Farro & squash salad

Earlier this week, I alluded to the fact that I spent a lot of my time last week thanking my lucky stars that Whole Foods now has outposts in most major metropolises. To me, they are an example of one way large corporations can be a force for good in our personal lives.

 

In addition to being a comforting option to world-weary vegan travelers, the Whole Foods salad bar also occasionally offers inspiration. I had something sort of like this salad last week, really enjoyed it, and instantly became determined to try it for myself. It’s simple, but I don’t think that’s a drawback; its straightforwardness makes a great addition to a homemade big ol’ salad, but it’s tasty enough to enjoy on its own or as a side dish as well. (It would be lovely served as with some kind of protein cooked in tomato sauce for a hearty, celebratory meal, for example.)

 

I also tried out a new-to-me technique for cooking the farro which involved a very long presoak followed by a steaming method. It took a bit more preparation than my standard absorption cooking method, but the result was pretty incredible: the grains were chewy, yet discrete; each clung slightly to its neighbors without becoming sticky. Give it a try!

 

Farro & Squash Salad

Farro

Presoak:

  • 1 cup farro
  • About 3 cups cold water

Cover farro with water and soak for 24 hours

 

To cook:

  1. Place a steamer basket in a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, then line the pan by placing a clean thin cotton dish towel over the steamer. You can also use doubled cheesecloth or a piece of old sheet so long as it’s clean.
  2. Drain the farro in a sieve, then remove it to the towel in the pan. Wrap the towel around the farro, then put the lid on the pan.
  3. Put the pan on the stove over medium heat and steam for 40 minutes, or until cooked through.
  4. Makes 2 cups cooked.

 

Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 smallish zucchini, diced
  • 1 smallish yellow squash, diced
  • 2 cups cooked farro
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 chopped fresh parsley
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup tomato juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, then add the zucchini and squash. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, not too long.
  2. Add the farro and stir to combine.
  3. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  4. While the farro heats through, juice the lemon and combine with the vinegar and tomato juice.
  5. Pour the dressing into the pan and stir to coat, then add the herbs and mix them in.

 

Enjoy on a bed of greens with cherry tomatoes and a nice dollop of hummus. I think it will make you smile!

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