Farro is one of my favorite whole grains. I must make it once a week, if not more! You may not have heard of the grain, but it is an ancient grain from Italy. It has been a part of the Mediterranean gastronomy since the Roman times.
The grain has a rich nutty flavor with a dense and distinct texture. I find it to be delicious and very versatile. Like this salad, it is a cold salad which is perfect for spring and the hot months of summer approaching. Farro can be used in soups, stews, stuffed into bell peppers, rolled into cabbage leaves and baked in the oven, well the list goes on of what you can do.
This salad is refreshing, light, yet packed with so many flavors and nutrients. Farro is simple to make and only takes 15 minutes to cook, so for those nights when you want a simple meal to prepare this is the one of those recipes.
Yields 4 servings
Ingredients for the farro salad
1 1/2 cups farro (Bob's Redmill)
1 1/2 cups water or stock or a combination of both
1/2 yellow sweet onion - small dice
1 cup frozen peas- room temperature
1/4 cup fresh mint - minced
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley- minced
1/2 cup feta - crumbled
1/2 lemon -zested +juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
Ingredients for the poached shrimp:
1.25 lbs Fresh Shrimp - U21/25 or 26/30 - peeled, deveined, and cleaned
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoon lemon zest
1 sprig fresh oregano leaves- removed from the stem
1/2 yellow onion - sliced
Salt + Pepper
To prepare the farro, add the olive oil and butter into a pan over medium heat.
Once hot add the onions and a pinch or 2 of salt, allow them to sweat for 1-2 minutes.
Then add the farro to toast the grain for about 30 seconds.
Add the lemon zest, liquid, season with salt and pepper.
Bring this to a boil, lower the heat to low and cover. Allow this to cook for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile mince the herbs, crumble the feta, and let the peas sit at room temperature.
While the farro is cooking you can prepare the poached shrimp which takes about 5-8 minutes to cook. This is a very quick dish to prepare.
In a pan, add the all the liquids, lemon zest, herbs, onions, and season with salt and pepper.
Season the shrimp and place them in the liquid.
Bring this to a simmer/very light boil, then cover the pan and turn the heat on very low.
Let this cook for about 5 -6 minutes. Lift the lid and check to see if the shrimp are cooked (the shrimp will turn pink and curl once they are done). If they are done cooking, let them sit in the poaching liquid while you finish the salad.
Once the farro has cooked, add it to a large bowl with the peas, and half of the herbs.
Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Squeeze the lemon juice, mix well, and add the feta and the remaining herbs.
It is best if you can let the farro cool some before adding the feta. This dish is also very good cold. If you have the time, place to cooked farro with the peas and herbs in the fridge for 30-60 minutes and let it cool before adding the feta and lemon juice.
Serve and enjoy!