Farro Salad a la Giada


Farro is the grain that fed the legions… how’s that for your tidbit of the day? I am certain that I have learned something every single day that I have “fed” this website with posts. Whether from my basic research, reading hundreds of cookbooks, the comments of readers, or my necessary bias towards trying new things and having to look them up…I think I have learned more than most students would get from a one year studying for a Master’s degree in food trivia… heehee. At any rate, I was watching the food network the other night and Giada di Laurentis (isn’t she too thin to be taken seriously?) was making a farro salad that looked really easy and simple and I recall having a package of farro in my pantry so, voila! Farro Salad a la Giada, but altered by Marketman… Please click this link for more information on farro, it is quite fascinating, actually. And now that I am in search of more wholesome grains from a diet perspective, farro is a better alternative to brown rice, in my opinion. It has a nice texture, good vehicle for other flavors and is healthy to boot! Farro is slightly different from spelt, though some books use the grains interchangeably.

This farro with plum tomato, haricots verts, Italian parsley and balsamic vinaigrette was terrific, unusual and delicious! To make, first heat up a medium small to medium sized pot with farro24 cups of water; add a generous sprinkle of sea salt and add the farro and simmer, covered for roughly 25 minutes until the insides are cooked but there is still a firm bite. Next, drain the farro and run under some cool water and drain in a colander for several minutes. Chop up some tomatoes (the best you can find; I used plum tomatoes) and some sweet onion (local ones aren’t so sweet so I only put a little bit and I marinated them in the balsamic dressing for 15 minutes to temper the harshness), some blanched haricots verts (Giada’s version didn’t add these, but I had them in the fridge so in they went) and an extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. Mix all the ingredients together, add some chopped italian parsley and serve either at room temperature or cold. I liked it all on its own but it was terrific with a piece of grilled chicken breast. This would also be good with some bottled artichokes. The following day I ate it with canned tuna and it was also very good…now if only I can make sure I find a steady supply of farro. The last purchase was from Galileo Enoteca several months ago…


16 Responses

  1. Nice color scheme salad! You have the color of the Italian flag on your ingredients red, green and the white plate (second photo). Farro is making a comeback run again – mainly its fiber content. Health journals and literatures emphasize eating bulky fibrous meals is a great help on the cardiovascular system and you stay full until the next meal. I guess you can substitute buckwheat or bulgur in its place since they all have on common denominator – fiber.

  2. That does look interesting Marketman…thanks for sharing this recipe! I would much rather have a salad with grains than one that is all leaves…hehe :)

    I agree about Giada and being too thin to be taken seriously! Hahahaha!

    I second Mila’s idea…must get to Galileo now that it is nearby :)

  3. Hi MM, as ever wonderful pictures. I’m not really a salad fan, but still if I would just base the taste in your pictures I would sure think this is really good. Anyway I have a question not really related to your post, I’m planning on making some maki this weekend, and so I need a sake or rice wine I went to Gateway Mall to see if they have one since I pass by there everyday from going to work in Libis, anyway I have literally went around the grocery store for half an hour but could not find one I ask for assistance and hello they don’t know what what it is I have explain it to them what it is but no, they still haven’t have a clue of what I was talking about. Anyway I just really would like to know any place that I could get a great sake, I know you would have an answer your practically food guru to me hehehe :) Thanks

  4. yan-i, there is a Japanese grocery on Pasay Road in Makati called SAKURA near the greenbelt area – they should have all the Japanese ingredients you need. I suspect the larger groceries such as Unimart in Greenhills would also have it. There is also a chinese food shop on the first floor of V-Mall in greenhills that might have it. I am sorry but I am not familiar with too many places in QC, so I can’t think of a store with Japanese ingredients there… Joey and Mila, Mrs. MM had lunch at the Galileo on Pasong Tamo. She said there are a lot more dry and canned goods for sale… aridelros, nothing planned so far…Maria Clara, yes it was a nice salad…

  5. hi MM – is it possible to substitute pearl barley for farro?? Thanks for the info & healthy recipe!

  6. Laura, I think pearl barley is possible, but it won’t have the “bite” or resistance that farro would have. Pearl barley tends to get mushy whereas the farro retains some firmness.

  7. Love farro. I make a farro salad with cherry tomatoes, corn kernels, flat leaf parsley, dressed with olive oil, roasted garlic and lemon. One of my favorite carb substitutes. A few spoonfuls and you’re good til the next meal.

  8. I agree with Joey — grains vs. leaves any time! Unfortunately, leaves really are better for weight loss. :-/

    You know, I’ve trying not to let Giada’s being thin be my reason for being skeptical about her (after all, maybe she’s just one of those naturally thin women we love to hate). But I realized she just doesn’t come across as sincerel; it’s like she’s acting. In contrast, even when Nigella was slim, you knew immediately she was gastonomically lustful.

  9. MM, you mentioned Giada, and immediately I have a big grin on my face. I don’t watch Giada to get some new recipes or tips from her,I watch it because she’s a disaster I think in the kitchen, that woman can’t cook, well maybe she can, but seriously she’s a mess. You have to check out this tv blog who loves to watch Giada’s facial expressions everytime she tastes her own recipe,it’s hilarious!


    If you search giada on their archives you will get a lot of hilarious recaps from her program…



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