivated grains, is central to this nourishing dish. Ideal for those in search of a nutritious meal, I often prepare a substantial amount for a protein-packed snack or a complete meal. The blend of crunchy vegetables, chewy farro, and a tangy citrus dressing in this Farro and Citrus Salad offers a delightful medley of flavors and textures.
- Farro: 1 cup
- Kosher salt: 2 teaspoons
- Water or vegetable stock: 2 1/2 cups
For the Vinaigrette:
- Zest from one orange
- Shallot, minced: 2 tablespoons
- Dijon mustard: 2 teaspoons
- White balsamic vinegar: 3 tablespoons
- Extra-virgin olive oil: 1/3 cup
- Season with kosher salt and fresh black pepper
- Baby arugula: 1 cup, lightly packed
- Diced red bell pepper: 1/2 cup
- Orange, peeled and sliced: 1
- Marcona almonds: 1/2 cup
- Chopped prunes and dried cherries: 1/3 cup each
- Diced red onion and tart apple or firm pear: 1/4 cup each
1. Cooking Setup: Use a stovetop or a propane burner and a large, sturdy saucepan.
2. Preparing Farro: Mix farro, salt, and water or stock in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer covered, stirring now and then until al dente, about 35-45 minutes. Once cooked, drain any extra liquid and let it cool.
3. Making Vinaigrette: Combine orange zest, shallot, mustard, vinegar, and oil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
4. Assembling the Salad: Start by mixing farro with 3 tablespoons of the dressing in a large bowl. Add in the arugula, bell pepper, orange slices, almonds, prunes, cherries, onion, and apple. Gently toss with the remaining dressing, adjusting quantity as per taste.
Versatility and Storage Tips
Farro can be prepared a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator, ensuring your salad is refreshingly cool and perfect for a hot day. Similarly, the citrusy vinaigrette can be whisked together beforehand, enhancing its flavors overnight. This salad isn’t just a meal; it’s a journey through textures and eras, bringing ancient farro into modern kitchens with a zestful twist. Enjoy the medley of sweet and savory, crunchy and soft, for a truly uplifting dining experience.