This month I would like to share a great summer salad. This would be a good salad to take to a potluck gathering; in fact this is what I will bring to our July Concert on the Lake to share with friends this year. Farro Perlato is an ancient Italian whole grain first cultivated in 9000 BC, and was the standard rations of Roman legions. It has twice the protein and fiber of modern wheat, with a smooth nutty flavor. You can find it in the “healthy” food aisle at most grocery stores.
- 1 cup farro
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 green onions, finely chopped, divided
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano, or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 basket strawberries, divided use
- ½ cup walnuts, toasted
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- 8 ounces baby spinach leaves, cleaned
- 3 ounces cheese (feta, goat, crumbled blue cheese), optional
- Cook the farro: Place 3 cups of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Lightly salt the water. Add the farro, cover the pot and cook on low heat about 30 minutes. Test for desired doneness, a bit al dente is recommended for this salad. Drain off excess water, set side and cool.
- In a food processor or blender, combine the olive oil, the vinegars, half of the green onions, oregano, and 4 strawberries. Process until smooth, season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Slice the remaining strawberries. In a large bowl, combine the cooled farro, spinach, toasted walnuts, and sliced strawberries. Toss with enough vinaigrette to moisten. If using, top with cheese of choice.