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Farro Salad with Prunes and Shallots

This simple grain-based side dish from Brett Cooper, chef at Outerlands restaurant in San Francisco, is a great accompaniment to his braised lamb shanks (see related recipe at left).

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 6 whole shallots
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups (10 oz./315 g) hulled farro
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 6 cups (48 fl. oz./1 l) water
  • 4 oz. (125 g) pitted Italian prunes, halved
  • Fresh thyme leaves for garnish

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C).

Put the shallots on a sheet of aluminum foil. Add a pinch of salt and 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Wrap the shallots in the foil, transfer to the oven and roast until very soft, about 30 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan over high heat, combine the farro, rosemary sprigs, water and a good pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer and cook until the farro is just tender, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard the rosemary sprigs and drain the farro. Transfer to a bowl.

Peel the cooled shallots and coarsely chop. Add the shallots, prunes and the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil to the farro and stir to combine. Adjust the seasoning with salt. Garnish with thyme leaves. Serves 8.

Recipe by Brett Cooper, Chef, Outerlands, San Francisco