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Great Grain

(post, Kathleen Bauer)

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With the weather creeping toward summerlike, I'm thinking more about cool salads and picnics in a park, not to mention easy but impressive side dishes I can take to potluck dinners. This recipe for farro salad fits all those categories, and is perfect for any vegetarians in the crowd.

Farro & Pecorino Salad
From Luan Schooler at Foster & Dobbs

1 c. whole grain Farro
Salted water
4 oz. good aged pecorino, cut into little cubes
1 c. halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 c. oil-cured olives, pitted & chopped roughly
A handful of basil leaves
6 tablespoons (more or less) of good, full flavored olive oil
Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Cook the farro in the salted water at a bare simmer until just tender. Drain well and spread on a baking sheet to cool (or, if you're in a hurry, run under cold water and drain thoroughly). Gently combine the farro, cheese, tomatoes and olives. Drizzle with olive oil—start with about 4 tablespoons, let it sit a few minutes, taste and add some more if it seems dry. Tear basil leaves and fold into salad, then season with salt and pepper to taste.