How to Prepare a Delicious Salad with Fennel & Farro
This is a Middle Eastern style salad featuring farro and fresh peas. The recipe and ingredients were meant to be a vegetarian meal by itself for four people but we prepared it as a side dish to bring to a Memorial Day barbecue and it was a huge hit.
Farro is one of those trendy ingredients that has been around a long time, a really long time, and is one of the current “in” products.
The Bob’s Red Mill website says “Farro is an ancient relative of modern-day wheat. It was a mainstay of the daily diet in ancient Rome, and is still popular in Italy today.”
I realized when I researched farro for this post, there is just too much great information I have to get my head around before I share it with you. I’ll leave it to say, farro is part of the wheat species and is not one grain, but the name for 3 different types of grain. There, that’s all I’m going to say on this for now, but I’m working on a post that will go into detail.
Fennel & Farro Salad Recipe
This recipe is adapted from one sent to us by Blue Apron. It features three ingredients that you may not have heard of before but worth the effort to find, keep in your pantry, and use to invent other dishes with a Middle Eastern feel to them.
One of the ingredients is Za’atar, a popular blend of spices you can find and combine yourself or purchase as a spice blend in your local gourmet market. You’ll definitely find it at any Middle Eastern grocery store. Although the ingredients may differ depending on where your recipe originates or which brand you buy, it’s typically made with ground marjoram, oregano, thyme, sesame seeds and salt. You might also find some coriander, fennel seed, savory or cumin.
The second ingredient is pomegranate molasses. I wrote about this ingredient and have a recipe for it here, but you may be able to find it at a local gourmet market. If not, you can definitely purchase it on Amazon – Pomegranate Molasses. It’s basically pomegranate juice reduced down with sugar and lemon.
The third ingredient is pea tips. You most likely aren’t going to find them in your local supermarket but you may find them at a gourmet market like Trader Joe’s and you will definitely find them at any Chinese grocery. They are the tender leaves of a pea plant and you want to find them with short stems and thick leaves. If you can’t find them, baby spinach is a good substitute.