The thing I love about eating seasonally, is that it really makes me appreciate the produce that only comes around once a year. And it’s for that reason that I covet apricot season. And so these special, versatile fruit are worthy of an equally special salad.
Nutty, chewy farro is toasted with thyme, oregano, sumac and sesame seeds before combining with sautéed onions and garlic and warm vegetable stock. It’s pretty good right out of the pan. But it’s even better with the addition of fresh parsley, cilantro and mint. Add some sweet tart apricot slices, drizzle it with some simple freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil. And top it with some cumin toasted chickpeas for some crunch! It’s a pretty spectacular mix of flavors!
These apricots are beautiful. Ripe and soft and perfect for snacking. But I really appreciate their role in this fresh summer salad. The cooked farro is delicious and really makes this salad feel substantial. Roasted chickpeas are always fun to eat. Perfect for a crunchy salad topper. And the flavors of the herbs and apricots are so prominent, that you really only need a basic lemon vinaigrette to bring everything into harmony
And I think this is just a beautiful, fresh salad. These apricots make me so happy!
While I find it hard to believe that you may not be a fan of apricots (Really? How can you not love apricots?), then you can substitute other summer stone fruits here. Peaches would be good. (Tell me that you love peaches!). And of course, you can experiment with other grains, like quinoa, freekeh, barley or even rice. You can also substitute nuts for chickpeas if that’s your thing!
If you have yet to try apricots, there’s no time like the present! Scoop some up before the summer is over. I know I’m going to be pouting when they’re gone!
- FOR THE SALAD YOU WILL NEED:
- 6 apricots, pitted and sliced
- 2 cups of farro
- 2 cups of vegetable stock
- 1 cup of chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ cup of chopped fresh mint
- ½ cup of diced red onion
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons of ground sumac
- 1 Tablespoon of sesame seeds
- salt & pepper to taste
- FOR THE CHICKPEAS YOU WILL NEED:
- 1 (15.5 oz) an of chickpeas, rinsed and drained & patted dry
- 1 Tablespoon of ground cumin
- 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
- pinch of salt & pepper
- FOR THE VINAIGRETTE YOU WILL NEED:
- 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons of honey
- salt & pepper to taste
- Prepare the farro first so you allow time for it to cool. (It can also be made a day in advance and refrigerated until you are ready to make the salad.)
- In a 12 inch skillet over medium heat, toss the farro in the dry pan with the thyme, oregano, sumac & sesame seeds and toast until fragrant about 2-3 minutes.
- Push the farro to the perimeter of the pan.
- In the center of the pan, add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, the red onion and the garlic.
- Saute until the onions are soft, another 2-3 minutes.
- In a separate pot, bring the 2 cups of vegetable stock to a boil.
- Stir the farro, onions and garlic all together.
- Add the vegetable stock to the farro, stir, cover and turn off the heat.
- Let it sit for 50-60 minutes until all the stock has been absorbed by the farro.
- Season with salt & pepper to taste and let cool.
- Refrigerate the farro, covered, if you are not making the salad right away.
- Prepare the chickpeas by preheating the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss the chickpeas with the 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and 1 Tablespoon of ground cumin.
- Season with a pinch of salt & pepper.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, tossing halfway through.
- Prepare the vinaigrette by combining the lemon juice and honey in a small bowl.
- Slowly whisk in the olive oil.
- Taste & season with salt & pepper to your liking.
- To assemble the salad, combine the farro with the parsley, cilantro and mint and toss.
- Add the apricot slices and drizzle the salad with the dressing.
- Toss again and top with the chickpeas and garnish with additional fresh herbs and more diced red onion if desired.
Give thanks to farmers for feeding the world!