9ouncesfarro perlato(semi-pearled emmer), about 1 1/3 cups uncooked (see substitutes below)
1teaspoonchia seed or ground flaxseeds
3medium zucchinitrimmed and halved lengthwise
1/2red bell pepperseeded
2green onionsgreen parts only, thinly sliced
2tablespoonswhite balsamic or white wine vinegar
2teaspoonsspicy or Dijon mustardor to taste
1large clovegarlicminced or pressed
1/8teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
1/4cupchopped fresh basil
Salt and black pepperto taste
Additional lemon juiceto taste
Rinse the semi-pearled farro and place it in a medium pot. Add enough water to cover it by at least an inch and a half, bring to a boil, and cook until it’s tender but still firm, about 20 minutes. Before draining it, remove 1/4 cup of the cooking water and mix it with the chia seed in a small bowl. Drain the farro, rinse it with cold water, and place it in a large serving bowl.
While the farro is cooking, heat a grill or grill pan (I used my Foreman grill). Grill the zucchini until they are golden brown on the cut side and beginning to soften. Remove them from the grill to a cutting board and cut into 1/2-inch slices; add them to the farro. Grill the pepper just until grill marks appear. Remove it to the cutting board, chop it, and add it to the farro, along with the tomatoes and green onions.
To the chia seed mixture, add the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper. Whisk together well and add to the farro mixture, stirring to make sure it’s well-distributed. Cover the salad and refrigerate until chilled.
Just before serving, add the basil and check the seasonings. Add more salt, pepper, and lemon juice if necessary.
Instead of pearled farro, you may use regular farro, spelt, wheatberries, or any other large grain. For a gluten-free version, try brown rice or buckwheat groats. Cook according to package directions or check the internet for cooking times because pearled farro cooks much more quickly than most other large grains. If you’re using pre-cooked grain, use 4 cups.