Seasonal cooking is about using ingredients when they’re available, and it’s also about reacting to the way you feel at different times during the year. Both this salad and the one that follows use ingredients that are available year-round. Yet I tend to make this salad in the winter and the other in the summer. Why? This winter salad is sweeter and more robust. It goes well with hearty, deeply flavored dishes — serve it with grilled quail during the cold weather. My summer farro salad is a brighter, somewhat more acidic dish, perfect for a light dinner on a hot summer night.
FarroTo make about 5 cups of cooked farro, heat 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat.
Chop, then add 1 small onion, 1 small carrot, and 1 small stalk of celery.
Season with salt and pepper and stir the vegetables to coat them with the oil.
Cover the pot and lower the heat.
Cook the vegetables until they soften, about 10 minutes.
Add 2 cups of farro.
Stir to coat it with the oil and vegetable juices.
Add enough water to cover by about 1⁄2 inch.
Raise the heat and bring the water to a boil, then adjust the heat so the farro simmers.
Cook the farro until it is tender, about 20 minutes, adding more water if the pot looks dry.
Remove and discard the aromatic vegetables.
Serve warm as you would rice or at room temperature.
Winter farro saladBlanch the carrot and leek in a large pot of heavily salted water, cooking just until tender, about 3 minutes.
Drain and cool in ice water.
Combine the carrot, leek, thyme, and farro in a bowl.
Dress with the oil and vinegar to taste.
Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper.