Grilled Peach and Farro Salad

If you've been on a quest for the perfect summer salad, your journey can end here. This salad is an homage to summer cuisine in Italy, fueled by memories I have from shopping at the street markets in Florence.


This is really a salad that has it all. The farro that forms the base of this salad is hearty and chewy, but still light enough for hot days. Radicchio and baby kale fill this salad with wonderful mid-summer greens. Peaches bring sweetness, while cucumber brings fresh crunch. And don't forget the almonds and basil- they bring it all together and really make these Mediterranean flavors sing! The best part might actually be the dressing though; it's a Peach Dijon Vinaigrette that's sure to become your summer go-to.

This summery salad represents a three-way collaboration between myself, Saratoga Olive Oil, and Well + Fed. Our goal with this post is to bring you a delicious summer salad that celebrates seasonal fruits and veggies, and also packs a nutritional punch.

That's where olive oil comes in (and, being Italian myself, this is a topic near and dear to my heart). Olive oil is versatile, flavorful, and packed with good-for-the-body nutrients. I love making dressings with it and I always cook with it, and this salad makes use of both of those strengths. I can't emphasize enough the importance of finding a good, robust, flavorful olive oil for your pantry.


Olive oil is the base of the Peach Dijon Vinaigrette I developed to go along with this salad (hint: make a double or triple batch of this dressing and put it on everything this summer!). And wow, is olive oil ever good for you! Johanna Setta of Well + Fed, who is a Certified Nutrition Consultant, says the following. It's music to my Italian ears!

"Olive oil is one of the few non-controversial fats out there! Even the USDA has never made claims against its health benefits. As a nutritionist with a background in organic farming and food policy, I try to clear up confusion and misconceptions about food. Like with any other food, not all olive oil is created the same; it may not all hold the same nutritional quality, and it certainly doesn't taste the same. Once you've had high-quality olive oil, it's hard to go back".

"Extra virgin olive oil is a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, is rich in antioxidants, and has anti-inflammatory properties. As the world sheds its fear of fat, we are able to celebrate the many health benefits and crucial roles of healthy fat in the diet. Healthy fats are wonderful for long-lasting energy, brain function, optimal weight, and hormone health."

"Olive oil can be used to cook at any temperature, including at high heat, and can also be used cold. You may have seen warnings about not cooking at high heat with olive oil, but it actually performs differently than other vegetable oils; the polyphenols and tocopherol protect the oil from oxidation, even at high temperature. Olive oil is made mostly of monounsaturated fat, which makes it more stable at high temperatures than other vegetable oils".


But what about quality, sourcing, and storage? Johanna continues:

"Olive oil in the US is commonly mixed with other oils like soybean or rapeseed, or mixed with low-quality olive oil that has been chemically modified or is from prior years. Make sure to read the labels; always buy extra virgin olive oil, pay attention to the "best by" or "harvested on" dates, and look for the country of origin."

"Once you've acquired high-quality extra virgin olive oil, it's important to store it properly. Heat, light, and exposure to oxygen can all cause oxidation of the fatty acids, which compromises quality and taste. Keep your oil somewhere cool, dark, and dry, and try to use it within a year of purchase."

This is all sounding pretty excellent to me! Olive oil is luscious, rich, totally delicious, super useful and versatile, AND important for so many aspects of our health. This is why Johanna and I are both in love with Saratoga Olive Oil, a small business that specializes in carefully-sourced, artisan olive oils. Check out their website, they have a huge diversity of products and ship nationwide.


Don't be surprised when you see salt in this recipe either. Despite the fact that salt has gotten a bad reputation in the health world, I believe strongly that salt is an integral part of our diets, both in terms of its flavors and its nutrients. I love working with super-flavorful, mineral-rich finishing salts like this Hawaiian Red Sea Salt from Saratoga Olive Oil because a little bit goes a long way. Salt is important, but let's make sure we're enjoying it in ways that really count! Johanna and I have similar feelings about salt. Here's what she has to say:

"Salt helps bring food to life! I'm a nutritionist with a background in farming and cooking, and I use salt in the kitchen and at the table. The important point is that I'm talking about adding salt to whole foods, not adding it to foods that are processed. Salt definitely has a time and a place in the kitchen and is a catalyst for properly cooked and flavored whole food dishes. Sea salts and natural salts have higher trace mineral contents than your average table salt; table salt is usually devoid of mineral nutrients and can contain anti-caking agents".


In collaboration with Saratoga Olive Oil and Well + Fed, I'm excited to share this salad that's packed with seasonal ingredients, hearty enough to be a meal, super colorful, and wonderfully summery. It has such interesting flavors and textures, and is sure to delight salad lovers and salad skeptics alike.

This salad makes use of some of our most luscious ingredients- oil and salt! Those of us who grew up in Italian households were taught from an early age to celebrate these ingredients, and also to enjoy them in moderation. I hope this post will inspire you to do the same!


Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Saratoga Olive Oil. However, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Rogue Brussel Sprout running.

Looking for another salad that can easily become a meal? This Mojito Corn Salad is one of my favorites, especially during the summer.

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are all just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)

For the Dressing
  • 0.25 c Saratoga Olive Oil Ripe Peach White Balsamic Vinegar. Any other fruity white balsamic would be lovely as well. Take a look at their Apricot, Grapefruit, or Sicilian Lemon in particular; you could even change up the fruit to match.
  • 2 tbsp Saratoga Olive Oil Tunisian Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Any robust olive oil would be great here. Given there are so few ingredients in the dressing, opt for one with big flavor.
  • 2 tbsp coarse-grained Dijon mustard. Learn to make your own here, it's easy!
  • 0.25 tsp Saratoga Olive Oil Hawaiian Red Sea Salt. Or any other flavorful finishing salt. Check out their Hawaiian Black Salt and Himalayan Pink Salt too! Remember to store your salt in a tightly-sealed container to prevent moisture from getting in since these natural salts don't contain any anti-caking agents.
For the Salad
  • 1 c farro. Wheatberries would be delicious too, if you have the patience to cook them. Barley would also work well.
  • 2 peaches
  • Olive oil for grilling
  • Small head of radicchio
  • Few cups of baby kale. Argula would be great too, if you want to add some peppery flavor.
  • Few baby cucumbers, or one large English cucumber
  • Small handful of roasted, salted almonds
  • Small handful of fresh basil
  • Generous sprinkle of Saratoga Olive Oil Hawaiian Red Sea Salt

Thoughts About Method
(These are all just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)
  1. To make the dressing, combine all of the ingredients together and stir well. Give it a taste and adjust as you see fit. You can add additional balsamic for more sweetness, additional mustard for more zing, or additional olive oil for more lusciousness.
  2. Cook the farro. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add the farro, and cook about 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain in a fine-mesh colander.
  3. While the farro is still hot, put it in a large mixing bowl with half of the salad dressing and stir. This will help the farro absorb the flavors of the dressing. Set the other half of the dressing aside for drizzling on top of the salad and allow the farro to cool.
  4. While the farro is cooling, cut the peaches into wedges and grill them on a very well-oiled grill at high temperature for a minute or two per side, or just until lightly charred. You can do this either outdoors or on an indoor grill pan. Set the peaches aside to cool.
  5. Cut the radicchio into ribbons and cut the cucumbers into slices or wedges.
  6. Once the farro has cooled to room temperature, add the radicchio and baby kale and toss gently. Don't try to do this while the farro is still warm or your greens will wilt.
  7. Transfer the farro, radicchio, and baby kale to a serving platter. Add cucumber and peach slices on top. Garnish with almonds and fresh basil cut into ribbons.
  8. Finish it all off with a sprinkle of sea salt.
  9. Serve with additional dressing on the side for drizzling.
NOTE: If you want to prepare this salad ahead of time, you can easily make the dressing and farro ahead of time and let them sit in the fridge overnight. You could also clean the radicchio and kale, cut up the cucumbers, and grill the peaches, but keep everything in tightly sealed containers in the fridge. I wouldn't suggest assembling the salad until close to when you're ready to serve.


Interested in nutrition and wellness? Check out Johanna Setta's work as a nutritionist on her website and on Instagram at @WellAndFed.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post is not intended to provide medical advice and should not be considered as medical treatment. Readers are advised to consult a doctor or medical provider regarding any of the medical benefits of oil and salt described above. The author or contributors may not be held liable or responsible for any misunderstanding or misuse of the information contained in this post. Johanna Setta and Well + Fed LLC is not liable or responsible for any harm, damage, illness, loss, or injury caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by any food or food source discussed in this blog post. The reader expressly assumes the risk of choosing to consume any food mentioned in this post. Not all statements in this blog post have been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Comments

  1. I use Saratoga Olive Oil and balsamics on all my salads and when cooking. If you go to their store and ask about their Extra Virgin Olive Oils, the employees are great about explaining the uses and flavor profiles of each one! I especially enjoy their white balsamics in the summer on my salads, like what was used for this one. What I'm trying to say here is that my salads are basically the 'carrier' for my olive oil and balsamic...hey - whatever it takes, right?! I saw this salad posted on instagram and couldn't wait to make it. Made it yesterday and OH MY! I wanted to leave this message to let anyone know who may be reading... if you're thinking about making this - DO IT! Not only did my tastebuds tell me how in love they were, my body also loved it! I finished my meal feeling full, but not the kind that makes you regretful... the kind that makes you want to go for a sunset walk to cap off the beautiful day! I hope everyone else enjoys as much as I did. And the best part - LEFTOVERS!!!

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    1. The Rogue Brussel SproutJuly 14, 2020 at 2:32 PM

      Thanks so much for the kind words, I'm so happy to hear your salad was summery and delicious! The fruity white balsamics are truly summer magic, they bring all veggies to life. I love bathing the farro in this dressing, it soaks up so much flavor.

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  2. As soon as I saw this I knew I had to try it! I love using farro in summer salads, and I love grilled peaches so I was excited to try them both together. I finally made it for lunch yesterday and it was a big hit with the family! The combination of flavors was amazing and everyone agreed that it was the perfect summer salad! This is one that I'll certainly be making again! Thanks for the great recipe!

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    1. The Rogue Brussel SproutJuly 24, 2020 at 1:48 PM

      Hi Juan! Thanks so much for the kind words. The photo of the salad that you shared on Instagram was so summery and beautiful! I agree, farro is really a magical ingredient, and makes salads feel so hearty.

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  3. This was a perfect summer salad when peaches are sweet and juicy and cucumbers are bursting out of the garden. The flavors blend beautifully together!

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    Replies
    1. The Rogue Brussel SproutAugust 2, 2020 at 7:43 PM

      Oh good, I'm so glad to hear! It's certainly a very summery combination, and using garden cucumbers sounds perfect. I'm happy you enjoyed it!

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