Summer Salad with Whole Grain Farro
Summer Salad With Whole Grain Farro
This Summer Salad with Whole Grain Farro not only tastes good, but it is good for you! Made with farro, which to me, is like a cross between a grain and a pasta, Summer Veggies and a vinaigrette. This salad can be eaten as soon as it is made. It is even better the longer it sits and can be made up to twenty four hours in advance.
What Is Farro?
Farro is an Ancient Whole Wheat Grain with a nutty taste and a chewy texture.Prepare this like rice. To me, it is kind of like if quinoa and pasta had a baby. I am not a fan of quinoa but I love farro. I am a huge texture person so for me the al dente “bite” of farro is right up my alley. They sell farro everywhere. You will find this in the pasta aisle, or with the rice. I like to use it for Summer salads because it adds such nice texture and flavors to salads, especially when you use a vinaigrette dressing. I have even found farro at Walmart but they also sell it on Amazon.
Farro is also good for you! Farro is a great source of fiber, iron, protein and magnesium. With all of those nutrients in this little grain, it can provide a lot of health benefits for your diabetes or for heart health or for brain health. It has more carbs than say, Quinoa but many more benefits to your health.
My recipe calls for these marinated mozzarella balls. I find this easily in the specialty cheese section of almost any grocery store where I have been. The brand I like is BelGioiso. I use the marinade for part of the dressing, plus 1/2 cup of a garlic vinaigrette. I include directions in the full recipe if you can’t find this product. You can use diced mozzarella slices and just more of the vinaigrette.
Another Use For The Tomato Powder
I use a little of the tomato powder in the vinaigrette. I just add it to the dressing and give it a good shake. This adds a great layer of flavor to the dressing. You can find this Spice Way brand on Amazon. I also use this tomato powder for my famous Tangy Tomato BLT Pasta Salad.
Add More Greens
When I serve this salad I like to add arugula right before serving. Otherwise it gets soggy while it sits. The arugula adds some crunch and a nice peppery flavor.
- 2 cups of uncooked Farro (info about this Farro, in the post)
- 4 cups of Water
- 1 medium sized seedless cucumber
- 1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 large red pepper
- 12 oz container of marinated mozzarella cheese balls (info in post)
- 1/2 cup of garlic vinaigrette
- *if you do not use the marinated mozzarella you will need 1/2 cup diced mozzarella cheese and 1 cup of the garlic vinaigrette)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of tomato powder (optional and info in post)
- 1 lemon
- Approximately 3 tablespoons of thinly sliced chives
- Black Pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped basil
- Add your farro to the 4 cups of water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook approximately 20 minutes. The farro should be al dente, meaning it should have some bite to it when you eat it. Most of the water should be absorbed when it is done cooking. Drain the farro in a mesh strainer and rinse well with cold water. Let drain and cool while you prepare the salad.
- Wash and finely dice your cucumber (I do not peel).
- Dice your red pepper in a small dice.
- Cut each tomato into quarters.
- Mix your peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes with your chives and squeeze your lemon all over the veggies. You can add a pinch of salt if you like and black pepper. Toss to coat.
- Finely chop your fresh basil, I used about a handful of basil. Exact measurements aren't necessary. Add the basil to the other veggies and toss well.
- If using the marinated mozzarella balls, add this whole thing without draining to the veggies. Toss to coat the veggies.
- If using the tomato powder, add the 1/2 cup of the garlic vinaigrette and tomato powder to the mozzarella container, (this helps use up the rest of the seasoning and herbs in the container and not dirty another dish. Place the lid on and shake well to combine the tomato powder with the drsssing. Pour over the salad. Toss to coat.
- If you aren't using the marinated mozzarella, add the cheese to the salad and then the cup of garlic vinaigrette to the salad. Toss to coat.
- Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. Mine did not need.
- Refrigerate four hours before serving. Can be served immediately but it taste better if it sits. It can also sit overnight.
- Prior to serving you can also toss in some fresh arugula.
- Add rotisserie chicken to make a complete meal.
*all ingredients are outlined in the blog post with links if you are "one of those" who skipped right to this recipe.