June 29, 2012 | Beans & Grains, Salads, Vegetables
One of the truly great things about summer is salad. You can make them just about any way you like – lettuce based or not, with cooked or raw vegetables, with grains, fruit, or just about anything else your heart desires. In my mind as long as a salad helps you eat more fresh summer vegetables and doesn’t heat up your kitchen in the process, it’s a winner.I personally like grain based salads because they help you stay full after eating, especially if you use a whole grain. Farro is actually an ancient Italian grain, and I recently brought some back from a trip to Italy. Well, actually my friend brought it back. The customs folks in Denver confiscated mine while the customs team in Philadelphia allowed hers. Go figure. But she was kind enough to send me half her bag so I could cook with it.If you’re going to make a grain like this, make a bunch and freeze it in portions to use later, making sure you don’t have to heat your stove up repeatedly in the summer months. I used carrots and raw onion along with the corn, but you really can make this with any vegetables you like. I also used basil oil, which I make when I have lots of basil on hand that’s going to go bad. I simply puree the basil with enough olive oil to make it smooth, then freeze it in ice cube trays. If you have any basil pesto on hand you could use that – or simply add more fresh basil and use plain extra virgin olive oil. I also didn’t add any lemon juice, simply because I didn’t have any lemons around – but I’m guessing a good squeeze of a fresh lemon would really add to the flavors. If you try the basic idea with something else, let me know how it turns out.
- 1 cup farro (or other whole grain such as brown rice or barley)
- 2 ears of corn, kernels cut off
- 1 large carrot, diced small
- 1 small onion, minced (saute in olive oil if you don't like raw onion)
- ¼ cup basil oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon infused extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped basil
- salt and pepper
- Cook the farro according to package directions. When fully plumped up, combine the cooked farro with the corn, carrot, onion, basil oil, and olive oil; stir to combine. Gently fold in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. May be served warm, room temperature, or chilled.