Sweet and Savory Salads
Salads are perfect for summer. They are light and bright, cool and refreshing, and best of all, you can take advantage of the bounties of your garden or local farmer’s markets! You can create a symphony in your palate by bringing opposite flavors together in your salads. Try mixing berries, figs, or stone fruits with zesty and spicy flavors for a creatively balanced summer delight!
Strawberry Caprese Farro Salad
- 1 cup farro, rinsed
- 1 small peeled garlic clove
- 2 and 1/2 ounces fresh basil leaves (one overflowing packed cup)
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 package (16 ounces each) strawberries
- 5 ounces fresh mozzarella pearls
- 3 ounces sungold, cherry, or other small heirloom tomatoes, halved
- Fill a medium saucepan with cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Add the rinsed farro, stir, and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or the farro is tender and cooked through. Drain the farro in a fine-meshed sieve and spread into a thin layer onto a clean sheet pan (alternatively, you can place it in a large mixing bowl – the goal is to cool the farro quickly). Cool completely at room temperature, or place in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to speed this process up.
- As the farro is cooling, prepare the pesto. In a large food processor, pulse the garlic until finely minced. Add the basil leaves and pine nuts, and pulse until coarsely chopped, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Slowly pour in the olive oil, processing until mostly smooth. Stir in the parmigiano-reggiano. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Hull and quarter half the package of strawberries. Once the farro has cooled, place in a large mixing or serving bowl and generously toss with the pesto until evenly coated. Add the strawberries, mozzarella pearls, and tomatoes and toss gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.
Farro and pesto can be prepared 1-2 days ahead and refrigerated until ready to serve. If you are preparing this ahead of time, add the strawberries, tomatoes, and mozzarella just before serving to maintain their freshness.