Yesterday I sung the nutritional praises of the tomato and gave you tips on how to buy and store your gems. Today, we cook.
I’ve been playing with variations of this salad all summer, switching out the grains to the whim of my pantry. I first made this is whole-grain freekeh (sadly pronounced free-kah, not freak-kay), which gave the salad an extra crunch. When I was planning to make this to share with you, the freekeh was gone, but the perfect amount of farro was waiting for me.
Farro is a grain with surprisingly murky origins (there are several conflicting definitions of where it comes from, depending who you ask) but a very clear creamy, nutty flavor. It is not gluten-free, so for my gluten-free friends out there, feel free to swap the farro out with quinoa (another variation I’ve tried and loved).
In this salad, our friend the tomato shines in his pure, unadulterated form. The tomato and his other friends are served room temperature, making this a great salad for a sweltering summer day. Go for cherry or grape tomatoes here since the rest of the ingredients will be chopped in bite-sizes.
- 1 cup farro
- 1/2 - 1 carton of cherry or plum tomatoes, halved (quartered if closer to golf ball size)
- 2-3 small Persian cucumbers, sliced into half moons
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 10+ sprigs of fresh dill
- juice from half a lemon
- 1 tsp paprika
- salt, to taste
Combine farro and 2 1/2 cups water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then let simmer on low for 25-30 minutes until tender. Move to a bowl and allow to cool.
Once farro is cooled, add remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Add more lemon juice or salt, to taste.