Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Farro Salad with Tomatoes and Feta

Quick. Before the last of the summertime sunshine and summertime tomatoes fade into foggy memory under the cool crisp footsteps of fall. Get thee to a picnic.

1 ½ cups semi-pearled farro
2 cups chicken broth + 1 cup water
2 medium shallots, diced
1 large clove garlic, pressed
1 medium to large zucchini or other summer squash, diced
3/4 can chickpeas, rinsed
1 heaping basket fragrant cherry tomatoes, halved and sprinkled lightly with salt
Olive oil
1 lemon, zested and then juiced
6-8 oz feta, cubed
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring the broth and water to a boil in a covered pot. Stir in the farro, replace the cover, and return to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer according to package directions (probably about 20 minutes, or longer if unpearled) until tender. Drain well, toss with a drizzle of olive oil, and set aside.

While the farro is cooking, heat a wide nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Add a generous glug of olive oil and the shallot and sauté for a minute, then add the garlic and sauté a minute more. Add the zucchini and a sprinkling of salt and toss to coat evenly. Cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. When the zucchini is cooked through, stir in the chickpeas, cover the pan again, and turn off the heat.

Prepare the rest of the ingredients. When everything is ready to go, drizzle the farro with a little more olive oil and toss with the arugula so that it wilts a little. Add half the oregano, half the lemon juice, and all of the lemon zest, then stir in the zucchini mixture, tomatoes, and feta. Adjust oregano, lemon juice, and salt to taste (you’ll probably want half the remaining oregano and half the remaining lemon juice, but play with the amount until the zip of each one adds a clear bright note to the taste without being overpowering). Sprinkle with black pepper and chill until you’re ready to eat.

Serves 4-8 as a main course or side salad. Works well for potlucks, picnics, road trips, or just a stash of something delicious and ready to eat for a busy work week.