This warm salad is absolutely delicious! It is made with farro, which is one of my favorite grains — a grain that has a chewy texture and lightly nutty flavor. Even better, farro is rich in fiber and magnesium. It takes about 45 minutes to make, but it’s worth it!
1 c. farro
8 oz. haricot verts (thin green beans)
1/2 c. pure olive oil, for frying the shallots
4 large shallots: 3 thinly sliced into rings, and 1 minced
1 c. all-purpose flour
3 cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 T. sherry vinegar
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 t. thyme leaves
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
3 T. slivered almonds
Freshly ground pepper
1. In a medium saucepan, cover the farro with 2 c. of water and bring to a boil. Cover, remove from the heat, and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain the farro and return to the pan. Add 2 more cups of water and a pinch of salt; bring to a boil again. Cook the farro over high heat until al dente, ~5 minutes; drain well.
2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the green beans until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes; drain. Rinse the beans under cold water and pat dry. Set aside.
3. Heat the frying oil in a medium saucepan. In a small bowl, toss the sliced shallots with the flour, separating them into rings. Transfer the shallots to a strainer and tap off the excess flour. Add the shallots to the hot oil and fry over high heat, stirring, until golden, ~5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried shallots to paper towels to drain thoroughly; season lightly with salt if desired.
4. Pour off all but 1 T. of the oil from the saucepan. Add the mushrooms and cook over high heat, stirring, until browned. Transfer to a plate.
5. In a medium bowl, whisk the sherry and balsamic vinegars with the minced shallot, garlic, and thyme. Whisk in the extra virgin olive oil. Add the farro, green beans, slivered almonds, and 3/4 of the fried shallots and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a platter or shallow bowl. Garnish with the remaining fried shallots and serve.
NOTE: This recipe can be made through step 4 one day ahead. Keep the fried shallots in an airtight container at room temperature to store. Refrigerate the farro, green beans, and mushrooms separately. Let return to room temperature before tossing the salad.
Recipe adapted from Food & Wine Magazine, May 2006