Grain Salad with Vegetables


I recently tasted a most wonderful salad at Ciao Bella in Edina,  a great Italian restaurant http://www.ciaobellamn.com/menu-dinner.html

Their recipe had Quinoa and Farro  ~ both good grains for salads. The salad also included the following: asparagus, red pepper, chopped spinach, avocado, cherry tomatoes, hearts of palm, provolone cheese cubes, and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Here is my version plus I switched some of the vegetables that I had on hand, which included leftover peas and corn, cucumbers. carrots. So basically add whatever you have on hand but consider adding hearts of palm, they come in a can and located in the vegetable aisle. Hearts of palm are spendy, but taste great in salads.
First you will need to cook some quinoa which is very simple. Just add quinoa following the directions on the box for amounts to boiling water and let set, covered until done. I used red quinoa.

 

Farro is cooked the same way, but takes a little longer to cook. Follow directions on package for cooking.

You could use 1 cup of each or 1/2 cup of 1 and 1-1/2 cups of the other. Whatever you choose! Cook the grains and set into a large bowl to let cool whilc you chop the rest of the vegetables.

As you chop the vegetables that you want, add to the quinoa and farro in the bowl. Add salt and pepper.

Cut Provolone cheese into small squares until you have about 1 cup, put in bowl.

Add 1/4 cup of finely shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

Make the vinaigrette, you may have to double the recipe if you are making a large batch.

Lemon Vinaigrette

1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (optional)
2 teaspoons sugar or 1 teaspoon honey
1/2 finely chopped green onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake well.
For best results, chill about 1-2 hours to combine flavors.

Put the dressing on the salad and toss well. Let marinate for a couple hours before serving.
When serving, line a plate with greens and scoop the salad on top of the greens. Then using a cheese slicer or vegetable peeler put a few slices of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on top and if desired some sliced and toasted almonds and serve!! Delicious!
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