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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Greek Salad with Farro

 For someone who likes to cook I'm really a pretty impatient eater. When I'm hungry I like to be fed...immediately. Kinda like a one year old little guy I know. Most "quick I'm starving grab something to eat now now now" food doesn't do your body any good.

This salad is a balanced meal in itself and keeps well on the go. I brought some to the play ground for lunch, ate it out of the bowl on the counter, shared some with Dylan, and finally rolled a mound up in a pita spread with humus for a solo dinner. I like knowing something like this is waiting for me.

A fun fact: Farro has a long and glorious history: it is the original grain from which all others derive, and fed the Mediterranean and Near Eastern populations for thousands of years; somewhat more recently it was the standard ration of the Roman Legions that expanded throughout the Western World. 

Greek Salad with Farro: 
1 cup farro, rinsed
*most markets will have farro either packaged with the other grains or in the bulk bins
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup minced fresh dill or parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 cup crumbled or diced feta cheese
1 cup artichoke hearts packed in water, chopped  

3 T red wine vinegar
1 glove garlic, finely minced on microplane
big pinch kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil

1. Place farro in a large saucepan and cover with 2 quarts of salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about 30-35 minutes. Farro has a similar texture to barely when cooked. Drain well and seat aside to cool completely.

2. In a large serving bowl, combine the farro, cucumber, red pepper, onion, artichoke hearts, dill or parsley and mint.

3. To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients and combine well with the salad. Fold in the feta cheese. If there is any salad left over, bring it to room temperature and refresh it with a bit of lemon juice before serving.

Variations: Include 1 cup of cooked chickpeas, chopped olives, tomatoes, capers, or greens such as baby arugula or watercress.

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