Whether because of holiday excess, pandemic-related stress or the general weight of existence, you might be looking to mix up your arsenal of weeknight recipes with something light and simple. And you're in luck, because the queen of modern comfort food aka Ina Garten recently shared an idea for dinner that's delicious and filling even though it's on the lighter side.
Full of texture and flavor, this Barefoot-Contessa approved farro salad is hearty enough to keep you satisfied until morning. The recipe, which originates from Charlie Bird, an Italian-inspired eatery in New York's tony SoHo neighborhood, was previously published in Garten's 2018 cookbook "Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks."
"Post holiday excess, I'm making lighter dinners for us this month but this Charlie Bird's Farro Salad is so delicious and satisfying that no one minds!" Garten wrote on Instagram.
It's so good, in fact, that Garten once told The National Post that she "really would happily eat it every day."
To start, take pearled farro and simmer it with fresh apple cider, bay leaves and salt in a saucepan. Once your grains reach the perfect tender texture, transfer them to a large serving bowl. (The bay leaves get discarded and the excess water gets drained, of course.)
For the vinaigrette, mix some quality olive oil up with lemon juice and salt and pepper. Combine with the warm farro and set aside to cool for at least a quarter of an hour. The magic begins to happen as the layers of flavor meld together.
The original recipe calls for some herbs (mint and parsley), plus roasted pistachios, thinly sliced radishes and bite-sized tomatoes to be stirred in before serving. However, you can easily adjust the herbs to your liking — fresh basil would provide a bright, peppery compliment to the notes of mint — or toss in the veggies currently languishing in your crisper drawer. (FYI: This "clean out the crisper drawer" pasta is high on flavor — and it cuts down on food waste, too.)
To finish things up, add a little bit of greens — in this case arugula, for a sharp finish that builds upon the flavors of the herbs — and fold in shaved Parmesan cheese. The result? A beautiful salad that's low on effort, high on delicious. Click here for the full recipe.
More simple (Ina-approved!) comfort recipes to make at home:
- Ina Garten's sheet pan trick will change how you make bacon
- 16 Ina Garten recipes to channel your inner Barefoot Contessa
- Ina Garten has an unusual ingredient she adds to her grilled cheese sandwiches
- Ina Garten's maple-caramel pumpkin flan is an autumnal masterpiece that's also gluten-free
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