Monday, May 28, 2012

Basil Corn Farro Salad

Our local farmers market opened this past weekend (woo hoo!), strawberry picking starts this weekend (wocka wocka!), and Cooking Light just put out their summer cookbook issue (yee haw!). I am overstimulated to the point of paralyzation.

I'm continuing to do my best to expose the munchkins to new foods and since they aren't yet regulars at the ancient grains table, how about a little farro? Not familiar with farro? It looks like this.
It's a kid-friendly grain on many levels. It cooks quickly (about 15 minutes, though you can buy it precooked too), has a mild flavor similar to brown rice, and maintains a chewy firmness when cooked. No pile of mush over here. I am confident the kiddos are going to dig it.

So here I go. Boil water, make farro, husk some corn, whisk up a little vinaigrette, pull the pork that's been marinating out of the fridge, slice corn off the cob, leave 3 ears intact to boil for the little tyrants who will revolt if I don't, saute the kernel corn, slice grape tomatoes, rinse the farro, toss the salad, chiffonade a little basil, and...c.r.a.p.
I forgot not to toss some farro with vinaigrette.

You might have noticed by now that when introducing newish foods to anyone under 7, my approach hinges on simplicity. Typically that means butter, salt, and occasionally Parmesan cheese. Hang on, don't judge me just yet.

I get that lots of kids out there eat cilantro creme fraiche on their lamb burgers and suck spicy mustard from baby bottles. I was going to have those children. But here's the thing. Those are not my children. Those children probably don't gag when a drop of Children's Tylenol grazes their lips or when a stray sliver of onion hasn't been strained from the marinara. Those kids probably hang out on normalized growth charts and don't need suspenders to sport American sized pants. Lemmings.

See, my kids need a little hand holding in the new food department. Launching them into farro-land with a full strength peppery vinaigrette didn't seem prudent. So guess what? Mufasa and I ate it all. Every last bite. And it rocked.
Basil and Corn Farro Salad
adapted from Cooking Light June 2012

12 ounces farro
2 ears corn, husked, kernels cut from cobs
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 pint grape tomatoes
1 and 1/2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
1 and 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

1. Cook farro according to package instructions. Drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside.
2. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in skillet and saute corn for three minutes.
3. Halve grape tomatoes. Combine farro, corn, and tomatoes in large bowl.
4. Whisk remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle over farro mixture and toss gently. Stir in basil.

Next time I'll try to remember an actual sample for the kids. 


  1. Oh my goodness, this looks awesome. I have yet to cook with farro, but I'm thinking this would be a great place to start! I love fresh summer corn, what a great way to use it!

    1. It was seriously awesome and I can only imagine it will be better letter in the summer when the sweet corn is in all its glory. Definitely give it a try!