During the summer, I am all about light lunches. My midday meals often rely on vegetables and quick-cooking grains which give me energy without weighing me down or requiring too much heat in the kitchen.
Last week, I threw together a quick grain salad using my new favorite Trader Joe’s product, 10 Minute Farro. With the chew of barley and a lighter flavor than wheat berries, it’s adaptable to just about any vinaigrette or pesto you can whip up. As it’s par-cooked, it only takes, you guessed it, ten minutes to prepare — regular farro cooks up in about half an hour.
I combined my cooked farro with ribbons of romaine lettuce, which wilted slightly when mixed with the warm grains. After adding some sliced apples (stone fruits would be great here too), I topped the salad with an over-easy egg and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, making for a perfect light lunch. You can leave off the egg and cheese and serve the salad as a side dish, too — it would be great alongside a grilled dinner or as part of a picnic spread.
Warm Farro and Romaine Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
3/4 C. 10 Minute Farro
1 1/2 C. water
1/4 C. pine nuts
6 medium leaves romaine lettuce, sliced into 1/4″ ribbons
1 medium fuji apple, cut into eighths and sliced into 1/8″-thick pieces
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/4 C. finely microplaned parmesan cheese
ground black pepper to taste
1. Combine farro and water in a small (1-quart) saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, turn down to low, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. While the farro is cooking, toast the pine nuts in a medium (8-inch) skillet for a few minutes, shaking often, until lightly toasted. Remove from skillet immediately to avoid burning, and set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the romaine, apple, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, salt, and pepper.
4. When the farro has simmered for 10 minutes, drain off any additional liquid and let sit for another five minutes.
5. Add the farro and pine nuts to the bowl with the other ingredients, and toss to combine. The romaine will wilt slightly from the heat of the cooked grains. Spoon the salad onto two plates for serving.
6. In the medium skillet you used to toast the pine nuts, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Cook the eggs over-easy, taking care not to break the yolks when flipping.
7. Place one egg on top of each plate of salad, then garnish with parmesan cheese and ground pepper. Serve warm.