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 SaladPrint This Recipe
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!