I like to pretend I’m Italian. I like to pretend I’m living on a Tuscan farm. On that farm, I’m growing my own fruit, picking my own vegetables, and sun bathing in my beautiful garden. I like to pretend these things are reality…before I put on my winter coat, scarf, hat, and gloves and trudge outside. That’s the inspiration for this salad.
Are you familiar with the ancient Roman grain farro? I started seeing farro pop up in my health food store a few years ago. Only recently have I tried it. I should have tried it a long time ago. Farro is a simple hearty grain with high contents of fiber, protein, and iron. This grain has a nutty taste and lovely texture. Farro is still a main staple in most authentic Italian kitchens. I’ll often add it to soups and salads, or use as a substitute in place of brown rice.
Bring those Tuscan dreams to life. Give this bright delicious farro salad a shot.
- 1 cup dry farro (I like Bob’s Red Mill Organic Farro)
- 1 cup cucumber, diced
- 2 shallots, finely diced
- 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, not packed in oil, chopped (I like Trader Joe’s brand)
- 1 14-oz artichoke hearts packed in water, drained and chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 4 oz feta cheese, diced
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 tsp dried dill (alternatively, 1 tsp fresh dill)
- 1 tsp salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
To prepare farro, first rinse it well under running water. Place rinsed farro in a pot and add enough water or stock to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain any excess water. (Note: You can also consult the cooking instructions on your farro packaging.) Set aside and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, prepare the salad dressing. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dill, salt, and pepper in a mason jar. Add lid, and shake until well combined. Alternatively, insert ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until combined.
Once farro has cooled, transfer to a serving bowl and add cucumber, shallot, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and parsley. Toss with the salad dressing (start with 1/2 of the prepared dressing and add more to suit your taste). Add feta cheese, toss again. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Servings: 6 (Serving size: 1 cup)
Note: Salad will last up to 3 days in your refrigerator.