California Summer Farro Salad
This salad showcases a unique method of preparing zucchini for salads by shaving and salting it. Every fresh ingredient in this recipe is in season right now, making this salad a showcase of healthy California summer produce. Serve California Summer Farro Salad as a light main course for lunch, or add some grilled chicken or fish, or perhaps some cooked dried beans or other legumes for a heavier, higher protein dinner.
For the farro in this recipe I use the 10 minute farro from Trader Joe’s. I empty the whole bag in 6 cups of boiling water with ½ teaspoon salt and cook it boiling and uncovered for 10-15 minutes until it is tender, then drain it. The whole bag makes about 4 cups, which is the right amount for this recipe.
Unprocessed farro can take a very long time to cook, whereas quick-cooking or pearled farro will take less time to cook and will be less chewy when done. Read the directions for whatever product you plan to use and cook it accordingly.
In the last 5 minutes of cooking the farro for this recipe, add the chopped kale or chard if you are planning to use it.
Ingredients for Salad
- 4 cups warm drained cooked farro (½ teaspoon salt used in cooking water) with
- 1 cup of washed chopped greens such as chard or kale.added to the farro during the last 5 minutes of cooking (these greens are optional but add color, flavor and nutritional value)
- 2 Tablespoons California Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 cups (about 3-4 medium) zucchini, shaved, salted with ¼ teaspoon salt, mixed and drained according to these directions (It will be about 2-3 cups after salting, draining and pressing)
- 3 cups coarsely chopped fresh tomato
- 1 cup chopped red and/or green bell pepper
- ½ cup sliced pitted Kalamata olives
- ¼ pound low-fat feta cheese, crumbled.
The salad dressing ingredients:
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (this is the juice of about 2 large juicy lemons)
- ½ cup California extra virgin olive oil
- 3 large fresh cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped.
- Leaves from 2 large sprigs of fresh oregano, finely chopped (about 1 Tablespoon)
- Leaves from 2 large sprigs of fresh mint, finely chopped (about 1 Tablespoon)
- ¼ cup of finely chopped fresh basil
- 2 teaspoons of anchovy paste
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- Mix all the dressing ingredients together and set aside
- Cook the farro (and kale or chard if using) and prepare the zucchini (the zucchini must sit after salting for at least ½ hour)
- Once the farro is cooked, drain it and immediately stir in the 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Let the farro sit until it is no longer hot. Lukewarm is fine.
- Add all the other salad ingredients to the farro.
- Pour the salad dressing over the ingredients and mix well. Serve right away, or refrigerate for up to 2 days before serving.