Here’s a great and healthy side dish to go with those traditional Memorial Day Weekend hot dogs and hamburgers. I’ve been using arugula in place of parsley and basil lately and have loved the results. Though Williams-Sonoma suggests this as a “winter pantry” dish, I think this is also the kind of recipe you can use as a base recipe for lots of grain-based summer salads, using seasonal herbs and vegetables.
From Williams-Sonoma Taste: This is a perfect pantry dish for winter, full of flavorful ingredients that are easy to keep on hand. When shopping for farro, look for “semipearled,” or “semiperlato,” which means that it has been partially polished to remove some of its hull. It will cook more quickly but still retain some whole-grain benefits.
Farro Salad with Artichoke Hearts
- 1 1/4 cups semipearled farro
- 2 1/2 cups water
- Sea salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup olive oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 jar artichoke hearts (not marinated)
- 6 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion, rinsed and thoroughly drained
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I’m using arugula to spice things up a bit)
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. Pick over the farro, discarding any stones or grit. Rinse thoroughly under cold running water and drain. In a saucepan over high heat, combine the farro, water and a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer gently until all of the water has been absorbed and the grains are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a small, dry fry pan over medium heat, toast the pine nuts, stirring often, just until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Be careful not to let them burn. Immediately pour onto a plate to cool. Set aside.
3. Drain the sun-dried tomatoes, reserving the oil to use in place of some of the olive oil, if you like. Cut the tomatoes into julienne. Drain the artichokes, rinse and drain again. Cut into quarters.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar and olive oil (or a mixture of the tomato oil and olive oil). Add the farro, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, onion, parsley and pine nuts and toss gently to mix and coat well. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.