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Farro salad with green beans and corn – Pop Your Cherry

Uber-healthy farro shouldn't be a kitchen stranger as it's a delicious way to get those important whole grains into your regular food rotation.

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As the numbers on the thermometer rise (high today in my part of the F-L-A is 85 degrees!) and thoughts turn to lighter, healthier (and cooler) eating, I’ve been searching out new culinary pals to liven up my spring and summer meals. Right off the bat, I made a fast food friend: farro.

A whole grain that’s loaded with protein, farro looks like a cousin to brown rice but has more of a chewy, slightly creamy bite. It also packs a nutrition punch, containing fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, B, C and E.

What’s not to love?

Well, my experience trying to actually find this great grain was not terribly easy. I understand it’s available at establishments like Whole Foods, but if you are like me and this culinary Mecca isn’t anywhere close to you, places like Amazon.com can come to the rescue. That’s the route I took and now my pantry is locked and loaded with farro for my dining and experimenting pleasure.

This recipe, adapted from one on epicurious.com, is a terrific place to start getting acquainted with farro. Easy and quick, it’s delicious as is but also lends itself nicely to substitutions to suit personal preferences. It’s one I’m going to enjoy (tonight, actually) and all through the hot season.

Chicken Farro Salad

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Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup semi-pearled farro
  • 12 ounces green beans, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups yellow corn kernels (if fresh, cut from 2 to 3 ears of corn)
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Cut chicken into even bite-sized pieces. Toss with lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Mix so that chicken is covered with marinade. Let sit in fridge for at least an hour.

Cook farro in medium saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain; cool.

Meanwhile, heat heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and marinade to skillet; saute until golden brown and cooked through.

Cook green beans in large saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain. Rinse under cold water to cool; drain. Transfer beans to kitchen towel; pat dry.

Mix farro, chicken, and green beans in large bowl; add corn and green onions.

Combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, marjoram, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt in small bowl. Press with back of spoon to release flavor. Whisk in vinegar, shallot, and mustard. Pour over salad in bowl; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

DO AHEAD: Salad can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Divide chilled or room-temperature salad among plates. Sprinkle with goat cheese. Enjoy!

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Photo Credit: rainydayknitter / Flickr

One Response to “Farro salad with green beans and corn – Pop Your Cherry”

April 30, 2011 at 8:39 PM

I’ve been meaning to get some farro … you have me convinced! That sounds delicious….