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Seattle’s average summer temperatures hardly ever reach 80 degrees, so in June when it was reported that we expected daytime heat to the tune of 95-110 degrees over a three to four day period, I couldn’t believe it. But, knowing how crazy the weather is around the world, I finally did believe it and initially panicked that we didn’t have air conditioning in my 110 year old house, that we only had one medium sized fan and that there was no way I was firing up the oven or stovetop.
I decided to plan ahead and to cook whatever we might need for a four-day period here. A little grilled chicken, some egg bites, lots of fruits and vegetables that could be eaten at room temperature, grab and go breakfast bowls, beans…and then I had an idea.
I remembered a recipe from about five years ago written by Ellie Krieger for a Layered Farro salad, aso I searched through my documents and was happily able to find it pretty quickly. Her formula included grapes for the fruit, and I chose to use Rainier cherries since our CSA box had arrived with a lot of this local delicacy. I switched out the original kale with arugula since my husband is not a kale fan and we happened to have fresh arugula. I used marinated red onions because I always avoid raw onions.
Finally, I cooked the farro in my pressure cooker because who wants to spend an hour toiling over a hot stove when this took 12 minutes? I made one cup of dried farro and set aside half of it when it was cooked; I used the remaining farro to compose four salads to “grab and go”, our new phrase for ready made food in the fridge. Farro is one of my favorite grains and I will use the other half that I made as a side dish, adding sauteed mushrooms, cubed cooked squash and whatever I have that needs a home.
Fantastic Farro Fruit Bowls
- 1 cup farro
- 2 Tbsp Italian parsley leaves, chopped
- About 1 ½ cups arugula, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup diced marinated red onion (see link)
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ Tbsp lemon juice (fresh)
- ⅛ tsp salt
- A few grinds of fresh ground black pepper
- 3 oz chopped feta cheese
- 1 cup rainier or other fresh cherries – pitted and cut into 4 pieces
- ¾ cups walnuts, lightly toasted
To cook the farro – rinse and make this in your Instapot or Pressure Cooker with three cups of water with a teaspoon of salt and a dash of oil for 12 minutes after it reaches pressure. Release the steam, remove the farro, drain and refrigerate until cooled off. Or you can make the farro stovetop according to the package directions.
Once the farro is cooled, reserve half for this recipe and save the remaining half for another time.
Meanwhile – roast your walnuts. I bake mine in a 350 degree oven until barely brown and fragrant, about five minutes. Cool to room temperature and chop into ¼ inch pieces.
Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Combine one half of the cooled farro, arugula, chopped onion, parsley and the lemon juice dressing
Find four clean 1 ½ cup wide mouth jars or containers. First divide the farro mixture into fourths and put ¼ in the bottom of each jar. Next add the feta cheese, ¼ of the total to each jar.
Follow with cherries in each jar, and top each jar with ¼ of the toasted walnuts.
Put lids on these jars and refrigerate for up to three days. When ready to eat, stir well to combine and enjoy the saltiness, the sweetness, the crunch and the chew. Add more olive oil or lemon juice to taste.