Thursday, March 29, 2012

Farro Salad with Peas and Leeks

I made this salad as a side to panko-crusted chicken, but it is also good on its own as a light lunch. I liked the addition of yogurt, which I don’t use very often in this fashion. I made it with frozen peas, though if it’s pea season and you don’t mind some shelling, fresh peas might be better.

1 cup farro, soaked for one hour in water to cover and drained (I neglected this and just cooked it)
2 cups water
2 baby leeks (or 1 regular leek), white and light green parts only
1 lb peas, shelled (or 1 cup frozen peas)
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
¼ cup lactose-free plain Greek-style yogurt
juice of half a lemon
freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ Tbsp coarsely chopped tarragon leaves

Combine farro, 2 cups water, and 1 tsp salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain farro and spread out on a baking sheet to cool.

Meanwhile, clean the leeks, slice them in half lengthwise, and chop into ½-inch pieces. Sauté in 1 Tbsp of olive oil until soft.

Have ready a bowl of ice water and a slotted spoon. Bring a pan of water to boil over high heat. Add a tablespoon of salt and the peas and boil just until bright green, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Quickly remove the peas with a slotted spoon and plunge them into the ice bath to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 Tbsp olive oil, yogurt, lemon juice, and a few cracks of black pepper. Add the farro, leeks, peas, and tarragon and toss to combine. Season to taste and serve immediately or keep covered in the refrigerator.

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