A nutritional powerhouse, farro contains protein, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
Some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth. I was definitely born with a piece of marzipan in mine!
Traditional Moroccan sweets and desserts are delectable and oh so tempting. I start with one. I find it really hard to stop eating sugary desserts when my tastebuds have been awakened. But right away, I feel the effects of too much sugar — the headache, the fatigue and the mood swings.
Like most Americans, I’m watching my weight and trying to exercise on a regular basis. I have cut processed sugar from my diet and I try to be very conscientious about what I am eating.
Luckily, I grew up in a Moroccan home where I was trained to eat healthfully. My mother cooked us a fresh dinner every night. In her kitchen, the only frozen vegetables you would find were peas and artichokes and the only canned vegetables were the tomatoes that she used in her rich stews and Moroccan fish. All the other vegetables were fresh and they were plentiful. She used lots of vegetables in her soups and especially in her salads.
That was my beautiful childhood.
When I married Neil, I met his mentor Dr. Jose Nessim, founder of the Sephardic Educational Center. This very wise man gave me excellent advice: “Make a salad with all the colors of the rainbow in it. If you eat that every day, you will be healthy.”
I followed my mother’s example and cooked dinner every night. And I heeded Dr Nessim’s prescription for good health—I always serve a salad with dinner.
We are all determined to make a fresh start for a healthy new calendar year. So Sharon and I really wanted to share with you an especially bright and delicious salad. A salad so good that it feels more like an indulgence than healthy fare.
January is the month of making resolutions to improve our lives. We are all determined to make a fresh start for a healthy new calendar year. So Sharon and I really wanted to share with you an especially bright and delicious salad. A salad so good that it feels more like an indulgence than healthy fare. This Fresh Farro Salad is a favorite with my son Sam’s clients and we’re pretty sure you’ll love it too.
Farro is an ancient wheat grain that has origins in Mesopotamia. A nutritional powerhouse, farro contains protein, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. A fabulous, low calorie source of fiber, farro helps with heart health, blood sugar management and digestion.
The cooked farro in this salad recipe makes it a complete meal, adding a wholesome, nutty flavor. The chewy pop of the farro is a delicious contrast to the fresh green herbs (dill, basil, mint and Italian parsley) and the crispy crunch of the veggies (radish, cucumber, yellow pepper, celery and green onion). Colorful heirloom cherry tomatoes add juicy flavor. The salad dressing is a light vinaigrette of olive oil and red wine vinegar spiced with sumac.
This recipe calls for roasted pumpkin seeds. But you can use any nut you like — pistachios or cashews, almonds or walnuts. Add persimmon or roasted butternut squash, use any combination of vegetables that you have on hand.
As always, Rachel and I just want to inspire you. Here’s to a year of healthy, delicious eating.
Fresh Farro Salad
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
Juice of one lemon
½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1 teaspoon sumac
Salt & pepper
Whisk together all the ingredients.
1 cup farro, cooked according to package directions
2 cups chopped dill, mint, basil and Italian parsley
2 green onions, chopped
1 small celery heart, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
10 oz. mini heirloom tomatoes, chopped
2 Persian cucumbers, chopped
6 radish, julienned
10 oz. baby arugula
1 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
Combine the cooled farro with the herbs, onion, celery, pepper, tomato, cucumber and radish.
Add dressing and toss to coat thoroughly.
Place arugula in a shallow bowl, then add the farro salad on top.
Garnish with pumpkin seeds.
Rachel Sheff and Sharon Gomperts have been friends since high school. They love cooking and sharing recipes. They have collaborated on Sephardic Educational Center projects and community cooking classes. Follow them on Instagram @sephardicspicegirls and on Facebook at Sephardic Spice SEC Food.