“Greens & Grains” ~ Farro, Arugula, Caper, and Olive Salad

Farro, Arugula, Caper, and Olive Salad ~ by My Utensil Crock

I was so excited to come home to this today.

I skipped breakfast and took Tazewell on a nice long walk this morning, and as we started for home, I suddenly wished I had a big salty sandwich. Cravings, man. I thought about stopping at The Italian Store for some prosciutto, but then remembered I had THESE leftovers in my fridge.

Farro, Arugula, Caper, and Olive Salad ~ by My Utensil Crock

No, it’s not a big Italian sandwich. But it was really good, and a much healthier option. And the briny flavors satisfied my salt craving.

Then I got all excited to post about it immediately. That’s when you know it’s an amazing dish.

Farro, Arugula, Caper, and Olive Salad ~ by My Utensil Crock

A while back, I wanted to explore grains other than quinoa. I bought lentils, farro, and wheatberries, and promptly shelved them all. I do use lentils from time to time, but the resulting dishes need quite a bit of styling to look appetizing for posts, and a search for “lentil” on my blog comes up goose eggs.

A few weeks ago, I took the farro down off the shelf and decided that day was the day. And, as I tend to do, I looked to the package for a recipe hint. It said I could basically mix with anything, and gave some suggestions. So I used what I had – which is actually not a talent of mine – and I fell in love. Added some basic broiled shrimp the second go-round, and we have a half-hour (juuuust barely!) healthy meal.

Farro, Arugula, Caper, and Olive Salad ~ by My Utensil CrockA local fast casual restaurant in my area, Cava Grill, has an option called “Greens and Grains.” I always select supergreens and lentils. Like, always. But as it turns out, many greens complement many grains. Or is it the reverse?

Farro cooks in 25 minutes. If you are not a farro aficionado, I would describe it to be somewhere between rice and puffed rice. Of course, this is not a technical description, but as the grain soaks up the water, they puff out and soften. {Note: wheatberry looks a lot like farro when dry, but it takes twice as long to cook and does not get as soft. Lesson learned during recipe development!}

While the farro simmers, slice up your add-ins. I stirred in a little olive oil and red wine vinegar, and added a can of olives, sliced, a handful of thinly-sliced red onion, and a handful of drained capers. The shrimp was just broiled on skewers, sprayed with olive oil and sprinkled with minced garlic and dried oregano. Totally optional! And this dish is vegan without shrimp.

Farro, Arugula, Caper, and Olive Salad ~ by My Utensil Crock

This salad is great served warm, chilled, or at room temperature, but my favorite part is how the arugula wilts just the right amount when it’s stirred in with freshly-cooked farro. It will last a few days in the refrigerator until the arugula takes a turn, but I have never had enough left over to let it try!

Greens & Grains ~ Farro, Arugula, Caper, and Olive Salad
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad, Grain
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dry, uncooked farro
  • 2 c water
  • 1 can olives, sliced
  • .25 red onion, sliced very thinly
  • 2 T (handful) capers, drained
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 T red wine vinegar
  • 3-4 c arugula
Instructions
  1. Rinse the farro in cool water, and drain it. I use my sieve that works for quinoa, because farro is not much bigger than rice.
  2. Place the farro in a medium pot, and add 2 c of water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and cover. Let the farro simmer for 25 minutes.
  3. While it is simmering, prep your add-ins by slicing the olives and onion, and draining the capers.
  4. When the farro is done, you can measure out two cups of cooked farro into a large mixing bowl and save the rest for another purpose, or just use it all and consider increasing the rest of the ingredients too. I like a high ratio of greens and add-ins with the farro, which has a great texture but neutral taste.
  5. Add the olive oil and vinegar, and stir well. Add the olives, onion, and capers, and stir well again. Finally, add the arugula. This is why you are using a large bowl. You may need to stir hard to get it to incorporate, but it will be easier if the farro is still warm. Stir well, and incorporate all of the ingredients.
  6. Serve as a side salad, or add a protein and eat as a meal.
Notes
Bring this dish to a potluck, it's fine unrefrigerated for a while. It also makes a great, healthy desk lunch when you add a skewer of kabobs or shrimp!

Farro, Arugula, Caper, and Olive Salad ~ by My Utensil Crock

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