Farro is a nuttier, crunchier cousin to wheat, popular in Italy.
This recipe is part of a full menu created by Jeremy Luers for the July 2012 issue.
1 ½ cups farro (makes 3 cups when cooked)
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 Tablespoon salt
¾ cup English cucumber partially peeled & diced (Luers recommends leaving some peel on)
1 ½ cups diced tomato (Luers prefers heirloom varieties)
½ cup thinly sliced red onion
1–2 cloves of garlic, grated on a zester
½ cup packed basil leaves, hand torn
¼ cup celery heart leaves (optional)
1/3 cup sherry vinegar (can substitute red wine or balsamic)
1/2 to 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Place farro in a small pot. Cover with cold water by about an inch. Add bay leaves, garlic, and salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a slow simmer. Make sure water does not drop below the farro. Cook to al dente—a little chewy and starting to burst open. Once cooked, strain and lay out in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Chill. While the farro cools, prepare herbs and vegetables. Lightly salt cucumbers and tomatoes. Place them in a strainer above a bowl. Let sit for 15–30 minutes. Discard liquid. Place farro in a bowl and break up with a spoon. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed (Luers prefers his slightly more acidic).