Black Rice & Farro Salad
What we like about this salad is its finely tuned ratios. There’s just enough dense, chewy black rice and nutty farro to give it texture — and a satisfying heartiness. There’s just enough sweet pepper, cucumber, and arugula to keep it light and crunchy. And just enough salty feta, puckery Dijon vinaigrette, and fresh herbs to give it complexity and depth without drowning the delicate greens and nutty grains.
For a nice, light, midweek dinner, pair this grain salad with grilled fish. You’ll want something meaty enough to stand up to the grains. A salmon or swordfish steak will work perfectly; they’ll taste fantastic mopped through the salad’s vinaigrette.
Our tip: If you’ve got kiddos, consider making a double batch of the salad. It’s perfect for meal prepping lunches. It’s not going to get soggy in the fridge, and it’s exactly what you want to eat in the middle of the day — substantial, yet not too weighty.
Servings: 4 to 6
¾ cup black rice, uncooked
¼ cup farro, uncooked
1 large red pepper, roasted and diced
1 cup cucumber, diced
2 ounces feta, crumbled or cut in small cubes (plus additional for garnish)
¼ cup basil leaves, cut in slivers, torn or chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, minced
5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 oz arugula, rinsed and dried
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
Prepare the black rice and farro according to package instructions.
In a large bowl, combine the rice, farro, roasted red pepper, cucumber, feta, basil, and thyme.
In a small measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the sherry and balsamic vinegars, Dijon mustard, and garlic. Whisk in the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the grain mixture, and toss the mixture well.
Line individual salad plates or a platter with the arugula. Top with the grain mixture. Finish with more crumbled feta, a squeeze of lemon, and salt and pepper and serve.
Recipe adapted from: New York Times Cooking