Farro, which is grown locally on the Gila River Indian Reservation at Ramona Farms, as well as at Hayden Flour Mills in Tempe, is a perfect core ingredient to this week’s salad.
Proudly boasting the title as nature’s original wheat and one of the few that have never been hybridized, farro (Editor note: farro is a general term for einkorn, spelt, and – some may say – emmer wheat, as well) is truly the definition of ancient.
You’ll want to use whole farro, which retains all of the grain’s nutrients, as opposed to a less nutrient-dense, semi-pearled, and pearled variety. Known to be packed with high protein, phosphorus, iron, B vitamins, potassium, and carotenoids, farro is genetically different than modern wheat.
I’ve added generous amounts of locally harvested vegetables, including spinach, fennel, carrots, radishes, bell peppers and zucchini, making this a full meal quick to satisfy the heartiest of appetites. For those extra hungry, I’ve also included a side of roasted potatoes and shallots.
A possible summer alternative for this recipe is to skip the roasting and simply use all raw vegetables.
Many thanks to Rattlebox Farm, Breckenfeld Family Growers, Sleeping Frog Farm and Hayden Mills for making this meal possible.
Certain current seasonal specials at The Tasteful Kitchen, The Cup Cafe and Food For Ascension Cafe include local ancient wheat berries in items ranging from soups to salads, and even desserts. Try to find a current menu online first, or call.
Farro or Einkorn Wheat Berries
- 2 cups of wheat berries*
- 4 cups of water
- 1 tsp sea salt
Although I soaked my wheat berries for 4 hours, you can conveniently soak overnight up to 10 hours. Drain, rinse and bring to a boil with salt, lower temperature to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until berries are plump and chewy. Turn temperature off and allow to cool.
- 2 cups of packed spinach or other seasonal green*
- 1/2 cup parsley*
- 2lbs small red potatoes*
- 2 fennel bulbs*
- 4 carrots*
- 4 radishes*
- 4 medium tomatoes*
- 6 small shallots*
- 2 large green onions*
- 2 bell peppers* (color of your choice)
- 2 small zucchini*
- 5 cloves garlic*
- 1 tbsp olive oil*
- 1 tsp turmeric*
- 1 tsp black pepper*
- 1 tsp sea salt
Dice vegetables and toss all in light olive oil and sea salt, with the exception of the spinach and parsley. Oven roast at 400 for 25 minutes. In a large bowl, mix farro and all roasted vegetables, including spinach and use parsley as garnish when served. The potatoes were kept whole and tossed in olive oil, shallots, sea salt, covered with foil the first 25 minutes in the oven. Remove foil and keep in oven an additional 25 minutes. Served in separate bowl as side.
- 2 kumquats*
- 1 lemon*
- 2 tbsp shallots*
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard*
- 3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar*
- 1/3 cup olive oil*
- sea salt and pepper to taste
Blend all ingredients, toss in salad.