Springtime Farro Salad and Delusion

625 sqI wish this was the blog post that told you how much I have always hated quinoa, that is until I tried “this” salad. Then I would go on to swear that even if you too are a quinoa hater, this one recipe will change all that and you may now join the righteous and good quinoa lovers of the world. But sadly, this is not the case. I have tried this salad, this one, and that one too. I have not tried it all these ways, but I do believe I have given it a fair shake, and I just don’t like it. It tastes like like a toxic combination of sand and gravel to me. I can’t deal with those tiny grains. They just mush all together in my mouth. There is no chew to them.

The first time I tried quinoa, no one told me that Mother Nature, in all her infinite wisdom, created a bitter coating of saponins over each grain so that the birds would not eat it all up. It needs to be rinsed before cooking. Apparently I am not on Mother Nature’s mailing list so we ended up having to throw dinner in the garbage that night.

I really do want to like quinoa. It has been given the prestigious title of “Superfood”, given it’s incredibly high nutritional value. It is a source of complete protein, a good source of fibre, phosphorous, magnesium, iron and calcium. I just can’t stand it, so I do the next best thing to eating it. I choose a different grain to substitute in all those salads and delude myself into thinking that it has just as much nutritional value as quinoa. Hey, it works for me. I am excellent at deluding myself about all kinds of things.

Lately my grain of choice has been farro. I have written about farro here and here.

I know it’s almost summer, but the Farmer’s Market, where I live, has not gotten the memo yet. Radishes, spring onions and mint are about the only local veggies to have bravely popped their heads out of the recently frozen earth. So a Springtime Salad it is. This gorgeous salad is the creation of Eric Vellend, food editor at Canadian House and Home magazine. You could substitute barley, wheat berries or even, dare I say it, quinoa. Hey I won’t judge.radishes

green onionsI adore the hefty chew that farro brings to this dish. The sugar snap peas, barely blanched add sweetness and crunch. The radishes and green onion add a balancing bitterness and sharp bite to the nutty farro. Mint and lemon add the final notes of freshness.sugar snaps

spooning saladClick here to print recipe for Springtime Farro Salad.



4 thoughts on “Springtime Farro Salad and Delusion

  1. kathy

    I feel your pain. I am not a fan of quinoa. But I (well it was a group effort) made the most amazing quinoa, garlic butter, cream concocction (is that how you spell it?) rolled in Beet top leaves, of all things. You sort of put about a small cookie scoop in the center of the leaf (sometimes two small leaves) then fold into a parcel looking thing, then tie the parcel up with the steamed stems…stack these bundles three deep then more cream poured over the whole mess, then smooshed down. Pile fresh dill over it, then in the oven. You would not believe the huge amount of beet leaves this toke to make. We had to keep going back to the store to buy more bundles of beets, the stack my mother brought with her, the pile my step daughter dragged over plus the ones I bought before this operation just weren’t enough. But amazingly it was the best dish on the table at thanksgiving. Just writing about it brings back memories of this incredible dish. I don’t know where my step daughter found the recipe but it was a.m.a.z.i.n.g

    anyway…..that’s not why i’m writting to you. I hated the grain myself until my sister mentioned that she toasts it before cooking it. Maybe give that a try…it does taste better. But I figure anything that has to be adulterated like quinoa does with all the onions and garlic and everything else under the sun….just isn’t worth the effort. With the exception of the beet top casserole thing. I tried to google the recipe without success. I keep forgetting to get it in writing from my step daughter.
    I hate legumes more than I hate quinoa. I have tried and tried and tried. But decided after all these years and attempts that they just suck. I would most surely die of starvation if I was a vegetarian. One of these days I may just throw all those stupid bags out of my pantry for good.

    1. saltandserenity Post author

      Hi Kathy, I had to laugh when I read your comment. I have no doubt that the quinoa cooked in garlic butter and cream tasted delicious. I suspect that cardboard cooked in garlic butter and cream would be pretty delicious too! I will give the toasting method a try. Thanks!

  2. themondaybox

    Your photos are so colorful and crisp and make even things I don’t like look delicious! The first time I ever tried quinoa I either got food poisoning or had a gastro type allergic reaction. Which ever it was, I do NOT wish to repeat the experience! I often see a food photo that attracts me, only to discover it is quinoa. Always disappointing. I have tried substituting brown rice which, depending on the recipe, has often been successful. I will have to try your farro substitution in this recipe and others!

  3. Pingback: Shove Over Quinoa. There’s a Freakin’ Awesome New Grain in Town! | Salt and Serenity

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