A green salad topped with some grilled squid and a farro salad with vegetables mixed in. Omit the squid and this would be completely vegetarian. Start with a bowl of kalabasa soup and it’s an extremely satisfying meal without the meat. I like vegetables a lot, but couldn’t do without any meat for long periods of time… but I must say that vegetarian dishes can and often do look stunning. The natural colors, the textures, the freshness are so appealing to the eye and the palate.
I have written about farro before, here and here, and for this salad, I boiled up some farro and waited for it to cool. Then I added in chopped roasted red peppers, chopped marinated artichokes, three kinds of tomatoes, haricots verts, olives, etc. and generous amounts of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some fresh lemon juice and chopped herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve on its own, or as a side dish to fish or meat… very easy to do, and you can easily store it in the fridge and enjoy it for another couple of days. I haven’t found a source of farro in Manila yet, so I bring in several packages whenever I see it on trips abroad. But this would work nicely with good organic red or brown rice as well. Just make sure your rice isn’t too mushy or wet when you mix this all up.