Farro Salad Gets a Summer Makeover.

Remember Farro Salad? It’s a favorite around here. Sadly, beets are a going out of season. Why not give the dish a warm weather update? Challenge accepted.

While I think balsamic vinaigrette would be beautiful here, I changed it up a bit with a dressing that maximizes the fresh herbs on my porch. I traded the beets for cherry tomatoes, grilled on kabob skewers. I stirred a bit of fresh basil in to finish. The result? Delish!

Summer Farro Salad

1 cup dry farro, cooked to package directions, then drained

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon Greek-ish dressing* or your favorite bottled variety

1 teaspoon Greek seasoning

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chifonnade

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

approximately 30 cherry tomatoes, grilled if you like

Combine all ingredients, chill and enjoy.

For this meal, I added Emily’s blackened tofu (delish!) to the top of my salad. I made Vore a grilled chicken breast while I was searing off the tomatoes. He approved! You will too.

*Greek-ish Dressing. Add the following to your blender: 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, 1 tablespoon fresh basil, 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Blend. Towards the end, stir in 2 tablespoons feta. Store leftovers in a shaker…It will separate a smidge and needs a little man handling before you use again.

Farro, Roasted Beet and Feta Salad.

When it comes to Birmingham restaurants, Bottega Cafe is high on my favorites list. The chef, owner of several great spots in town, is a bit of a local icon. I’m convinced that’s because of his emphasis on high-quality, local ingredients.

Farm fresh ingredients mean that Bottega’s menu is exceptionally seasonal. As in, the selection might be entirely different from day to day. I’m all for variety, but that does get a little frustrating when you have a favorite. Such is my story with farro salad.

In the winter, Bottega sometimes serves a simple salad of arugala, farro, roasted beets and feta. I adore it. And since it’s practically never on the menu, I had to recreate it at home:

For the farro mix

3 cups cooked farro

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

*Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. That’s it! The longer the salad sits, the better it tastes.

 

For your topping pleasure

roasted beets (I used the Oh She Glows method)

block style feta cheese

arugala

Greek seasoning —>I put this stuff on everything!

This makes 4 appetizer salads or 3 entrees. My entree (pictured above) included about 2 cups arugala, 3/4 cup farro and 1/4 cup each feta and beets. We topped Vore’s salad the same way, but added a piece of swordfish to give it a little staying power.

I’ll leave you with a word of warning: Beets make EVERYTHING red, including the hands that slice them. Be prepared for some short-term stained fingers and for goodness’ sake, wear an apron!