Farro, or spelt, is an ancient grain with a delicious, nutty flavor. This salad is also good without the tuna. If you make it the night before your picnic, take it out of the cooler an hour or so before eating so all the flavors stand out.
3 T. olive oil
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 C. farro
3 C. vegetable broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 T. lemon juice
½ C. pitted and sliced green olives such as lucques or picholines
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
7-8 oz. oil poached tuna (recipe below), flaked, or one 7-oz. can olive oil-packed tuna
1 C. baby arugula
In a saucepan, heat 1 T. of the oil. Add the carrot and onion and cook, stirring, over moderate heat for about five minutes. Add the farro and garlic and cook, stirring, a minute longer. Add the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the farro is tender. Drain off any excess liquid and season with salt (if needed, depending on how salty the broth was) and pepper.
Combine the remaining 2 T. olive oil with the lemon juice, olives, and fennel. Stir this mixture into the farro. To serve, fold in the tuna and arugula. Yield: 4 servings.
Preheat oven t 250 F. Put the tuna in a baking dish just big enough to hold it and at least an inch taller than the tuna’s thickness. Pour in olive oil to cover. Add a crushed garlic clove and some thyme sprigs. Place the dish in the preheated oven. Check after 20 minutes; the outside of the tuna should be just opaque. If necessary, bake 5-10 minutes longer. Remove the tuna to a plate. You can save the oil for other cooking uses; it does not pick up a fishy taste.
Wines: dry whites, light reds