The other day I grabbed a salad from the salad bar at Giant Eagle Market District, our local grocery store. I made a normal green salad but also grabbed a few spoonfuls of some interesting looking cold whole grain salads. I was impressed by the flavors in one of my choices which had an Asian style vinaigrette and roasted vegetables, so I decided to try to recreate this salad at home. I think I nailed this one — it tasted even better than the original! Farro is an Italian grain which is gaining popularity in the US because, while not totally gluten free, it is considerably lower in gluten than most wheat products. So in my world, farro counts as “clean” food. Farro tastes a little bit nutty like quinoa but retains a tender, chewy composition a bit more like pasta. Farro comes in either semi-pearled or whole grain varieties so follow the directions on the package of whichever type you choose because the cooking times differ. Roasting the vegetables gives an extra layer of flavor to the dish. This dish makes a great warm side to grilled chicken or fish or also a great cold salad for lunches.
Farro with Roasted Edamame (Serves 8)
*This is great as a warm side dish or as a cold salad.
8 oz uncooked farro
1 red pepper, chopped and patted dry
1 14 oz. can low sodium corn, drained, rinsed and patted dry
1 ½ cups shelled edamame, defrosted and patted dry
4 Tbsp oil (olive oil or something lighter like canola or vegetable oil will work fine)
1 ½ Tsbp sesame oil
4 Tsbp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
salt and fresh ground pepper
shredded or diced cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken (optional)
Prepare farro as directed. On large baking sheet, arrange edamame, corn and red pepper in a single layer (make sure to pat dry with a paper towel). Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and mix to combine. Place rack about 4-6 inches from broiler, broil edamame mixture for approximately 4-6 minutes or until vegetables start to get charred or blackened (keep an eye on it constantly to be careful not to burn). In large bowl, combine farro and roasted vegetables. In small bowl or container combine oils, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over farro and vegetable mixture. Toss to combine. May need an additional splash of rice vinegar and soy sauce just before serving. Serve warm or cold. Add chicken to add even more protein.