My vegetable garden is producing so many vegetables and herbs that I am able to feed the family and all the neighbours daily with a great vegetarian diet! Naturally every few days Carlo and the kids say, “Mum can’t we get a big bistecca or pork ribs to put on the BBQ?”
This salad using farro is a great salad to use many vegetables and herbs out of the garden, ripe tomatoes, baby zucchinis, red capsicums, rocket, basil parsley and more. Farro is also a great substitute for Arborio rice to make a yummy risotto, fantastic in soups and processed into flour to use in breads.
Farro, also called emmer in some parts of the world, is a type of ancient wheat grain that has been eaten for thousands of years around the world. For the Romans it was a staple in their diet, it is also used widely in Ethiopia and the Middle East.
In Australia farro is not so commonly known or used, but it has many positive health benefits: lots of fibre, vitamin B, zinc, iron and high in protein. It is also a good source of antioxidants and is healthy for the heart!
Insalata di Farro, con Pomordorini, Zucchini, e Herbe
Serves 6 – 8 people
350 gm farro soaked in water for 40 minutes ½ bunch basil chopped
350 gm cherry tomatoes, halved 3 baby zucchinis thinly sliced1 scallion finely diced
1 lge handful rocket chopped 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
50 ml red wine vinegar sea salt and cracked white pepper
1 tblsp cooking salt ½ small chilli finely chopped, optional
¼ red capsicum finely diced 2 tblsp parsley, finely chopped
Strain the spelt from the water that it has been soaking in, and put it into a pot and cover well with cold water and the cooking salt. Bring to the boil and then turn down and simmer for about 35 minutes until the spelt has cooked – it will always still have a bit of a crunch, this is normal. Strain the spelt and then refresh in cold water, strain again and set aside in a bowl.
In another bowl place the cherry tomatoes, zucchini (I use a peeler to make thin slices), scallion, capsicum, rocket, basil and parsley and chilli if you are using it. Place the olive oil and vinegar in the bowl with the tomatoes etc and season well with salt and pepper. Fold in the spelt and check the seasoning and adjust if needed with seasoning of more olive oil and vinegar.
Serve when you are ready.