I love to read about new food ideas (I can hear you saying, "Oh, really? I'd never have guessed!") and I'm always cutting recipes out of newspapers and magazines. But on a daily basis I tend to rummage through the same old bag of tricks to come up with solutions for meals. It's when guests are coming over that I'll look for something new and exciting, a side dish or dessert that will light up a meal and make the evening shine.
This was exactly the case when I read my friend Luan's blog about a salad that used a grain I'd heard of but had never tried, a variety of wheat called farro in Italy and known as emmer wheat here. It sounded like it might be just the thing to have with the grilled salmon filets we were planning to have that evening, and a nice summery alternative to the usual risotto or potatoes that we'd (yawn) usually have.
Extremely simple to prepare, it only takes about 10 minutes to cook the farro in boiling water till it's slightly al dente. While that's cooking, it's easy to chop the olives, cube the cheese and halve the tomatoes. Then toss those with the cooled farro (I ran it under cold water), a little olive oil, salt and pepper and torn basil leaves, and it's ready for the table. Perfetto!
I can tell this is going to be the new go-to side for our summer entertaining, and the leftovers are wonderful for that I-don't-have-time-to-cook quick lunch or dinner. Download the recipe from the Foster & Dobbs website here.