Confetti Garden Vegetable Farro Salad

I think I've developed a bit of a farro obsession. This is my second farro salad post of the summer (after this luscious Grilled Peach and Farro Salad); it makes use of my new favorite chewy grain and all of late summer's best produce. I've included lots of ideas below so that you can use whatever your garden is giving you at the moment!


Do you ever get buried in random produce during the late summer? We don't even have much of a garden (just lots of stuff in pots on our deck), but the produce overload is real! My parents have a huge garden and share all of their goodies, plus we have a few very generous neighbors who drop off their zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes. For someone who loves veggies as much as I do, I find this all very exciting since it prompts me to be more creative.

This salad was born due to an excess of carrots and zucchini, neither of which I felt like cooking due to some hot late summer weather. And while both of those things are fine raw, they're not terribly exciting that way. So how can I make raw zucchini and carrots into a meal?


The answer: grate them! Grating these veggies softens their texture and also helps them to absorb flavor more readily. A few minutes with a box grater might be a bit annoying, but it's much faster (and cooler!) than roasting them in the oven or stir-frying them. Plus they yield all sorts of beautiful, colorful bits, hence I've called this a "confetti" salad!

The combination here is really lovely and light. There's chewy and nutty farro, tender summer veggies, aromatic fresh basil, crunchy pine nuts, and some sweet juicy grapes to round it all out. The vinaigrette is both tangy and sweet, and decidedly Italian-leaning in its flavors.


I've deliberately designed this salad to accommodate any veggies you have on hand that can be eaten raw. To customize this salad, you just need to decide which veggies need a little taming (carrots and zucchini, in my case) and which are delicate enough to be added at the end (radicchio in my case).

In the former category, things like carrots, zucchini, summer squash, beets, cabbage, and kale can all benefit from some extra love. You'll grate those (or chop, in the case of kale) and toss them in with the farro while it's still hot, bathing it all in a vinegar-based dressing. The combination of the grating, heat, and acid gently softens and flavors these harder veggies.

In the latter category, things like tomatoes, cucumbers, radicchio, and other more delicate lettuces are best left alone so that they don't get bruised, wilted, or smooshed. Just cut them up finely and toss them in at the end, once the farro has cooled. Keeping all the veggies the same size will enhance the confetti feel.


This is the salad to solve all your summer and fall garden over-abundances! Anything that can be eaten raw can end up in here successfully. The more veggies you use, the more interesting your flavors, textures, and colors will be.

We're certainly savoring these last warm days. Summer is short-lived in Vermont, and we really do cherish every bit of it. Hope you're enjoying it too, and soaking up whatever last rays of sun you can find!


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.

Looking for another late-summer salad? This Raw Fall Salad with Lemon-Pistachio Dukkah uses carrots and beets in a raw form too, and it's so beautiful!

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

For the Dressing
  • 0.25 c red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp robust, flavorful olive oil
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard. Learn to make your own here!
  • 1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup if you don't do honey)
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves. Fresh is great if you have it, but dried works fine too.
  • Generous grind of salt and pepper
For the Salad
  • 1 c farro
  • Small zucchini
  • Few carrots, ideally of different colors
  • Half a small head of radicchio
  • Couple bunches of grapes. I've shown mini Champagne grapes here, but full-size red grapes will work just as well. In that case, you might cut them into quarters so they match the size of the veggies.
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Small handful of pine nuts

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.
  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 cooking, use a box grater to grate the zucchini and carrots. I prefer to scoop the seeds out of the zucchini first, but either way is fine.
  4. 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.
  5. Also while the farro is still hot, add the grated veggies (zucchini and carrots) and give it all a good toss. Adding them to the hot farro will soften the veggies just a bit (without you having to bother with cooking them!).
  6. Let the salad cool to room temperature, or put it in a sealed container in the fridge for later. You can do all of the above a up to a day in advance.
  7. When you're ready to serve, cut the radicchio into thin ribbons and toss it into the salad.
  8. Plate your salad on a platter or in a serving bowl. Garnish with grapes, fresh basil leaves, and pine nuts. Serve the remaining dressing on the side for drizzling on individual portions.
NOTE: If you want to prepare this salad ahead of time, you can do through Step 6 the day ahead of time. I wouldn't suggest assembling the salad until close to when you're ready to serve.
 

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