I was trying to think of something great to make for dinner while at the cabin this weekend. I knew it was going to be just my husband and I and our 5 year old, so I was looking for something simple. I also knew it was going to be rainy, so I wanted something comforting. My 5 year old and I had been watching Pioneer Woman on Food Network (I will happily to admit to having the biggest girlcrush on Ree…) when he said, “mama we should make that sometime…but I won’t eat the radishes”. I have to admit that I hadn’t really been paying attention, but when I did…Mediterranean Salmon Farro Bowls were born!
When I paid attention to what she was making I was intrigued. She started out by saying “I’m late to this whole “bowls” thing” and I couldn’t agree more…I’m really more of a sandwich kind of a girl. But sometimes it ‘s good to branch out and try something new-and I’m so glad we did. My son was right though, radishes, although I adore them, were not going to fly in my house. We were going to have a take a totally different direction.
The really great thing about bowls? They are able to be customized. Teenager doesn’t like olives? No problem-leave them out. Spouse doesn’t like tomatoes? No problem-add more cucumbers instead. (PS: My 5 year old is holding the bowl in the first picture-he is such a proud little chef!)
One thing I did love about the original bowl was the use of farro. Farro is an ancient grain that is both chewy and hearty-think a heartier version of arborio rice (although sorry, gluten free friends, it is actually wheat). It adds a chewy, nutty flavor to the dish. I had actually used this grain before in a salad that had been featured in Cooking Light, and had rapidly become a staple in my house (recipe below!). Don’t worry if this grain is not for you-this dish would still be great with rice, quinoa, couscous, or orzo depending on your preference. The fresh flavors of summer vegetables and salty kalamata olives brings you straight to the Mediterranean Sea (if only, right?).
I made my own tzatziki, but certainly, if you were looking for a quick weeknight dinner, there would be nothing wrong with using a store bought version. The salmon takes 10 minutes to cook and can cook while the farro is cooking (the farro will take approximately 25 minutes). You can have your kids chop your vegetables, while you whip the tzatziki out of the refrigerator, slice a loaf of crusty bread, pour yourself a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and voila! Mediterranean Salmon Farro Bowls on the table in 30 minutes!
Turns out my 5 year old was right-Mediterranean Salmon Farro Bowls were delicious! He even asked for them again the next day-the sign of a true winner in our house.
Here are a few recipes that you may also enjoy.
Ree Drummond’s Salmon and Veggie Grain Bowls
The recipe that first introduced me to farro: Farro with Honey-Garlic Roasted Tomatoes
And finally, our recipe for Tzatziki
- 8 oz farro
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 pound salmon filet (I buy sustainable, wild caught salmon when available)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted and quartered
- Tzatziki sauce
- Place chicken stock and farro in a saucepan, stir, and then bring to a boil.
- Cover, reduce heat to low (farro should be at a gentle simmer) and then simmer for 25-30 minutes.
- Preheat broiler.
- Place salmon filet (skin down) on a baking pan covered with foil.
- Liberally salt the salmon filet and then sprinkle with lemon juice and ½ Tablespoon chopped dill.
- Broil on high for 10 minutes or until salmon reaches desired consistency.
- Allow to rest for 5 minutes while assembling bowls.
- Divide farro amongst 4 bowls.
- Arrange tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and olives in bowl.
- Flake salmon with a fork and then divide amongst the 4 bowls.
- Top with tzatziki sauce and chopped dill.