Farro is the latest ancient grain to make a mainstream comeback, and I've been cooking up a storm with the wheat variety, using it in place of rice to make "farrotto," adding it to soups, and utilizing it as the base for Asian-style vegetable bowls.
My favorite way to employ it during hot weather is with this ingenious seasonal salad by Melissa Clark. Start by toasting farro, until it's nutty and golden brown; toss in parsley, scallions, lemon juice, and cherry tomatoes, for a meatier riff on tabbouleh; then top with crumbled cheese fricos for a crispy, salty finish.
For more substance, I served this salad with a side of grilled shrimp and Italian salsa verde, but you could add other seafood like scallops or lump crabmeat. Or, as Melissa suggested, bits of salumi: "Cubes of pancetta or sopressata would be killer!" she told me. Great — I've got an excuse to make this again sometime soon. Keep reading for the basic recipe. From Melissa Clark
Ingredients 1 cup semipearled farro Directions Serves 4 to 6.
Toasted Farro Salad With Pine Nuts, Crispy Pecorino, and Caramelized Corn
2 ears sweet corn, shucked
1/4 cup pine nuts
4 ounces (1 cup) young pecorino, coarsely grated
1-1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered if large
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, plus more for serving
Coarse sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
From Melissa Clark
1 cup semipearled farro
Serves 4 to 6.