The General Point.

My name is Emily Wood. I live in San Francisco.
"It’s possible and necessary to be interested in everything." - Adrienne Rich
These are my own opinions and not those of my company.

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Feb 20

Farro & Herbs Salad

I’ve made this one a couple of times now: Heidi Swanson’s Farro & Herbs recipe. At my work, there is always at least one whole-grain salad at every cafe—bulgur, quinoa, farro, barley, spelt, blah blah blah. I love these damn salads, but have rarely tried to replicate them at home. This is at least in part because of the work involved—you have to cook the grains (not always the work of 15 minutes) AND sometimes cook the other stuff that goes in them. But this one is pretty easy, if you have the time to cook the farro itself. And you can play with it a bit to suit your taste. The only crucial piece of advice I have is that you really need time to cool the farro, too. I made this last weekend for my parents, and I was in a hurry, and the mozzarella melted a little bit due to the hot farro, which made it somewhat indistinguishable in texture from the creme fraiche and was just not as summery and pleasant. 

Other modifications/notes:

  • Do use creme fraiche if you can find it (it was not available at my parents’ Vons. Surprise, I know). The sour cream/cream substitute recommended in the recipe was fine, but it doesn’t feel as classy or delicious. 
  • Farro > barley. 
  • Add tomatoes! I slice up cherry or grape tomatoes and throw them in. They add some nice fruity pop. 
  • Arugula is also nice, for peppery-ness. Totally optional. 
Farro & Herbs Salad
modified just slightly from 101 Cookbooks
  • 2 cups uncooked semi-pearled farro
  • 2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/3 cup creme fraiche 
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeeze lemon juice (plus zest)
  • 2 teaspoons good-quality white wine vinegar
  • 2 bunches / 1 oz fresh chives, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • scant teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • more salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 oz mozzarella or bocconcini, cut or torn into chunks
  • 1/2 pint (~20?) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Cook the farro: put the farro, salt and water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer for ~25 minutes, or until the grains are cooked through, but not mushy.  (Or follow the packaged instructions. Also, I’ve never had extra liquid at the end of this process, but apparently you should reserve it and add to the cooked farro and creme fraiche to thin out the sauce if needed.) Let it cool (it can be warm, but you don’t want it steaming). 
In another bowl, combine the cooked farro with the creme fraiche. Stir in the lemon juice, zest, and vinegar (and add the cooking liquid if you have it). Stir in the herbs and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste, and then finally add the mozzarella and halved cherry tomatoes. 
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