Salad Niçoise with Farro

Salad Niçoise with farro, a nutritionally power-packed salad

A delicious version of the classic French tuna salad, a Farro Niçoise.

Plant geneticist Roy Navarre has identified 60 different kinds of phytochemicals and vitamins in the skins and flesh of 100 wild and commercially grown potatoes.

Salad Niçoise with Farro

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Author Tania Van Pelt

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 5 anchovy fillets
  • cup olive oil plus more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice plus more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 shallot peeled and roughly chopped or 1/2 cup chives, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • ½ cup parsley tender stems and leaves, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Salad

  • 1 cup farro if gluten intolerant use quinoa, or another whole grain you love
  • 1 pound green beans trimmed
  • 1 6- ounce can good tuna in olive oil or wild salmon or sardines in olive oil
  • 1 big or 2 smaller ripe tomatoes cut into wedges
  • 4 hard-cooked eggs halved
  • ½ cup niçoise or other black olives
  • 5 new potatoes or purple fingerling potatoes roasted halved, skins on
  • 1 heart of romaine or butter lettuce torn into bite-sized pieces
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Cook the farro in a medium saucepan with water to cover by about an inch, add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, then adjust the heat so the mixture bubbles gently. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the farro is tender but still has bite, 20 to 30 minutes. If any liquid remains by the time the farro is tender, strain it out.
  3. While the farro cooks, bring another medium pan of water to a boil, add a teaspoon of salt. Add the green beans and cook until bright green and crisp-tender, 2 minutes or so, then plunge them into a bowl of ice water or run under cold water to cool them.
  4. Meanwhile roast the potatoes. Place potatoes in oven and reduce heat to 425 degrees F. Roast for 20 minutes, or until crispy on outside and tender on inside. Once slightly cooled, halve the potatoes.
  5. Put the anchovies, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, mustard, shallot or chives, and capers in a blender or food processor and purée. Add parsley, pulse the blender or processor. The mixture should be pourable; if it isn’t or it's too thick, add a few tablespoons lemon juice and olive oil to thin it just a bit. Taste, then add salt and pepper. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  6. Toss the farro, warm, with about half the dressing. The dressing should be a creamy, pale green color, speckled with freshly cracked pepper. Add the romaine or butter lettuce over the farro. Drizzle a little dressing. Taste the farro and a little lettuce, and adjust the seasoning as needed, and pile it on a platter. Arrange the green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, eggs and olives around the lettuce and farro, as artfully as you like. Add the tuna (or salmon), breaking it in chunks gently with a fork. Drizzle the remaining dressing over it all and serve.

Recipe Notes

For perfectly cooked eggs, put the eggs in a pot of cold water, bring to a boil, let simmer for about a minute, then turn off the heat, allow to sit in the water for about 12 minutes. They become almost coddled and never overcooked.
This salad is equally delicious and filling without the tuna or salmon. Add chickpeas in lieu of canned tuna or salmon if you want a bit more protein and contrast in flavor without the concern of mercury or other toxins that are in fish today, but with the dressing, you really don't need anything else. It's quite satisfying. With flavors like these, you'll find you eat less because you're taste buds are alive to every bite. A dish like this makes you more present.