Farro salad with zucchini and corn

In my 20s, I lived in SoHo and worked as a waitress at the Italian place directly below my 6th floor walk up. It was there that I first tasted the combination of farro and zucchini. It was a revelation, and I’ve loved farro ever since: it’s chewy and toasty, nutty and almost sweet. And zucchini is its very best self when they’re paired together at the peak of summer.

My take on this hearty salad is perfect for Memorial Day: fresh corn, tomatoes, and a mixture of herbs are all here to herald in the season. It’s also delicious the day (or two) after and can be enjoyed cold or at room temperature, so it’s the perfect thing to “bring” to any picnic (maybe you have Zoom plans, how do I know?), or to have in the fridge, ready for when you’re on the hunt for a cheeky little snack. No matter where you take a bite, you won’t be able to think of anything but sunshine.

Farro salad with zucchini and corn 

Serves 4

1 cup uncooked farro, rinsed
3 small zucchini, diced
2 ears of corn, kernels removed
2 scallions, sliced thin
1 tbsp olive oil
10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in ¼ in rounds
¼ c mixed herbs: basil, parsley, mint, whatever you have around. A mixture is always nice.
Juice from ½ lemon
2 oz feta or parmesan

Options: a few tablespoons of chopped olives or capers are nice. Just mind their saltiness as you season.

Bring a couple quarts of salted water to a boil and cook the farro to package instructions, usually about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, work on your veggie mixture: Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium high heat and coat with olive oil. When the oi is shimmering in the pan, add zucchini, scallions and corn. Season with salt and pepper and toss everything around. Saute until the zucchini is just tender and the corn kernels are plump. Everything will look bright and glossy. Once it’s ready, if the farro isn’t quite done, go ahead and turn off your heat and let everything chill out in the pan.

When the farro is ready, drain it and add it to your veggies. Add the tomatoes, herbs and lemon juice. If you want to toss in olives or capers, now is your chance. Give it all a gentle stir to get everyone acquainted.

Right before you’re ready to serve it, and when the farro isn’t totally piping hot, add your cheese. Taste for seasoning, adjusting with salt, pepper, or even a little extra lemon juice, and give all one final mix-y mix.

Make it work for you: this wee salad is filling on its own, but if you want to turn it into a more substantial meal, you can add canned tuna, shredded chicken, or last night’s leftover salmon. If you are vegetarian, pine nuts, almonds, or walnuts would make a nice addition. This salad is a delicious canvas, make it your own.

(6 sp on blue)


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