Coming up with truly satisfying main course salads is always something of a struggle for those of us with heartier appetites. A big pile of dressed greens and vegetables topped with a bit of meat always tastes great when the weather warms up but, more often than not is a meal that needs to be supplemented with at least a few slices of crusty bread to sate most big eaters.
This Farro and Shrimp Salad from Recipes from an Italian Summer solves the main course salad conundrum by incorporating wonderfully nutty, chewy farro into the mix. This quick cooking ancient grain works even better in a cool or room temperature preparation than straight out of the pot and absorbs the light, lemony vinaigrette beautifully. Mixed with just cooked shrimp, crunchy cucumbers and carrots, and peppery shredded arugula, this salad is just right for those days when you are hungry enough to sit down for a big meal but temperature in the kitchen isn't conducive to intensive cooking session.
I made my version without tarragon since it is one ingredient that my local market never seems to have on hand. But any herbs that you might have in the fridge or growing in your window box would do nicely, lemon thyme, chopped chives, or even mint would make a great addition to the dressing.
- 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon apple vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon, strained
- 1 sprig flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 spring tarragon, chopped
- Scant 1 1/4 cups cooked farro or spelt, drained
- 11 ounces cooked, peeled shrimp
- 1 carrot, finely grated
- Generous 1 cup shredded arugula
- Salt and pepper
Put the cucumber slices in a bowl and drizzle with the vinegar. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, and tarragon in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Put the farro, shrimp, carrot, cucumber, and arugula into a salad bowl, pour the dressing over the salad, stir, and serve.