Roasted pine nuts, fresh herbs, crunchy greens and sweet caramelized onion round out delectable protein packed farro grain in this recipe that doubles as a side or one pot meal. Friends at Bluebird Grain Farms grow the ancient organic grain emmer farro locally in our high mountain Methow Valley much to our family’s benefit around the table.
Emmer farro is a sweet grain in itself and packed with protein (16%), so a flavorful warm salad is a simple meal with minimal ingredients added. Formerly a rare find, emmer has proven itself among chefs and family cooks to be one of the best grains grown on earth, with its chewy texture, healthy vitamin content and delicious flavor, a carbo choice often superior to pasta.
Heirloom tomatoes canned from last year’s harvest add such flavor as cannot be purchased this time of year. These, along with fresh basil, kale or spinach, roasted nuts and the sweetness of caramelized combine to cover all necessary food groups, making it appropriate for dinner, lunch or snacking.
Emmer Farro Salad with Nuts, Tomato, Spinach & Caramelized Onion Recipe
2 c emmer farro grain
1/4 t salt
3/4 c pine nuts, or walnuts
2 c chopped tomatoes
2 c spinach or kale, coarsely chopped
1 c fresh basic, minced
2 medium – large onions, coarsely chopped
2 T butter
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
~Roast nuts; set aside.
~Place a large sauce pot of water cover wheat berries with 5 cups water and 1/4 t salt and bring to a boil; cook on a lively simmer until grain is soft but still chewy, conceptually like cooling pasta ‘al dente,’ approximately 25 minutes.
~While the grain cooks, combine butter and 2 T olive oil in a sauté pan and caramelize onions by cooking over low heat; onions should be in large chunks to begin and be sautéed for approximately 15 minutes to achieve the slight browning and sweetness of caramelization.
~While stirring onions occasionally, and while grain cooks, chop all veggies so that the salad may be tossed warm and served immediately.
~Drain the grain and place in a large bowl, add onions, veggies, basil, and season with remaining olive oil, salt and pepper; top with roasted nuts and serve.
Love from our kitchen to yours, Georgina @ Soul & Stomach