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Summer Salads Some Aren’t- Farro & Tomato Salad with Basil & Anchovies

Farro & Tomato Salad with Basil & Anchovies

This is the final entry in my week long series of summer salads. It’s a Farro & Tomato Salad with Basil & Anchovies and it comes (practically word for word) from Judy Rodgers.

I tend to be a tinkerer when it comes to recipes (if I follow one at all) but there are some cooks whose style and choices just click with me and the way I like to do things. Judy Rodgers is one such cook. She thinks about food and it’s preparation. She gets all wonky about technique. So I know that every step and every ingredient really is all it needs to be. No more no less. I can’t improve on that kind of methodology, so I don’t even try.

Especially when it comes to an ingredient like farro. It’s an ancient grain. But it’s new to my kitchen. It’s been a staple to the masses since Roman times, but suddenly the chic set has embraced it too. I first had it at one of Mario Batali’s New York restaurants in the 1990s (in the form of a pan-fried cake) but this is my first attempt at cooking with it at home.

If you are unfamiliar with farro, well it looks a bit like brown rice. But it’s a closer cousin to barley. The best version is the whole-grain version, partly due to all those healthful advantages. When you buy farro look for whole-grains that have been partially processed and have the brown outer hull removed. These are called “pearled”, “perlato”, “semiperlato”, or “decorticato”.