grilled vegetables with feta and farro
I did it. Finally. I’ve used the last of the farro that I bought way-back-when at Costco. I think it was in February and I was on a real kick to find things to use it in. I made salads, of course — one with chicken and a vegetarian version as well as a hearty spring-inspired soup.
For the last of it – I’m making a tasty, summery blend of grilled summer vegetables, fresh herbs and feta. I’m always looking for a salad with staying power. One that will hold up to a hot summer picnic, or a few days tucked into the fridge without wilting. Something with great texture and flavor that satisfies as is or as an accompaniment to other dishes.
I think this one does the trick. Zucchini, summer squash and peppers are overflowing at the markets right now, as well as tomatoes. In this salad I’ve used yellow cherry tomatoes, but any ripe tomato will do. Tossed in a light, lemony dressing with basil and mint from the garden — Wow! It’s seriously good.
We don’t have any plans for this 4th of July weekend, but this salad will definitely be a part of whatever we do. I think it would be perfect alongside a grilled steak, or some brined pork chops, even dry-rubbed chicken or barbecued ribs.
Though South Florida won’t be suffering the ill effects of Hurricane Arthur (sorry, Outer Banks), we do have a pattern of afternoon showers and storms. Between rain drops, I hope to to be poolside with a few friends enjoying some cold libations and whatever Scott is grilling.
I hope you have a relaxing 4th with good people and great food!
- 1 cup farro
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 zucchini
- 1-2 small summer squash
- 1 medium red onion
- ~ 1/2 pound green beans or haricots vert
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- sprinkle of salt and pepper
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup feta cheese, cut into 1/2" cube (you can use crumbled feta, but in this recipe, I like bigger chunks of cheese)
- 1 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, halved
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced (about 1/4 cup juice) -- add more lemon juice to equal 1/4 cup or add white wine vinegar to make up the difference.
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, julienned
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, torn
- Bring a medium pot of salted (about 1 teaspoon) water to a boil. Add farro and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 28-30 minutes. Drain water from faro and return it to the pot. Cover with the lid and let rest for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow farro to cool.
- Meanwhile, slice bell pepper, zucchini, summer squash and red onion into about half inch thick slices (lengthwise).
- Heat grill to a medium high heat (about 400-425 degrees)
- Brush vegetables, including green beans with olive oil. Lightly salt and pepper them.
- Add vegetables to grill, being sure to lay them perpendicular across the grates, so they don't slip through. If you have a grilling rack or basket, you can use that. Grill on each side about 4-5 minutes, until slightly tender, but still firm with a nice char on them. Transfer vegetables to a cutting board or baking sheet. Allow vegetables to cool for a few minutes before handling them.
- Cut vegetables into 1/2 inch dice and transfer them to a large bowl.
- To vegetables add farro, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, scallions, and feta cheese. Toss to combine.
- In a glass measuring cup add lemon zest, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil and dijon. Whisk to combine. Pour dressing over the salad. Add fresh herbs. Toss to combine. Serve.
- If you're not serving this salad immediately, don't add the fresh herbs until you're ready to eat, so they stay vibrant.