|Farro and Arugula Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette|
I am not a big fan of salads and when it’s chilly outside, it’s usually the last thing I want to eat! As nature would have it, now is the time that the lettuces and greens are in season and so, I’ve had to learn to make peace with winter salads. I’ve discovered that if you start with a whole grain as a base, then you end up with a salad that’s hearty and very filling.
This salad is made with farro, which I have deemed my favorite grain of 2013 (2012 was all about the quinoa). Farro has a really great, chewy texture, similar to barley, and I came up with this salad on a day that I really just needed a little more substance than just having a green salad.
The farro takes about a half an hour to cook, and I used a ratio of one part farro to three parts liquid. I used stock as my cooking liquid to give it extra flavor. When it comes to a boil, lower the heat and cover it. Once all of the liquid is absorbed, allow it to rest for about ten minutes and it will get a nice, creamy texture.
While the farro was cooking, I prepared all of the vegetables. I think I used a little of everything I had in the refrigerator for the salad and of course you can use whatever you prefer.
1 small whole avocado, cubed
1/2 small red onion, diced finely
3 broccoli stalks/florets (steamed lightly and sliced)
1/2 can garbanzo beans, rinsed
5-10 kalamata olives, completely optional
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
1-2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
juice from the remaining half of meyer lemon
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp dijon mustard
Agave syrup (to taste)
2 small cloves of pressed garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Whisk all these ingredients together and check for flavor. Then whisk in about 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil.