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Meatless Monday: Mediterranean Farro Salad

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

Have you tried farro yet? I’m a bit obsessed with the nutty whole grain. It’s a great alternative to rice or pasta and is often interchangeable with wheat berries in recipes. While you can certainly add a scoop to your salad or soup, I like to use the toothsome grain as the base of a recipe.

What can you add to farro? Pretty much anything. Throw in lots of crispy veggies and toss with a dijon vinaigrette to make Giada’s Mediterranean Farro Salad. Serve with a simple green salad for dinner tonight and save leftovers for a light lunch tomorrow. In fact, I think it tastes even better the next day since the flavors have more time to mix and marry in the fridge.

This farro salad is very versatile. Swap in whatever vegetables you like (anything with a crunch will work nicely). Add in fresh herbs, use a different vinegar or hold off on the olives. You really can’t go wrong.

Mediterranean Farro Salad

10 ounces farro (about 1 1/2 cups)
teaspoons kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
8 ounces green beans, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup pitted black olives
1 medium red pepper, cut into thin strips (about 4 ounces or 1 cup)
3 ounces Parmesan, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
1 small bunch chives, snipped (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, combine 4 cups of water with the farro. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the farro is almost tender, about 20 minutes. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and simmer until the farro is tender, about 10 minutes longer. Drain well. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.

Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and stir. Cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the cooked green beans to a bowl of ice water and let cool for 2 minutes. Drain the green beans.

Once the farro has cooled add the green beans, olives, red pepper, Parmesan, and chives. Stir to combine. In a small bowl mix together the sherry vinegar, olive oil, mustard, pepper, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine. Pour the sherry vinaigrette over the farro salad. Toss to combine and serve.

More Meatless Farro Recipes
Farro with Coarse Pesto (use vegetable stock or broth to make it truly meatless)
Farro Salad with Tomatoes and Herbs
Caprese Di Farro
Farro Risotto al Chianti
Kale Salad

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