Gluten isn’t always kind to me, but I can sometimes tolerate it well in far less refined forms – such as farro, a beautiful chewy pearled grain of wheat, that you can cook in a similar way to brown rice. It makes a hearty addition to soups and stews, can be used instead of rice in risotto, and it lends a really satisfying texture and flavour profile to grain salads. Farro is also high in protein, complex fibre and calcium, so if you can tolerate grains, this is a good one to go for!
I loosely adapted this recipe from one by Yottam Ottolenghi (probably a very close second to HFW in my list of food heroes), using ingredients I had to hand at the time. Not only was this a delicious salad, it kept really well for about 4-5 days in the fridge – so a great one for preparing ahead of time for work lunches. I added a bit of hot smoked salmon, soft goats cheese and some red veined sorrel from the garden to mine…and it was so delicous, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!
Farro & Pomegranate Salad
- 250g farro
- 1 cup of stock (I used chicken but you could also use vegetable stock)
- 5 spring onions, chopped (white parts only, use the deep green tops for my warm potato salad!)
- 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
- 60mls extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbs sherry vinegar
- 2/3 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 cup flaked almonds, lightly toasted
- Small handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
- Seeds of one pomegranate
- Salt & fresh black pepper
- Rinse the farro in cold water, then place in a medium saucepan with the stock and another cup of cold water. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer for about 10 minutes – at about the 7 minute mark, give it a little taste test, you still want it semi-firm and chewy, not mushy.
- Drain the farro and transfer to a mixing bowl. While it is still hot, add the spring onion, red onion, olive oil, vinegar, allspice and cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Sitr, then leave to cool completely.
- Once cool, add the parsely, almonds and pomegranate seeds and mix. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed, and serve.