Insalata di Farro (Farro Salad)
Toscana Saporita Cooking School, Lucca, Tuscany, Italy
It’s hard to top the combination of tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil in this salad, especially if you are serving it in the summer, when tomatoes and basil are at their peak. (As far as we’re concerned, garlic and olive oil are great year-round!) If you are having a hard time finding farro, ask for spelt; they’re very similar. The salad calls for thinly sliced raw leeks, which have a strong flavor but are delicious.
- 1/2 pound farro
- 4 large ripe tomatoes, diced
- 6 basil leaves (or to taste), cut in chiffonade
- 1 small leek, white part only, washed and thinly sliced across
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
- Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, optional
Place the farro in a medium saucepan. Cover with four inches of water and add 1 tablespoon salt. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until tender, adding more water if necessary.
When the farro is tender, drain it and then rinse with cold water until it has cooled down. Drain well and transfer the grain to a large bowl.
Add the tomatoes, basil, leek, garlic, and olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the pine nuts and shave the Parmigiano over the top. The salad can be served at room temperature or chilled.