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One of the world’s oldest grains, farro is a high-protein form of wheat with a nutty, earthy flavor. It is often used as a substitute for barley or rice in soups and can also be simply dressed with oil and lemon juice and served cold, as in this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups vegetable stock or salted water 
  • 1 1/2 cups pearled farro 
  • Salt, to taste 
  • 1 lb. fresh English peas, shelled 
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon 
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 3 red and/or yellow bell peppers, seeded and diced  
  • 1 pint red and/or yellow cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion  
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley 
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, rolled together and sliced into ribbons 
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh tarragon 
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh chervil 
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh chives 

Directions:

In a large pot over high heat, bring the stock to a boil. Add the farro and stir with a large spoon. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to low, partially cover and cook the farro until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), 15 to 20 minutes. Spread the farro in a shallow pan to cool.

Bring a small saucepan three-fourths full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Have ready a bowl of ice water. Boil the peas until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain into a colander. Pour the peas into the ice water and drain again.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

In a large salad bowl, combine the farro, peas, bell peppers, tomatoes, onion, parsley, basil, tarragon, chervil and chives. Add the vinaigrette and stir to coat. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

Serve at room temperature or cover, refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving. Serves 6 to 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma On the Grill, by Willie Cooper (Oxmoor House, 2009).