Farro & Quinoa Salad with Zucchini, Spinach, Grape Tomatoes
Looking for an alternative to pasta salad? This week in my Washington's Green Grocer box I ordered some farro (my new favorite super grain) and quinoa and combined the two for a super healthy, fiber-packed dish that is perfect as a side or full meal. No cooking besides boiling the grains, and anything that equates to less dirty dishes tastes extra good in my book.
Plus, this farro and quinoa salad fits in perfectly with my attempts at making picnic food. We brought some to Lewes beach with us the other night for an al fresco dinner and it was lovely even at room temperature. Farro, is becoming increasingly popular and it seems like everywhere I turn it's popping up on menus. While I'm always on the look-out for new gluten-free ideas (my dad has Celiac), farro isn't actually void of gluten, but contains a much, much lower amount than your typical wheat products. So if you're trying to decrease your gluten intake, it may be a something to opt for instead of pasta. Plus, farro is lower in calories and has more fiber than most whole grains, so eat up!
Farro & Quinoa Salad with Zucchini, Spinach, & Grape Tomatoes
1 cup dried farro (cook in 2 cups chicken stock)
1 cup dried quinoa (cook in 2 cups chicken stock)
2 zucchinis, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 carton of grape tomatoes, halved
5 cups fresh spinach
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
juice of two lemons
1/4 cup olive oil (or more...I just dumped a bunch in)
kosher salt (or regular...I kind of like the crunch of kosher)
First, cook your grains. Some people rinse and soak their quinoa and farro, but I never do. Not sure if this is bad, but oh well. I am bad. Anywho. Cook quinoa and farro separately, combine chicken stock (or water if you're veg), a teaspoon or so of salt, and then simmer until all the liquid is absorbed.
When the grains are done and nice and hot, combine them into a glass bowl with your raw spinach and zucchini. Then, to wilt the spinach and steam cook the zucchini, cover the bowl with a plate for 20 minutes and set aside. This way, the zucchini doesn't taste raw and the spinach wilts down, but you don't have to saute either vegetable to achieve this result. Pour yourself a glass of wine while you wait. Wanna be really bad? Don't soak your grains and then drink a bottle of wine while you wait. Do this at 10am.
Finally, toss in raw garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, more salt, green onions, and the grape tomatoes.
Serve immediately if you want it warm, wait until it's room temperature, or chill before serving. I tried all three and I think room temp was my favorite. Enjoy!My kids eating their farro and quinoa salad on the beach. I told them it was The Hulk's favorite dinner and they chowed down. Whatever works...