Insalata di Farro 

Ancient grain FARRO salad with fennel, ceci, tuna, tomatoes, and basil at the Shores of Erie Wine and Food Festival in Amherstburg, Ontario Ancient grain FARRO Salad


Last weekend was the Shores of Erie Wine & Food Festival in Amherstburg, Ontario.  Right on the grounds of Fort Maldon this festival boasts over 8000 foodies all enjoying great wines and food demonstations.  

This was my fifth year back as a demo chef and we had a standing room only packed tent.  The Canadians are the BEST audience. This year, I featured a very special salad with FARRO, fennel, ceci beans, real Italian tuna, grape tomatoes, and basil.   The crowd loved it, so I thought I would include it in this blog.  

 If you are not familiar with FARRO, it is an ancient grain that was used to feed the Roman Army!  The grains are larger than barley and require a little soaking…….but provide a wonderful nuttiness and texture to this Italian salad.   With autumn upon us, this grain will become one of your favorites to also use in soups. 

Insalata di Farro (Farro,tuna,ceci,fennel salad)  

(also known as Insalata di Spelt)  

½  cup dry farro (spelt) Makes 1 cup             For Cooking farro 

2 cans tuna (5 oz in oil)                                       ½ cup celery (large chop)  

½ full cup ceci beans                                           ¼ cup onion (large chop) 

½  full cupseedless cucumber (sliced)         1 small carrot (large chop) 

¾ full cup red onion (thinly sliced)               3 cups water 

1 cup fennel (thinly sliced)                                2 TBS olive oil 

1 cup grape tomatoes (halved) about 18 

¼ cup fresh basil (torn not chopped)            DRESSING 

2 cups mixed greens or arugula                       4 TBS red wine vinegar 

 ¼ tsp sea salt                                                           3 TBS olive oil 

                                                                                        2 TBS lemon juice 

                                                                                        2 toes garlic (minced with salt) 

1. To cook farro, sauté celery, onion, carrot in olive oil for 5 minutes, 

    add farro, stir, add water, cover & simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes 

    until farro is al dente.  Drain, discard veggies, let cool.  

2. In a large bowl, combine, farro, tuna with oil, ceci, cucumber, toms, 

    onion, fennel, and basil. 

3. Wisk together oil , lemon & vinegar (add pinch of sugar) 

4. Toss salad with dressing, and then add greens, or serve over greens 

Serve with crusty bread 

About the Author  Part time chef  Doug Cordier, is a food writer, TV cook,  Certified Ergonomic Consultant and business man. Doug is the owner of Cascom Group Travel and has been teaching corporate and Italian cooking classes for twenty years. 

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