Chickpea, Farro, and Feta Salad

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I have made many summery salads lately, and this one takes the cake. I have been overrun with produce from my weekly farm box and I can hardly seem to keep up with it. My refrigerator looks like it has been overtaken by a small forest. This was a great recipe to use for the plethora of green beans waiting to be eaten. The salad itself was tasty, but the toasted spice vinaigrette kind of blew my mind. I was grumbling about having to find whole cumin seeds when I had ground cumin in the pantry, but I am so glad I did. Toasting the 3 spices together makes them explode with flavor. It went so well with the toothsome farro, the creamy bite of the feta, the toasted pine nuts and fresh flavors from the fresh dill and lemon juice. I have a good feeling this salad will make it onto many more of our dinner plates. I love farro, but feel free to use barley instead. You could also use quinoa or brown rice as well. And don’t settle for powdered spices for the vinaigrette, use whole seeds-it makes a huge difference!

adapted from: Bon Appétit
serves: 4

8 ounces green beans, halved crosswise
Kosher salt
1 cup pearled farro
1 teaspoon olive oil
¼ cup pine nuts
1 15.5-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed
4 oz. feta, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

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Toasted Spice Vinaigrette

1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

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for the vinaigrette
Toast coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds in a dry small skillet over medium heat, tossing, until fragrant, about 3 minutes.
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Let cool, then chop. Whisk with oil, vinegar, and mustard in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper.
Do Ahead: Vinaigrette can be made 4 days ahead. Cover and chill.
Cook green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Using a sieve or a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water.
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Return water to a boil, add farro and simmer until tender (refer to packaging for timing); drain. Spread out and let cool on a baking sheet.

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Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Toast pine nuts, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes; let cool.

Toss green beans, barley, pine nuts, chickpeas, feta, dill, lemon juice, and vinaigrette in a large bowl. Serve.

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