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Chef Ming’s Warm Farro Salad with Zucchini, Feta and Mint

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Is your garden overflowing with zucchini? Cooking with the seasons guarantees that you’ll have fresh, tasty and healthy dishes. Have you ever noticed how bright the colors are when you pick in-season fruit and vegetables?

Today, Chef Ming Tsai shares with us his amazing recipe for this Warm Farro Salad with Zucchini, Feta and Mint.

By the end of zucchini season, I know most gardens are overflowing with the green versatile veggie. I love zucchini because it’s a one-stop shop type of vegetable, a true chameleon that can change its shape to act as a starch, vegetable, fruit and anything else in between. Add it as noodles to your favorite pasta sauce, cut it small and cook it to resemble risotto, shred and add to your favorite fall muffin, fry cut for baked “fries”, small dice for salads, the list seriously goes on forever! The deep green outside and tender inside provides the perfect crunch and texture balance in every dish. Did you know that in the culinary world zucchini is considered a vegetable but botanically is actually considered a fruit?!

For this recipe, I’ve created a Warm Farro Salad with Zucchini, Feta and Mint. The zucchini is lightly sautéed to keep it’s crunch and pairs well with the faro and feta for a tangy salty bite. The balance between the nutty farro, zucchini and mint with just a touch of lemon has such a bright flavor you’ll be craving this salad months after zucchini season is over. 

Besides being versatile as a vegetable, did you know zucchini is more than a culinary chameleon? As you might have guessed it’s packed with nutrition. My PR/Marketing guru who is also Registered Dietitian, Becca Noren, is here to chat about why zucchini is not just versatile from a cooking standpoint, but from a nutrition stance as well. 

Eat Well With Ming Cooking Tip – For a low carbohydrate dish, spiralize or small dice your zucchini and sub for pasta or rice. Sauté with ½-1 teaspoon oil to take the rawness out, but careful not to overcook so that it doesn’t become mushy. 

— Chef Ming Tsai 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Chef Ming will be LIVE with Camila on the Women of Today Instagram on Thursday, August 6th at 2pm CST to be a part of the WOT August Chef Series. Don’t miss it!

Warm Farro Salad with Zucchini, Feta and Mint

Servings 4
Author Ming Tsai

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup farro
  • 2 zucchini, halved and quartered 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Extra virgin olive oil to cook
  • 8-10 mint leaves, chiffonade saving a few pieces for garnish
  • 1/4 cup crumbed feta
  • juice and zest from 1 lemon  

Instructions

  • In a sauce pan, combine farro with 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and cover. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat once all liquid has been absorbed. 
  • In a sauté pan, add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Heat gently on medium heat and add the garlic. Sauté until it starts to caramelize, about 1 minute. Add the zucchini and sauté until the zucchini just tarts to caramelize. Remove from heat and set aside. Be careful not to overcook as you don’t want soggy zucchini. 
  • In a serving bowl, combine the cooked farro, zucchini, feta, mint, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon olive oil to coat. Mix gently so that all flavors are combined. 
  • Garnish with lemon zest and last few pieces of mint and enjoy. 
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Ming Tsai is the James Beard Award-winning chef/owner of Blue Dragon in Massachusetts and his latest venture BABA at the Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Montana. An Emmy Award-winner, Ming hosts PBS-TV’s SimplyMing, now in its seventeenth season. Ming is the author of five cookbooks. Ming supports many charities including FamilyReach, a non-profit whose mission is to provide financial relief and support to families fighting cancer, of which he is currently the President of the National Advisory Board. For more visit www.ming.com.