Heart Healthy: Farro & Roasted Tomato Salad

I  have a secret passion for healthy, homemade food of all kinds. It might not seem like it- since I love to bake sugary goods. But the truth is, I started my business because I wanted baked goods without preservatives, chemicals, and unnecessary food-like ingredients. I love to cut down sugar and cut out extras.  If you’ve seen my recipes on Food52, you probably noticed that I lean toward meatless dishes chock full of vegetables. The way I see it, eat lots of veggies, get to eat more cookies.

I got together with Nicole Hodac and we had a great time shooting this wholesome salad. The salad earned praise from Nicole, who in addition to being an amazing photographer, is a dietetic technician and is studying to be a dietician! I am amazed by her talents.

This salad is really flexible. Don’t have garbanzo beans? Throw in some white beans or spinach instead.  No fresh tomatoes? Try sun-dried tomatoes. This salad is a little bit of prep work- but you’ll have a salad that will keep for several days in the fridge. This also makes a great bagged lunch- one of Mr. Radar’s very favorites.

Farro & Roasted Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup Farro Grande (sometimes labeled spelt berries)

1 cup Cherry Tomatoes

1/2 cup Garbanzo Beans (Ceci, chick peas, whatever)

1 Bunch of Basil

1/2 cup fresh Mozzarella (diced or small balls)

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2-3 Tb Balsamic Vinegar, to taste

Sea Salt & Black Pepper

Additional Add-Ins: Roasted Red Peppers, blanched spinach, green onion, roasted garlic

Directions:

(1) Soak the Farro in cold water for 20-25 minutes.

(2) Turn on the broiler. Place the tomatoes on a sided baking sheet and toss in a little olive oil.  Broil until the tomatoes have plumped and the skin has started to peel back, about 3-6 minutes, depending on how hot your broiler runs. Set aside and allow to cool.

(3) After the Farro has soaked, rinse it well. Combine the farro and 2 1/2 cups water in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 2 minutes, before reducing to a brisk simmer. Cover and allow to cook for 17-20 minutes. * Drain any excess liquid.

(4) Meanwhile, rinse the garbanzo beans, chop the basil. In a small mason jar, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Shake to combine.

(5) Rinse the cooked farro in cool water. The farro should be warm but not hot when it is combined with the other ingredients. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over the top and mix well. The warm farro will soak up the dressing and become very flavorful.

Enjoy the salad now, or later. It will keep for 3 days in the fridge.

*If there are instructions on the Farro package, follow them. This is how I prepare my farro, but I am sure that there are other ways to prepare it.


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