Salad Recipes: Farro Spoon Salad
This ancient grain is making a comeback in the field and on the table.
Also knows as emmer wheat or pharaoh’s wheat, farro is an ancient whole grain full of fiber, protein and vitamins. Grown largely in Italy, its recent popularity has scattered seeds on mountainous regions of Europe and Asia and even in the fields of Bluebird Grain Farms in Winthrop, Washington.
Farro is known for being disease resistant in wet soil and growing well in poor soil, but it’s often easier and more cost efficient to buy locally in bulk than to harvest small grains by hand. Try it yourself with seeds from Salt Spring Seeds or Sustainable Seed Company, then pair the harvest with peas, feta, olives and parsley for a flavorful and filling salad.
Farro Spoon Salad and Arugula
By Tom Berry, executive chef and co-owner of The Proprietors Bar & Table, Nantucket, Massachusetts
- 1 cup uncooked farro
- 1 cup shelled English peas
- ¼ cup crumbled sheep’s or cow’s milk feta
- ¼ cup green olives, sliced into rings
- 3 tablespoons shelled, unsalted sunflower seeds
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 ounces extra virgin olive oil
- 5 ounces baby arugula
Combine the farro with 5-6 quarts of cold, lightly salted water, bring to a simmer and cook until tender, 25-30 minutes. Strain and run under cold water; keep cool until ready to use. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the English peas—if using frozen, just thaw and use—and simmer until tender, 4-5 minutes. Strain the peas and rinse under cold water. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the lemon juice, olive oil and arugula.
Combine the lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl to make a simple vinaigrette. When ready to serve, mix half the lemon vinaigrette with the spoon salad and season with salt and pepper. Pout the other half of the vinaigrette mixture over the arugula. Plate the salad on top of a bed of arugula.