Summer grain salads seem to be all the rage right now. I keep seeing recipes for these healthy, yummy salads in every food magazine I pick up! PCC Natural Markets in Seattle has been way ahead of the curve on this trend – their deli always seems to be loaded with salads that blend green and grain.
One of the PCC salads I LOVE is their Methow Valley Salad. I remember the first time I saw the sign in the deli case, I thought, “Wow, way to go Bluebird Grains Farm – putting the Methow Valley on the map at PCC! Whoo Hooo!”
For those of you who didn’t read my Farro Salad with Olives & Feta post last month, Bluebird Grains Farm is located in the Methow Valley, a small and isolated part of North Central Washington. I love the Methow Valley – it’s one of my favorite places in the whole world. As for Bluebird Grains, it’s honestly not a stretch to say that owners, Sam and Brooke Lucy, are two of the biggest reasons why there are so many Seattlites eating farro these days.
So, I’ve had this salad on my brain since Sunday. It started when we happened upon Brooke Lucy at the Ballard Farmers Market (she is there once a month). It was so great to say hello and see all of the people shopping from her booth. After the market, I plopped down on the couch to get caught up on some reading. I opened the latest PCC Taste magazine and guess what was on page 12? The recipe for Methow Valley Salad. Okay, surely these were two BIG signs that I should make this salad and post the recipe. The Universe was trying to tell me something. “Make Farro Salad!”
So I did. My version is slightly different from the PCC original, but just as delish. I omitted the Swiss chard, lightly blanched the kale, added fresh herbs, and doubled the carrots and tomatoes. I guess it should be called Mary’s Methow Salad. No matter what you call it, this salad is hearty, healthy, low-fat, and loaded with vitamin K, A and C.
- 1 cup raw farro
- 1 small bunch kale (green or dinosaur)
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cucumber, peeled
- 1 bunch fresh dill
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- 1tsp. minced garlic
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Place the farro, 4 cups of water, and ½ tsp. salt in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer the farro until tender (it will still be chewy) about 45 minutes. Keep an eye on the pot - it may be necessary to add a little more water during the cooking time.
- Drain and rinse the farro. Set aside.
- De-stem the kale (removing all of the tough vein that runs down the middle). Chop the kale into 1" squares.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the kale and blanch for 10 to 20 seconds to soften it slightly. Do not cook the kale.
- Drain and rinse the kale to cool it completely.
- Peel the carrots and cucumber, slice them lengthwise, then cut at an angle into medium sized pieces.
- Cut the tomato into medium sized pieces.
- Coarsely chop the dill and basil.
- In a large bowl, combine the farro, kale, carrots, cucumber, tomato, dill and basil. Stir together the lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic, then toss the dressing into the salad.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.