Mezze & Dolce

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

Mezze: Farro Chicken Salad with Cherries and Pistachios


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My friend Rey is an impressive dude. He’s the founder of One Degree, a non-profit that’s leveraging technology to help kids connect with poverty-fighting resources. His singing voice wows a capella crowds and puts fellow karaoke aficionados to shame. He built his own bed out of wood planks. He makes the most difficult yoga poses look like he was born in them. If the role wasn’t already taken by the Dos Equis guy, I’d think he was the most Interesting Man in the World.

So it was no surprise that Rey’s hobbyist start-up WeDish was going to be a success. Founded together with one of his close friends, WeDish is a monthly ingredient challenge for people looking to diversify their cooking repertoire. Every two weeks WeDish sends out a new “secret ingredient” to followers, and WeDishers post their attempts at using it on Facebook and Instagram.

This farro chicken salad represents a match made in heaven: WeDish’s recent “cherry” challenge and this month’s M & D “Inspiring Ingredient” – pistachio. It’s a gorgeous little salad based on a recent Saveur recipe, and it makes for a light and refreshing summer meal. For the other dishes we’ve submitted to the WeDish challenge, check out our Toasted Squash with Yogurt, Cilantro, and Lime (lime challenge) and our Lebanese Cauliflower and Couscous Chicken Salad (mint challenge). –jaime

Ingredients

Serves 4 as a main course, 6 as an appetizer or side

~Dressing~

1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

~Salad~

1 cup cooked farro (follow directions on package – I use TJ’s 10 minute faro in the turquoise bag)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 14.5 oz. can quartered artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained
2 cups chiffonaded or chopped kale (stems removed)
1/2 cup pistachios
2 cups cherries, pitted***

***A Note on Pitting Cherries: You do not need a pitter or unbearable patience to prepare the cherries for this salad. I cheated and used a small paring knife to cut the cherry flesh away from the pit. That means it didn’t come out perfectly halved and there were some weird-looking pieces. Whatever. If it allows you to have this salad with no stress, don’t be ashamed about going the easy way like I did. You can always suck any remaining cherry off the pit to be waste-free.

Directions

1. In a food processor, pulse all dressing ingredients until it looks like a thick slather (see photo below). Adjust salt and pepper to your liking

2. Cut chicken into small, evenly sized chunks and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a shallow frying pan and cook chicken chunks all the way through. (Another option is to cook the whole chicken halves all the way through and then shred it).

3. While chicken is cooking, throw farro and kale in a large bowl or tupperware. Once the chicken is done, scoop it out leaving as much oil as possible behind, and add it to the bowl. It’s ok if the chicken is still warm, because it softens the kale a little.

4. Toss the farro, kale, and chicken with the dressing until well coated.

5. Fold in the artichoke hearts, pistachios, and cherries. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Keep chilled until serving.

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Information

This entry was posted on June 27, 2013 by in Grains, Mezze, Poultry, Salads and tagged , , , .

About Jacque & Jaime

Jaime and Jacque are two gals who discovered a mutual passion for Mediterranean flavors and ingredients and never turned back. They started Mezze & Dolce to share this love, their recipes, and their inspirations with the world. Follow them at www.mezzeanddolce.com.

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