Marinated Zucchini With Farro, Chickpeas and Parmesan
Zucchini’s a tricky vegetable, prone to mushiness. Here, we avoid those pitfalls: By pan-frying planks, you’ll get tender, rich insides with golden-brown exteriors. And when you pair these cooked pieces with delicate raw zucchini ribbons (don’t call them zoodles!) you’ll get just a glimpse of this vegetable’s full potential. A generous handful of arugula, and a bed of farro and chickpeas, fill out the rest of the meal. Cooking the chickpeas along with the farro may seem strange, but it will make the canned beans softer, creamier, and more flavorful than simply dumping them into the salad. For added crunch and flavor in every bite, roughly chop the zucchini noodles and the planks before tossing.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1cup farro
- 1(15-ounce) can chickpeas
- 1teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1pound small zucchini and/or summer squash, ends trimmed
- 7tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1garlic clove, minced
- 2tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1cup of your favorite soft, fragrant herb, like basil, mint, tarragon, or a combination, roughly torn or cut
- Black pepper
- 2cups arugula
- 1tablespoon lemon juice
- Parmesan, for shaving
Step 1Rinse and drain the farro and chickpeas. Add both to a medium pot with 1 teaspoon of salt and add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, skim foam from the top, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until farro is tender, about 25 minutes.
Step 2Meanwhile, divide your squash haul in half. With one group, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick planks. Reserve the other 1/2 pound for later.
Step 3In a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. When hot, add the zucchini planks in a single layer and leave undisturbed until golden-brown all over, about 3 minutes. Flip with a fork or pair of tongs, then cook until tender, about 2 more minutes. (You may need to work in batches, adding more oil if necessary.)
Step 4Transfer browned zucchini to a shallow dish and, if desired, cut the planks into 2-inch pieces. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil, garlic, vinegar, and half the herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Pour about half the dressing over the zucchini and let marinate while you finish making the salad. Set remaining dressing aside.
Step 5Use a vegetable peeler to shave the rest of the zucchini into ribbons (here’s the easiest way: lay the zucchini on a cutting board, then drag the peeler across it). If your farro is far from done, you can preserve the zucchini strands by soaking them in cold salt water. Drain and pat dry before using.
Step 6Drain the farro and chickpeas and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Toss with the reserved dressing and season with salt and pepper. Add arugula, zucchini ribbons, marinated zucchini, lemon juice and Parmesan shavings. Gently toss to combine, adding remaining zucchini marinade to taste, and season again if necessary. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter and top with the remaining herbs.