My friend, Julie turned me onto crack, cracked farro. Then, she went and showed me how to use it in this amazing salad and now I’m totally hooked. The cracked farro is fluffy with great texture, but it cooks more quickly than normal farro— speed is key when you need a fix, right? If you can’t track down cracked farro locally, here’s a link to buy it online. I’m thinking that a good Italian market may carry it. Also, feel free to substitute regular pearled farro or quinoa in this recipe — it’s all good.
Now, let’s chat about this salad. It’s delicious, fresh, packed full of veggies and so satisfying. It’s perfect to serve to a health conscious crowd, but it really stands out on taste alone, healthy or not.
This recipe is very flexible, you can switch-up the vegetables with whatever you find at the market. I was surprised at the tasty tomatoes and Persian cucumbers I found at the market this week. You can serve with grilled chicken or go for it and serve it up on its own. Welcome to your new addiction.
Cracked Farro Market Salad with Sumac Vinaigrette
Serves a crowd: About 3 quarts / 8-10 servings
2 cup cracked farro (see cooking instructions below)
1 bunch parsley, leaves removed, well-dried and chopped (it should be almost one cup when chopped)
½ cup fine chopped mint (optional)
8 ounces (about 2 cups) sugar snap peas
8 ounces (about two cups) Persian cucumbers
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 seven ounce jar Kalamata olives, drained and rough chopped, it should be about 1 heaping cup
½ tsp sumac
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt (I like Diamond Crystal)
¼ tsp cracked pepper
Cook cracked farro:
Bring three cups of salted water to boil and add farro. Then reduce to simmer and cover with a lid for about 12-15 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread the farro over to cool. Fluff with a fork to reduce clumping. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes, while it cools you can prepare your veggies.
Prep your veggies:
Clean, dry and chop fresh herbs. Clean sugar snap peas and remove the string. Slice on bias. Slice cucumbers lengthwise in quarters and chop those quarters on bias. Slice the grape tomatoes lengthwise in half. Quarter the fennel removing the heart and thinly slice with a hand mandolin or slice with a knife. Rough chop olives.
Make your dressing:
Whisk vinegar and olive oil together and then add in sumac, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, pour in the cooled farro then throw in all the prepped veggies and fresh herbs. Add 3/4 of the dressing and toss. Taste and add more dressing, salt or pepper if needed — I used all the dressing. Serve. This will keep in the fridge for three days.