Daily Archives: 5 July 2013

ffwd: wheat berry and tuna salad


I think I remember making a tuna salad with lentils for French Fridays with Dorie around this time last year. This time around, the week’s selection is a composed salad featuring a wheat berry and tuna salad. Tuna = Independence Day must be a Dorista theme.

As best I can tell, wheat berries and farro are interchangeable, though not exactly the same thing. I couldn’t discern the actual difference from my reading, other than farro coming from Italy and typically being more expensive. Maybe it’s the actual varietal of the wheat. That said, I spied quite affordable “10-minute farro” for sale at Trader Joe’s. Dorie mentioned a quick-cooking version being available in France, so I decided to try out my find instead of continuing to scout for wheat berries. Also, I had tried out a different farro salad recipe last week (which didn’t come out so well, so I won’t bother to share), and the farro took FOREVER to cook. In the middle of our current heat wave, the 10-minute cook version was perfect.

This is ideal hot weather food. The only cooked parts are the grains and the hard-boiled eggs. I cooked both of these the night before when the air was slightly cooler. I also mixed up the mustardy dressing while I waited.

The farro is tossed with the dressing, the tuna, and a variety of colorful vegetables. I went with what I had: a stalk of fennel (plus the fronds) instead of celery, some radishes (instead of an apple), scallions (instead of onion), and the called for green pepper. The salad had a festive confetti look.

I do have to say, I don’t understand chunk tuna. I usually use solid white or albacore. I was out of tuna, so I just bought what the recipe called for. When I opened the can, it reminded me of cat food. There weren’t any distinguishable chunks, just some mushy tuna. Maybe it was the brand I bought. It certainly wasn’t like what I was expecting. Fortunately, it tasted fine in the salad.

This composed salad starts with a bed of salad greens tossed with some olive oil. I planted 24 heads of lettuce in my vegetable garden, and they all seem to be ready at once. Right now, anything with salad greens is a good plan for me. The greens are topped with the wheat berry and tnna salad. Finally, halved cherry tomatoes, diced avocado, and hard-boiled eggs garnish the top.

This was a gorgeous summer lunch. I made individual platings for the two of us, but, for a bigger crowd, I can see serving this on a platter for everyone to dig in and take what they like. As with so many of the recipes we try in this group, this is another springboard for an infinite stream of similar salads. Just choose your favorite grain salad and toppings and you have a beautiful meal.

To see what other Doristas thought of this recipe, check out their posts here. We don’t post the recipes, but you can find it in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table.

For those of you enjoying a long holiday weekend to celebrate the 4th of July, I hope you are having fun. If it’s hot where you are, I hope you are staying cool and well-hydrated. For everyone else, Happy Weekend!