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Summer Tabouli with Farro {Book Review: Ancient Grains For Modern Meals}

by Aggies Kitchen on October 1, 2011

I know, I know… the word Summer is in the title. It’s almost funny to type with all the Fall love going on right now. But for me…a recipe like this can be enjoyed all year round. It’s just my kind of food. And I’m still finding some great Tennessee tomatoes at the market I shop at and am going to take full advantage of them until the good ones aren’t around anymore.


Earlier this year my virtual friend Maria Speck (whom I met on Twitter and is one of the nicest most genuine people ever) sent me her book Ancient Grains for Modern Meals. I was really excited about her sending me this book…not only because it was a super nice thing to do, but because I have such a love for whole grains. Not sure when my obsession with whole grains began, but the more of them I try, the more comfortable I am cooking them and the more appreciation I have for their nutrition and goodness. This cookbook pretty much demonstrates those exact same feelings. And like Maria, although I absolutely love and appreciate whole grains, I would never pass up a crusty piece or two of good “white” baguette or Italian bread.

Looking through Maria’s cookbook just makes me hungry. There are so many recipes I have flagged to try: Artichoke-Rosemary Tart with Polenta Crust, Brie Cakes with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Chewy Almond Butter Bars. All of these recipes really creatively use whole grains in ways that you can include them into every day meals. And the photos…the photos are gorgeous.

What I really love about this book are the tips, shortcuts and advice Maria offers throughout the pages. Her words really help you feel less intimidated about how to cook something you may have never handled before.

So let’s talk about farro. I was first introduced to farro last year when I was in California. Farro salads were on menus in almost every restaurant I ate in, and I was instantly hooked on this new-to-me whole grain. It’s got a nutty, chewy texture that I really enjoy.

I finally got around to cooking my own farro at home. It wasn’t an easy grain to find in my area but I did pick some up at The Fresh Market and then saw it again in bulk-sized bags at Costco alongside quinoa. Farro is great to substitute for any grain in salads like this, or even as a filler in a dish like stuffed peppers.

The recipe for Summer Tabouli with Farro I found in the Ancient Grains for Modern Meals cookbook was exactly the recipe I needed to start my experimentation with cooking farro at home. This recipe is so simple and one you want to make to enjoy for a few days. As Maria suggested, I topped it with feta (the sun-dried tomato variety) and it was a perfect no-fuss meal to have ready for me in the fridge.

Enjoy your weekend!!

Summer Tabouli with Farro

Recipe courtesy of Ancient Grains for Modern Meals Cookbook, Maria Speck

Farro:

2 cups of water
1 cup farro
2-inch spring rosemary, or 1/2 teaspoon dried (optional)

Tabouli, and to finish:

2 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes, (3/4 pound)
1 cup loosely packed chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3/4 teaspoon minced hot green chile (optional)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1. To prepare farro, bring the water, farro and rosemary to a boil in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the farro is tender but still slightly chewy, 20-25 minutes. Remove the rosemary sprig, drain any remaining liquid, and transfer the farro to a large serving bowl to cool.

2. Once the farro has cooled, make the tabouie by adding the tomatoes, parsley, onion and chile to the serving bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

3. To finish, pour the dressing over the tabouli and toss to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes for the flavors to mingle, and serve.

To get a head start, make the farro (as in step 1) ahead.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara October 1, 2011 at 10:23 am

I love farro. This is a marvelous and refreshing, healthy salad! Great recipe. I’m going to post my favorite farro recipe next Friday…..

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Kim {Recipes To Run On} October 1, 2011 at 11:16 am

This looks SO good. And I love the use of veggies this time of year while we still can. I {am so happy} to have gotten my 5 mile run in this morning….. and now this would make the perfect Saturday lunch! Bookmarking it to make next weekend. I hope you are doing great my Friend. Let’s connect this week!!!! {hugs}

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Erica October 1, 2011 at 11:36 am

I’m with you! I think it should be summer year round! I guess thats why I moved South. The salad looks perfect and totally refreshing

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kelley October 1, 2011 at 3:28 pm

I too could eat this kind of salad year round! I love the farro , can’t wait to make it!

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Pam October 1, 2011 at 3:32 pm

Summer sounds good to me, especially since it’s chilly here today. Farro is new to me and I’ll be checking it out. I’m new here and so glad to find your great blog. I see a lot of good things!

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eatingRD October 1, 2011 at 5:21 pm

It looks so fresh! I really enjoy farro, so nutty and chewy. Perfect for salads! It’s still in the 90s here so I guess we’re still summer :)

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Heather (Heather's Dish) October 1, 2011 at 7:02 pm

i just had tabouli for the first time in a LONG time the other day and now i can’t stop thinking about it! i adore farro too…match made in heaven!

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Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. October 2, 2011 at 1:01 pm

looks so good. I am a huge Farro fan!

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Melanie Flinn October 2, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Mmm…so healthy! Great looking salad and great pics too Aggie!

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Russell van Kraayenburg October 2, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Thank you for holding on to summer! I know even I am starting up with the fall recipes, but it is just too soon – and too hot – to say good bye to summer. Such a scrumptious, refreshing looking tabouli.

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Bev Weidner October 2, 2011 at 9:32 pm

o.m.g.

I need to stick my whole entire head in that. Like, now.

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Jeanette October 2, 2011 at 9:58 pm

I love farro – nice change up in your tabouli!

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DessertForTwo October 3, 2011 at 12:34 am

I’m a farro addict too :)

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Curt October 3, 2011 at 8:55 am

What a beautiful salad!

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Barbara | Creative Culinary October 3, 2011 at 11:52 am

I think I could eat this everyday too Aggie. Sad though now that summer tomatoes are on the wane that I won’t…I just don’t like hothouse tomatoes enough in the winter so use fruits instead but this looks absolutely perfect for now.

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marla {family fresh cooking} October 5, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Tabouli works for us all year long! Vibrant colors and flavors :)

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Beth October 11, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Love Maria Speck and her ancient grain creations! Have you tried out the KAMUT Salad with Carrots and Pomegranate recipe in her Ancient Grains for Modern Meals? It’s really tasty. You can find it on the Kamut website too!

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Eliana October 12, 2011 at 9:42 am

I’m going to save this recipe for a cold, snowy winter day when all that is on my mind is summer. It looks super delish!

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sophistimom February 6, 2012 at 11:37 pm

I love tabbouleh more than any other meal in the summer. You’ve now inspired me to try it with farro. Thank you!

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Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles April 11, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Can’t wait to give this a try! Thanks, Aggie!! :)

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