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Warm Farro Salad (With Tomatoes, Spinach, and Shiitake Mushrooms) – An Easy Farro Recipe

Posted Jul 31 2011 6:02pm

The inspiration struck awhile back…

Hubby and I were with friends checking out a new restaurant and unsure of what to order . We saw a delicious chicken dish pass us by. Then the same dish again…and again. As I looked around the small dining room of the restaurant, The Wine Shop , I realized that at least one of those very chicken dishes was on every single table. It was obviously the regulars’ choice.

So, we chose it, too. And after enjoying a delicious arugula salad with beets starter salad, that very chicken dish finally made its way to our table. After one bite, I realized why the dish was so popular. It was spectacular! That crispy chicken was a real palate pleaser. But a surprise came on the same plate, and it was the side of warm farro salad. Being a fan of unique grains, I figured I’d like it, but I really, really loved this use of farro. The farro was tender and the flavor was rich with what tasted almost like a mushroom broth. I immediately started taking note of the features and flavors of the dish with the idea of recreating the dish (both parts of it – chicken and farro) when I had the chance.

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The chance struck mid-last-week when I decided to see if I could re-create our amazing chicken and farro dinner. Yet, while I wanted to do some take on crispy chicken, the dish I really wanted to recreate as close as possible to the original form was the warm farro salad.

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I started with some farro that I picked up from the bulk bin section of my local health food store. I cooked it in broth, added in shiitake mushrooms, and then at the last minute, I stirred in fresh baby spinach and cherry tomatoes from my garden.

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The result, paired with crispy, oven-fried chicken, was all I wanted and more. I’ll share the chicken recipe in a separate blog post. For now…I give you a super easy way to enjoy farro. That’s right. I’m guessing most of you are unfamiliar with exactly how to prepare farro, but this is a great recipe to introduce you to the ancient grain.

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Warm Farro Salad (With Tomatoes, Spinach, and Shiitake Mushrooms)

Wondering, “What’s the best way to cook farro?” or even “what the heck do I do with farro?”. Here’s an extra-easy recipe that will pair well with almost any protein. I like mine served with Oven-Fried Crispy Almond Chicken, but steak, a vegetarian or vegan protein, or even another chicken recipe should work just fine.

*Vegetarian/Vegan options included*

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups broth or stock of choice (I used chicken)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup farro, rinsed
  • 3-4 shiitake mushrooms, wiped clean, stems removed, chopped large
  • 2 cups baby spinach, rinsed and dried (I used a salad spinner)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, rinsed, halved
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Bring 2 cups broth to a boil in a large pan (with tall sides). Add salt, and farro and stir. Partially cover pan, reduce to simmer, and cook farro till almost tender, about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the mushrooms after the first 15 minutes. Add additional broth, if needed. Note: I added about 1/2 cup of broth after the first 30 minutes.
  2. Add spinach to pan, stir in and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add cherry tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, as needed. Stir to combine. Cook until cherry tomatoes are warmed through, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Serve with something delicious like Oven-Fried Chicken, and enjoy!

You may also like:

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I’ll be posting that Crispy, Oven-Fried Almond Chicken ASAP! :)

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Reader Question: Have you ever tried farro before? If not, what’s your favorite grain? If yes, how was it cooked/served and did you like it?

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