Farro Salad With Cherry Tomatoes And Fresh Mozzarella


Insalata di Farro con Pomodorini e Mozzarella ~ 
After returning from our recent trip to Umbria where I developed a whole new appreciation for farro, I headed into my kitchen to create a few new recipes that highlighted this versatile grain that is a very popular staple in any Umbrian kitchen. Farro is cooked like rice and expands into a plump, chewy berry, which can be used as a side dish, in place of rice in risotto dishes, as a grain salad, and in soups and stews. Cracked, it can be used as a polenta or porridge. It also can be milled into flour to make extraordinary pastas, like the popular umbricelli found in Umbria.

If you have never tried farro before, this salad is a great way to begin. The nutty, chewy texture of farro grains lends itself well to salads, and it can be mixed with many other ingredients to create a multitude of flavor options. In this recipe, I simply mixed cooked, cooled farro with sweet cherry tomatoes, chunks of tender fresh mozzarella and chopped fresh basil. Lightly dressed with a wine vinegar dressing, it can be served on a bed of salad greens as shown in the photo, or simply served on it’s own. I find farro salads also hold up really well when packed for picnics or when a potluck dish is needed. I often keep some cooked farro in my refrigerator to add to soups or to be used in making a quick salad. If you want to cut down the time it takes to cook your farro, cover it in water overnight and store it in the refrigerator. Drain the water off the next day, cover with fresh water and cook until tender.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Farro Salad With Cherry Tomatoes And Fresh Mozzarella

Farro, an ancient grain is a great base for soups or salads such as this one.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Farro
  • 1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes Cut Into Quarters
  • 1 (7 Ounce) Container of Mozzarella Bocconcini
  • 3 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 3 to 4 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Baby Salad Greens, Lightly Dressed (Optional)

Directions:

  1. Cook the farro in water until tender, about 30 minutes, then drain and rinse.
  2. Cut the bocconcini into pieces the same size as the tomatoes, and mix the tomatoes, cheese, basil, and farro.
  3. Add the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and toss.
  4. Divide the salad greens onto four separate plates and top with the farro salad.