I do love fall. In particular, I love the colors of nature, the cooler temperatures that encourage you to curl up under a warm blanket, and especially the new fall produce that begins to flood the local markets here in Umbria. We now have available for us to buy, a large selection of greens, a variety of winter squash and mushrooms, and more types of apples than you could name. There are still lots of summer options around as well such as ripe, sweet tomatoes, peppers of every color and description, and gorgeous plump, firm eggplants. As much as I do love fall, saying goodbye to summer is always bittersweet. As the temperatures cool, we begin to empty our vegetable garden and turn over the soil to wait until next spring to start planting again which is always a sad chore. I recently decided to pull together a hearty, colorful salad using some of the last of our local, summer vegetables found at our produce market, including corn, sweet peppers, and tomatoes. To create a hearty salad, I decided to add farro, my grain of choice, which is always in my kitchen. I added goat cheese crumbles for extra flavor but you could use feta cheese, or simply skip the addition of cheese if you prefer. I tossed my leftovers the next day with some peppery arugula which also worked really well with this salad.
Here in Umbria, faro, an ancient grain with a nutty flavor is used often in soups, salads, and side dishes. Farro is very nutritious as well, as farro is rich in fiber, has 28 grams of protein per cup, is full of antioxidants, and is fat-free and low calorie. As well, farro is rich in magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B3. So, as well as tasting great, farro is good for you too! The addition of farro to any salad or soup makes it more filling as it keeps you satiated for much longer than a vegetable-only salad would. When I make this type of salad, I always make a large one so we can enjoy it over a couple of days, or have enough to offer the family when they stop by at mealtime. This salad will keep up to three days in the refrigerator and packs well for potluck meals or outdoor picnics.
Note: To grill the corn on the cob, preheat heat gas grill to medium high heat. Husk the cob and place the cobs directly on the grill, turning often. When most of the kernels have taken on color, about 8 to 10 minutes, remove from the heat and cool. Use a sharp paring knife to remove the kernels from the cob.
Deborah Mele 2019
- 1 1/2 Cups Uncooked Farro
- 4 1/2 Cups Vegetable or Chicken Broth
- 1 Large Cucumber, Chopped Fine
- 1 Cup Chopped Roasted Peppers
- 2 Cups Chopped Ripe Cherry Tomatoes
- 2 Ears of Corn, Grilled & Kernels Removed From Cob
- 1 Small Red Onion, Peeled & Finely Chopped
- 3/4 Cup Goat Cheese Crumbles
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
- 5 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- 1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Parsley
- In a medium sized pot, add the broth and farro and bring to a boil.
- Cook following package directions until the farro is "al dente".
- Drain in a strainer and cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl toss together all of the salad ingredients except the cheese crumbles.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients, then pour over the salad.
- Toss to combine and sprinkle to top with the goat cheese crumbles.
- Serve & enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 398 Total Fat: 20g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 14g Cholesterol: 10mg Sodium: 282mg Carbohydrates: 46g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 9g Sugar: 9g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 13g