Farro is an ancient grain originating in the Fertile Crescent. It is high in protein, low in gluten, and has a nutty, delicious flavor. This salad is one that we often serve at lunch in our cafés as part of our popular Meze Combo. The combination of sweet, nutty and nourishing in this salad is just fantastic. The dried apricots, roasted almonds and pumpkin seeds contrast with the sharpness of the sherry vinegar and creamy goat cheese. The tantalizing result will have you scrambling for a second serving!
- Serves 2
- 3/4 cup emmer farro
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 3 tablespoons whole almonds
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- 6 - 8 asparagus spears, thin, cut in 2” pieces
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon shallots, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup dried apricots, medium dice
- 2 ounces goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
- Fresh cracked pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 325°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.
Place farro in a medium sauce pan and cover with water, adding 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, approximately 30 minutes. Skim off any foam that forms on surface of water. Drain grain through a strainer and let cool until later.
Place almonds and pumpkin seeds on prepared baking sheet. Toss the cut asparagus in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and add to baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool. Coarsely chop the almonds and set aside for later.
In a medium bowl combine the sherry vinegar, remaining olive oil, shallots, thyme, apricots and remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Whisk well to combine. Toss in the almonds, pumpkin seeds, asparagus and farro. Combine well and taste for seasoning. I always add fresh cracked pepper. Crumble in the goat cheese and add the parsley. Mix gently to retain the cheese crumbles. Serve in combination with a bowl of soup, green salad or roasted vegetable galette as we do at Macrina for our Meze Combo. Enjoy!
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