There’s a bit of a cupboard clean-out going on in my kitchen. I have one cupboard divided in half: one side for savory things, like rice, grains and canned goods and one side for baking stuff, sugar, coconut, etc. And the truth is, it’s getting a little crowded. Pretty much all my rice, grains and dried beans are stored in glass jars and some of them are nearing empty while still taking up a load of space. Something had to be done.
So when I spied a small amount of farro inside a recycled Adam’s peanut butter jar, I decided to take action and make it a part of dinner. The thing about farro is that it’s a chewy grain and takes nearly and hour to cook, so this salad does require some advance planning. But what I like about farro, is that once you’ve got some made, it keeps nicely in the fridge and you can use it in salads and soup to instantly add bulk and texture. And farro is very high in protein and fiber which is a good thing when talking salad. Please note that farro is not a gluten-free grain, but it does tend to be lower in gluten than other wheat, so those with very mild gluten insensitivities might be able to eat farro.
As for this salad, my husband and I both loved it. We loved the chew and nutty flavour of the farro and the arugula adds a nice peppery bite. The first night we ate this, we used some leftover diced roasted beets which lent a lovely sweetness to the dish. The next night, we were out of roasted beets, so I subbed in some of my homemade pickled beets instead, which was a very good move. But it was the creamy yogurt & tahini dressing that embraced everything and tied in all the flavours so nicely.
farro & arugula salad with beets
I tend to have a pro-acidic palate, so I used nearly a whole lemon here, but feel free to cut it down if you don’t want too much of a pucker.
3/4 c farro
1 T greek yogurt
1 T tahini
1 T olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon (more or less depending on taste)
1 clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper
a drop of honey (optional)
arugula, rinsed & dried
1 large roasted beet, diced or 1/2 c pickled beets, diced
1/4 c feta or goat cheese, crumbled (optional)
1. Add farro to a small saucepan filled with boiling water. Let simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes, then turn down heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes more until tender. Drain & set aside to cool.
2. In a small jar, combine yogurt, tahini, oil, lemon, garlic, salt & pepper and honey. Shake until well blended. If you find the dressing too thick, add in a tiny bit of water to thin it out. Taste & adjust seasoning.
3. Divide farro into 4 bowls, top with arugula and beets and drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle with cheese, if desired.