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Emmer Farro Salad with Fruit, Feta & Pecans: High-Protein, Hearty…. Delectable

Emmer Farro is a unique, ancient grain cultivated in the Methow Valley. It is highly sought after in fine dining establishments in larger cities. And here is why: emmer has a full-bodied flavor, a texture and shape that holds, and contains up to 22% protein.  The whole grain is also low in gluten, making it a great choice for people who are sensitive to more common, hybridized types of wheat.  Emmer is very versatile, excellent in salads, soups, as a side dish or as a main course.

One of our local producers of organic grains in the Methow is Bluebird Grain Farms, specializing in the production of emmer Farro. We at Caramelize Life use every opportunity to incorporate the grain in cooking both for its nutrition and incredible taste.

This particular emmer salad is inspired by local mamas experimenting with the nutrient packed grain. I originally had a cold salad similar to this one at a community potluck that included green olives, feta, red onion and cashews. It was so very good that I hardly ate anything else that day. This recipe is a different take, but variations are almost endless and can be equally successful as a main dish or as a side dish.

Have fun with the flavors, and enjoy a grain that eclipses your regular rice and barley for dynamite taste!

Emmer Farro Salad with Fruit, Feta & Pecans

2 c. Emmer Farro

1/4 t. salt

1 c. crumbled feta or goat cheese

1 c. dried, chopped dates, cherries or apricots (I used dates)

1 c. toasted pecans

2 c. torn greens (such as kale, arugula, spinach, beat greens)

½+ c. minced green onion

Bring a large sauce pot of water to a boil.  Add salt and emmer grain and bring to a low simmer.  Cook, covered, for about 45 minutes or until berries are plump and soft, but still chewy.

Remove from heat, drain grain and set aside to cool.  Toss lightly as berries cool with T olive oil or rinse with cold water to cool and re-drain.

While the grain is cooking, toast your pecans.  Chop cheese and dried fruits into 1/4 – 1/2 in. pieces.  Chop onions and tear greens of choice into 1 in. pieces.

When grain is cool, combine all ingredients and toss well.  Drizzle dressing over salad and toss again.  Garnish with fresh herb of choice and serve with grilled meat, fish or as a vegetarian main course.

Dressing: Combine 1/4 c honey, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, 3 T balsamic vinegar; mix well and drizzle over salad when tossed.

Serves 6-8

Note: Emmer Farro is a wheat product.

Photo credit and link: By John Lok of the Seattle Times

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Dianne #

    This sounds just delicious, and so did your family recipe for grasshopper pie.You have a very neat web site, Georgina.


    March 22, 2012
  2. PT #

    Sounds yummy. I’ll have to get some emmer wheat when we visit the Methow next time.

    March 24, 2012

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