Tuesday, July 10

Italian Inspired Farro Salad

Ketchup packets are on my list of the worst things ever. I've never actually made that list, because I feel it would be largely depressing and I find it unnecessary to subject myself to that kind of torture, but if I did ketchup packets would be on there. Right next to computer mouses (mice?) with no scroll-y thing in the center.

Packets deter from maximum ketchup usage. How many packets can a person really open in one sitting without feeling awkward (or getting tired?)? You can't even really use the whole packet because the ketchup won't come out. And forget using them in the car.

But last night, I found the coolest thing to happen to the world since ketchup was invented (which, interestingly enough, was a lot longer ago than one might have thought). The dip and squeeze packet.

And apparently I'm behind the times. These delightful little packets have been around for quite some time now. Dear Heinz, Thank you. I love you.

I just thought I should share. 

Hey! I just met you, and this is crazy, but here's a delicious salad. So make it, maybe? 
(I'm sorry)

If it means anything, this farro salad was devoured by everyone I live with. We all loved it, a lot. It's easy and highlights basic, simple and tasty Italian flavors.So you really should try it. Farro is a little more expensive, but as the heart and soul of this dish, trust me it's worth it.

Note: To dice grape tomatoes, add in small batches to a food processor or chopper and pulse until just diced, but not pureed. Drain liquid before adding to recipe.

Soundtrack: Can you hear me now?

Italian Inspired Farro Salad
Serves 4-5

8 oz farro
1 tbsp EVOO
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 leeks, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
3/4-1 lb of hot Italian sausage (or poultry sausage), casing removed (~3 large sausages)
1 1/2 c diced fresh grape tomatoes or 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can cannelloni beans, drained
1 small zucchini, julienned (the best way to do this)
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/4 c Pecorino Romano or Parmesan
salt & pepper

Cook farro according to package directions (mine took 35 minutes, so start this first).

In a large pan, heat EVOO over low heat. Add bell pepper, leeks and garlic. Saute over low for 10-15 minutes, or until leeks are softened. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Wipe pan clean with a wet paper towel (careful!) and warm again over medium-low heat. Add sausage and brown, breaking apart with the side of your utensil and stirring frequently. Remove from heat once meat is thoroughly browned.

Combine in a large bowl the sauteed vegetables, Italian sausage, tomatoes, cannelloni beans, zucchini, parsley, basil and cheese. Toss together until combined. Add farro and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm.

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