What happens to a foodie at a market? They get inspired. At least that is what happens to me. Specialty markets, farmers markets, even Whole Foods Markets spark cravings each time I visit them. I see all the goods not found in my regular grocery store and the creativity begins.
Bulgarian feta cheese is to blame for this one. There I was at the cheese section in Whole Foods when the cheese guy asked if I needed some help. We started talking about cheese and he told me about their Bulgarian feta. Sold! My mind went into full gear. It had been too long since I made my Mediterranean Farro Salad. All I needed was some Greek olives, farro, grape tomatoes, and I had the rest at home.
Farro is a one of the best grains. It is a cholesterol-lowering and protein-packed powerhouse. One serving of it and your hunger is satisfied for a while. I really enjoy the nutty flavor and will eat it simply cooked plain as a snack. And how did the Bulgarian feta taste? It was the best one I have had so far with much more flavor than any other. It was a great choice for this salad.
Mediterranean Farro Salad is easy to put together. All you need is feta, olives, tomatoes, and fresh herbs. Stir it all together with a simple red wine vinaigrette and you are done. Homemade salad dressings are so much better than store-bought. I make dressings often, as I did for my Greek, Pear and Stilton, and French Green Lentil salads.
Do you visit farmers or specialty markets? What is your favorite find? Local fresh produce. imported foods, spices, cheeses, and homemade foods like jellies and sauces are a few of the things on my list. Now that I have satisfied this craving it is time to move on to the next. Stay tuned!
Mediterranean Farro Salad
For the salad:
- 2 cups uncooked farro
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup feta cheese chopped into cubes
- 3/4 cup Greek or kalamata olives pitted and cut in half
- 3/4 cup grape tomatoes cut in half
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley coarsely chopped
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup red wine vinaigrette
For the red wine vinaigrette:
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 garlic clove chopped
- 1 teaspoon shallot chopped
- A few grinds of pepper
- Pinch of Sea or kosher salt
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 2/3 cup olive oil
For the salad:
Rinse the farro and place it and the salt in a 3-quart saucepan. Cover the farro with 2 to 3 inches of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until tender (about 30 minutes). Drain and set aside to cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, add farro, feta, olives, tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, parsley, pepper, and 1/2 cup red wine vinaigrette. Stir gently to combine. Add additional vinaigrette if desired. (Vinaigrette recipe makes 1 cup).
For the vinaigrette:
In a blender, add mustard, honey, garlic, shallot, salt, pepper, and red wine vinegar. Blend/liquify ingredients. With the blender on low, slowly pour in the olive oil and blend until combined.
A salad made with farro, feta cheese, Greek olives, grape tomatoes, fresh herbs, and a red wine vinaigrette.