Mediterranean Farro Salad

Serves 6; recipe is adapted from the back of the package of Bob's Red Mill Farro

2 c. cooked and cooled farro (can substitute other grains such as barley, orzo pasta, brown rice, quinoa, etc)
Farro salad
1 c. cubed eggplant, fresh or fried*
1/2 c. diced red onion
1 c. halved grape tomatoes
1 c. diced red bell pepper
1 1/2 c. diced cucumber
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c. chopped fresh mint
1/4 c. chopped fresh dill

In a large bowl, toss farro with vegetables, lemon juice, olive oil, and herbs.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.

*to make fried eggplant cubes: cut eggplant into 1/2-inch cubes.  Spread on paper towels and lightly salt.  Let sit for 15 minutes to extract excess water.  Blot cubes dry.  Heat 1/2 inch of oil over medium high heat in a heavy skillet.  Fry eggplant in batches, stirring often to brown all sides.  When dark brown, remove from oil and drain on paper towels.  Season with salt.

It's yummy, hearty, cold, summery, and fresh!  Just what I'd been hoping for.  I've been on the lookout for something along the lines of a marinated grain salad, and this dish fit the bill.

And since I took it to a 4th of July potluck, I split the ingredients and mixed half of them (pictured above) while the other half I arranged in a casserole dish, like so:

Cheesy, I know.  You all probably could guess that I'm not the overwhelmingly patriotic type, but I do like a good salad.  And I'm working on my food presentation.  And something about having kids makes me feel like I should really "do" holidays.

And for my next trick, I will show you how you can take a normal breakfast and make it patriotic:


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