Farro, once an obscure ingredient harking from the Middle East and Tuscany, is now a globally popular grain that stars in everything from hearty stews to risotto-style dishes to salads, like this crunchy winter mix. It makes a beautiful side dish to roasted meat or poultry, but it’s hearty enough to stand alone as a vegetarian entree.
Farro Salad with Fennel, Endive and Hearts of Palm
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz./330 g.) farro
1/2 fennel bulb, cored and finely diced
3 small ribs celery, finely diced
2 small heads Belgian endive, 1 red and 1 white, cut crosswise into slices 1/2 inch (12 mm.) thick
1 cup (6 oz./185 g.) drained jarred or canned hearts of palm, diced
1/4 cup (1/3 oz./10 g.) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g.) chopped toasted walnuts
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and a generous grinding of pepper. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly until emulsified. Set the dressing aside.
Rinse and drain the farro, then transfer to a large saucepan and add 3 cups (24 fl. oz./750 ml.) cold water. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially and simmer until the farro is tender but still chewy, about 20 minutes. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a large salad bowl.
Pour half of the dressing over the farro while still warm and toss gently to coat the grains well. Add the fennel, celery, endive, hearts of palm and parsley. Pour over the remaining dressing and fold everything together gently until evenly distributed. Garnish with the walnuts and serve right away, or cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours until completely chilled. Serves 6.