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Farro Salad with Ricotta

Farro, an ancient form of wheat, is cultivated primarily in the regions of Tuscany and Umbria. The light brown grains have a full, nutty flavor that is delicious in soups and salads. Soaking the farro before cooking ensures that the grains will cook evenly. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup farro  
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 tsp. sea salt, plus more, to taste 
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice 
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste  
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, stemmed and halved 
  • 1/2 cup crumbled ricotta salata cheese 
  • 2 green onions, white and light green portions, thinly sliced  
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil 

Directions:

In a large saucepan, combine the farro and water and let stand for 1 hour. Place the pan over medium-high heat, bring to a boil and add the 1 tsp. salt. Reduce the heat to medium or medium-low, so the farro simmers steadily, and cook, uncovered, until tender yet still slightly firm and chewy, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain well in a fine-mesh sieve.

In a serving bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice until well blended. Whisk in salt and pepper. Add the farro and toss well. Gently stir in the tomatoes, ricotta salata, green onions and basil until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Serve at room temperature. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Italian by Michele Scicolone (Oxmoor House, 2007).