Monday, August 27, 2012

late summer farro salad

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i get a little worked up when i host parties - taking the whole day off the day of a get together is normal for me. i am thrown for a loop when i only have, say a half day to get it together.
over obsessing on the littlest details is one thing i am guilty of. details that more than likely i am the only one that would take notice of, unless of course you are a martha wannabee too.
a few weekends ago, i was hosting a birthday celebration for my sister which included her new beau and my gram that has yet to visit our new home. so in my mind the pressure was on to make this dinner extra special and perfect - not for me, but for my guests.
well, perfect doesn't happen in 6 hours, but it came pretty close. justin swooped in and saved the day with a quick vacuum and a rum punch that knocked our socks off. but we aren't here to talk about the rum punch ( maybe another day), we are here to talk about this amazing and nearly perfect salad.

this salad it a total game changer.
stunning to look ate and oh so flavorful, you really can't go wrong. unless of course you are my dad who has an aversion to anything with the word pea in it- i tried to tell him that a chickpea was so completely different than a green pea...he wasn't buying it. mike, my sisters new beau, well he just didn't trust purple potatoes - we are working on that one.
despite the three boys at the table, us girls (4 in total) fell head over heels in love with this fresh and flavorful salad - we even went back for seconds.
 purple majestic potatoes are cubed and steamed, young tender purple green beans are snapped into bite size pieces, black cherry & peace vine cherry tomatoes are halved and quartered, parsley & winter savory are tossed with hearty farro & chickpeas all finished with an amazing Dijon vinaigrette.
i absolutely adored everything about this salad.
 i could live off this for the week if i had too, yes it is that amazing.
 the potatoes and chickpeas along with farro make this salad fit for a dinner time meal, but also stands in nicely as a side dish.
as this is such a hearty salad it would be a perfect addition to any potluck and tastes
fabulous at room temp.
not surprisingly, this tastes even better when left to sit for a few hours allowing the flavors to meld.
 not sure so sure about the purple potatoes, sub in another beautifully hued potato.
another heirloom potato i fell in love with this summer was the mountain rose - tasty and pretty!
tell me what's your favorite hearty salad once fall and winter arrive?
Do you over obsess over throwing the perfect party?
I would love to hear!
Late Summer Farro Salad
serves 10 as a side or 5 as a main
if serving as a main throw in a hunk of crusty bread and warm soup for good measure

 you will need:
1/2 cup farro + 1 cup water
1 cup green beans, trimmed & cut into 1/2" pieces
1 cup young purple beans, snapped into bite size pieces
1 cup majestic purple potatoes, scrubbed and cut into small cubes
2 cups purple & red cherry tomatoes
(i used black cherry & peace vine)
1 can garbanzo beans, about 2 cups
handful of fresh parsley & winter savory, hand torn

for the vinaigrette
1 tbsp grainy mustard
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp mirin
pinch of good quality flaky salt, plus more for finishing

in a small sauce pot, boil water and cook farro covered for approximately 20 minutes - turn off heat and allow to sit covered until ready to use.

prep green beans & purple potatoes - steam for 5-10 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender

while potatoes and green beans are steaming, prep purple beans, cherry tomatoes & hand torn herbs- set aside in a large bowl.

in a small bowl, whisk all ingredients for vinaigrette.

add steamed potatoes, green beans & farro to the herb/ tomato/ green bean mixture. add in drained and rinsed chickpeas - pour vinaigrette over salad and toss until all elements are well coated. turn salad onto a serving platter or serve in mixing bowl - garnish with extra parsley & winter savory, sprinkle with a good flaky sea salt just prior to serving.



  1. what a delicious looking salad! i am THE SAME WAY when hosting a party! i'm preparing all week long. if it happens to be on a friday, you bet i took off from work that day to prepare. but, usually they are on saturdays, and in that case i use friday night and ALL DAY SATURDAY to prepare. i don't mess around :P

    1. Hahaha seriously I think we may be cut from the same cloth! Let me guess Dayv is pretty laid back about entertaining and doesn't understand why you are a mad women the entire day before guests arrive :)

      If it were up to Justin we would have chips, salsa and Beer and we would be good to go :)

    2. omigosh, dayv and justin are exactly the same. if i ask him to help clean, he says, "why clean BEFORE people come over? we should clean after they leave!" i just shake my head in astonishment.

    3. Hahaha so much alike - I always tell him that I will notice even if nobody else does :)

  2. Oooh this salad looks amazing! I love purple potatoes! Why have boring normal ones where there are PURPLE ones out there?
    I like everything to be perfect when having guests over too. I also use having people over as motivation to do other projects around the house that have been put off. It makes me feel better, even if my friends probably will not have a reason to look at my newly organized guestroom closet. ;)

    1. Seriously purple potatoes are awesome - the Mountain Rose ones are the prettiest pink and stay that color when cooked!

      Hahhaa newly organized closet - funny story, one of our weird friends came over and actually looked in our closests when we first moved in! I told Justin, see this is why we clean and organize when people come over, you never know!

  3. Hooray for grain salads! I could definitely see myself making a big batch of this and eating it for lunch for an entire week. :)

    1. I love grain salads this time of year- they are really the best!

  4. Gorgeous colours! Wow!

    I am sooo like you. If I don't have an entire day to prep for a dinner party, I feel like I'm having a complete meltdown. *hah*

    1. Hahaha I have had a many meltdowns before get togethers - all due to the pressure I put on myself :) that is where the cocktail comes in pretty handy!

  5. What a beautiful salad! I'm sure I would be just like you if I was hosting a party- I never have though! The concept stresses me out too much! I would definitely test recipes beforehand and give myself the whole day though. Good for your for getting your family to try new foods!

    1. Thanks Gabby! I am sure once you start throwing parties they will be a blast and perfect!hahaha my Dad prepared everyone that we would have a vegan meal before leaving the house...they were so surprised that I had my sister buy some cheese for them for their pizzas :)

  6. I get totally stressed out and though i usually plan out the food on time, i get stressed out by hubbs sitting around till the last minute to fix the house which is his pre party job. i have to warn him that he will be responsible for bad food( coz of all the stress) if he doesnt finish his part:)
    i love that gorgeous salad. how can someone now eat chickpea;)
    prop board envy! i havent seen this one before.

    1. I know right! I always have a list of what I am making, what needs to be prepped in the order I am making and prepping so I can cross each item off - thankfully Justin is now use to this and is such a good helper when he sees me getting close to the edge :) I always tell him we make a good team :)

      This is a new board! I ordered 2 new ones (the 2 fer 1) from the Photo Prop Guy- love him and they have super fast shipping - I customized the one I wanted and he made it and shipped it the same day I ordered it!

  7. i'm glad it was a success!! and my goodness that salad looks incredibly delicious. I love the purple potatoes and tomatoes! hah - that rhymes;) but seriously - a gourmet-magazine-cover-worthy dish! kuddos!

    1. Hahaha the purple poatatoes amd tomatoes are my favortie part of the dish - and your comment totally made my day :)

  8. I love the purple beans and taters! Also... I think we *should* talk about the rum punch :)

    1. Mmmm lets talk about the Rum Punch- like how fantastic it was! This is how we did it up with the cocktail:
      - In a large pitcher combine 3/4 bottle of rum (small bottle) with 1 10oz Pure Mango Juice & 3 bottles of IZZE Sparkling Lemon Lime & 1 Bottle Izze Sparkling Blackberry
      -Add Frozen Strawberries & Nectarines

  9. Sounds like you managed wonderfully my friend, congrats on such a successful party :D
    Lovely looking salad, it is so healthy and flavoursome :)

    Choc Chip Uru

  10. I TOTALLY obsess about throwing parties, and prefer to do them Saturday so I can prep most of the day- otherwise, Friday's lost. I love farro of course so this was pinned instantly ;-) In the fall I like a good salad with some kabocha or other roasted squash and cranberries...

    1. Love roasted squash and cranberries in the fall- and that season is quickly approaching!

  11. I am the same way when hosting a party! We were going to have a reception for our wedding on our one year anniversary, but I just got so overwhelmed with all the plans and we decided to just take a trip instead! Maybe later...

    This salad looks amazing- totally the type of salad I would eat an entire bowl of by myself. I adore farro and I'm always looking for an excuse to use it! I might have to an adaptation of this salad (with the veggies I have on hand) very soon!

    1. I would have probably done the same thing! Actually I had this elaborate 30th Bday party planned out in my head and then I was like how in the world am I going to pull this off by myslef! So we had an awesome camping trip instead :)

      Farro is awesome and I dont use it nearly enough!

  12. I love big salads that can serve as a meal and sit in your fridge all week to take for lunches without going bad! Oh and my mom is the same - she hears the word pea and instantly decides she wouldn't like whatever the dish is, and she'll pick each one out if she has least she's okay with chickpeas though!

    1. This is totally the perfect salad to have on hand for the week!

      Hahha my dad wouldn't even put some on his plate - he typically is so adventurous...but something about peas gives him the heebee geebies!

  13. This is absolutely gorgeous. I've been wanting to try farro. I'm inspired!

    1. You will fall instantly in love with farro once you try it- it so so hearty and really holds it own in a salad like this!

  14. Yay to husbands who vaccuum. And colorful,especially purple veggies. Can I have a seat at your table?

    1. You have a seat at our table, floor, counter any time, any day of the week Gigi!

      Just make sure you bring dessert :)

      Vaccuums AND makes Rum Punch ;)

  15. Next time, tell your father they are Garbanzo beans: exactly same thing as chickpeas! :)

    1. Ha! I didn't even think of that at the time I was serving - maybe it had to do with being a few rum punches in :)


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