Green Garlic Farro and Collards Salad
Tangy and Fresh, this salad is probably one of my favorite dishes I’ve made lately. It has a great flavor, and is easy to make.
I’ve had a jar of Farro sitting in my pantry for a while now. I kept meaning to make it, but I kept forgetting. Finally on Sunday, I managed to make some time to try it, and now I’m kicking myself for waiting so long, because it is really that good. Farro is an ancient grain, considered to be the grain that most others are descended from. It’s kind of a specialty grain, so if you don’t have it available, you can probably use wheat berries or barley, with similar results, but I have to say – I’ve had both before, and Farro has them beat by a long shot. The Flavor is nutty, with such a great texture. I’ve been trying to incorporate more whole grains in to my meals (see here if you’re interested in the backstory), and farro is one of those grains that makes the process so easy, because it tastes so good.
When were in Boston last year, we went to a restaurant called Hungry Mother a couple of times, and it was delish. On the second night I went, they had a Collard Green Salad, the most that I was able to drag out of the server (whether from his lack of knowledge or a disinclination to reveal the chef’s secrets) was that the leaves were blanched and then chopped and tossed with the dressing – which is what inspired me to include them and the chard in this salad. I think it might actually be my new favorite way to make greens. Although it is a little fussy, (I mean, you are standing over a stove dipping leaf after leaf in hot water), the resulting leaves were tender, and less bitter than other cooking methods. I imagine you could do it with more than one leaf at time in a basket or some such, but I wanted each leaf to have some freedom to move around, and honestly – each leaf only needs to blanch for a couple of seconds, so it goes really quickly.
I do have a confession to make though. A week ago, I was an olive-hater. I know, I know… shhhh! I’m so ashamed. I think I had just accepted as established fact that I didn’t like olives, so I never bothered to try them again. And to be fair, I’m still not keen on black olives – especially on pizza. But I’m opening up to the possibility of reds and greens. I had decided to give them a try when Mr. Man made focaccia last week. They had been buried in the pantry for who knows how long, waiting for me to give them a chance to prove themselves. I opened the jar, and tentatively took a little nibble, and decided that I might be able to get used to them.
Although, now as I’m taking little baby steps in to Olive-World, I do need to remember to get pitted when I need pitted… But just in case you’re someone who is not me, and you accidentally got the wrong kind of olives, and found yourself wanting chopped olives for a Farro Salad… you might be interested to know that a Cherry Pitter does a halfway decent job of pitting olives, too. Not that I would know from personal experience or anything. <cough> Ahem. Moving right along. We served this salad this morning for breakfast with some lightly blanched Asparagus from my recent FFTY Box, and a scrambled farm egg, and it was perfect together.
- 5 cups Water
- 2 cups Whole Farro
- 1 bunch Collard Greens
- 1 bunch Chard
- 1 stalk Green Garlic; finely chopped
- 1/4 cup Coarsely Chopped Mixed Green & Red Olives
- 1 lemon; juiced
- 1/4 cup Good Quality Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt
- Rinse and pick over Farro
- Place Farro in a heavy pot with a tight fitting lid
- Add Water and several generous pinches of Kosher Salt
- Bring to a Boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer
- Cook for 45 minutes or until tender, checking frequently
- Drain and Set aside to cool
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil
- Blanch each leaf of collard greens and chard by dipping in to the water for 5-10 seconds, or until bright green and tender
- Remove Stem and finely chop Greens
- When the Farro has cooled to room temperature, stir in the Greens, Garlic, and olives until well combined
- Add the Lemon Juice, Olive Oil, and Kosher Salt to taste, stirring together until well combined
- Serve at Room Temperature