A nutty farro salad from a Portland food sleuth
As the founder of the online artisan-foods marketplace FoodShed, Oregon-based Brenda Crow has become something of a matchmaker between the savvy shoppers and small-scale food producers that make up America's diverse foodshed. On the site, she highlights standout regional products including small-batch preserves, domestic salami samplers and phenomenal farro from Washington's Bluebird Grain Farms. Here Crow recommends using the plump, pleasantly chewy grain in hearty dishes like her farro "Waldorf" salad. Her twist turns the traditional recipe inside out, keeping its integrity while playing off the salad's classic flavors in an entirely new and incredibly flavorful way.
Farro "Waldorf" Salad
Recipe adapted from Brenda Crow, Ourfoodshed.com, Portland, OR
1 cup farro
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large celery stalks, coarsely chopped (about ½ cup)
½ medium fennel bulb, trimmed and coarsely chopped (about ½ cup)
½ medium yellow onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
½ cup golden raisins
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 large balls fresh mozzarella, torn into small pieces
1 cup whole walnuts, toasted
2/3 cup celery leaves
1. In a medium saucepan, soak the farro in water overnight.
2. Strain the farro. In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, combine the farro with 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until tender, about 1 hour. Strain the farro, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking water.
3. When the farro is nearly done cooking, in a large skillet set over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the celery, fennel and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the raisins and 1 teaspoon salt and continue to cook until the vegetables just begin to brown, about 3 minutes longer. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil with the lemon juice until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Add the cooked farro, vegetables, mozzarella, walnuts and celery leaves to the bowl and toss gently to combine. Add the reserved cooking liquid and toss until just combined. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
It's the details that count! Try these tips
Presentation is everything. We love Herriott Grace's one-of-a-kind carved bowls for serving this nutty, earthy salad.