Farro is my favorite grain because of its nutty taste and chewy texture, as well as its many health benefits. Add green beans and cherry tomatoes straight from the farmers’ market, along with a tangy dressing, and you have the perfect summer dish. Instead of adding cherry tomatoes, you can place a large sliced tomato in each individual salad bowl (see photo) and surround it with the salad. I put a few chopped kalamata olives in the center of the tomato just because I love them so much.

Ingredients:

1 cup farro, rinsed

2 cups lightly salted water

1 ½ pounds green beans and/or wax beans

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons mellow white miso

1 tablespoon agave nectar

1 large garlic clove, minced

½ cup thinly sliced red onion

1 pint cherry tomatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the farro and lightly salted water. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 35 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let rest and cool for at least 20 minutes.

2. While the farro is cooking, remove the stem ends from the beans and break them into halves or thirds.

3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and drop in the beans. After the water returns to a boil, cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until crisp tender. Drain them well.

4. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, miso, agave nectar, and garlic.

5. In a large salad bowl, gently toss together the cooled farro, beans, red onion, and cherry tomatoes. Taste for salt. Serve warm or chilled.

Wendy Andresen lives in Camden with her husband, Ray; her Sheltie, Sunshine; and her bunny, Rustle. She welcomes responses to her column at wendyandrayzer@yahoo.com.