For the salad:

8 ounces (1-1/2 cups) farro, preferably perlato, or semipearled, or wheat berries, picked over and rinsed

1 pound cucumbers, cut into ¼ inch dice

1 medium red onion, cut into ¼ inch dice

1 red finger chile or serrano chile, cut into tiny dice

1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced (chiffonade)

Malden or other flaky sea salt


For the dressing:

¼ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup sparkling water

½ cup extra virgin olive oil



1.Combine the farrow and water to cover by 2 inches in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer, skimming off the foam. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer and cook until the farrow is just tender, about 25 minutes if using pearled farro, about 1-1/2 hours if using whole grain farro (or wheat berries).

2. Drain the farro and transfer to a large bowl. Add the cucumber, onion, chile and basil, mixing well.

3. Whisk the vinegar, water and olive oil together in s small bowl. Add the vinaigrette to the salad and toss well. Season with salt and serve, or let stand at room temperature for 1 hour to bring out the flavors. (The farro can be refrigerated, covered, for up to three days; bring to room temperature before serving.)


from Mario Batali, Molto Gusto


NOTE: To move this Mediterranean salad further towards Greece, add pitted, halved Kalamata olives, 8 ounces feta in ½ inch dice and some halved cherry tomatoes.

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