farro, corn & tomato salad

Hi, nice to meet you, I’m an extrovert. I don’t have trouble sharing my opinion in meetings at work. I was never a shy kid in class. I like to meet new people, and love getting to know them. I used to get excited about online first dates because conversations with strangers are like adventures to me.

But being extroverted isn’t as simple as that. Extroverts, especially women, can also be deeply insecure. Often there is a whole conversation of negative self talk that accompanies our extroverted nature. I often worry that I overwhelm people with my enthusiasm. That I am too loud. That I let my mouth run and said something silly. Being extroverted is my nature, but when I was in college I envied the ‘quiet, thoughtful, introverted girls’ who enticed guys with their air of mystery. I wished I could just shut up.

And being an extroverted person doesn’t mean you don’t like to be alone. It doesn’t make you always the life of the party. This is, in my mind, the biggest misconception about extroverts.  Being alone, in a quiet environment, is pretty much my favourite thing. I enjoy knitting, cooking alone, listening to NPR podcasts. I like going to bed early. One of my favourite things to do is to read alone in a cafe. I am an extrovert who behaves like an ‘introvert.’ People are complex and terms like these are so limiting.

So cheers to my fellow extroverts. Especially the big, loud ladies who, in the words of the inimitable Lindy West, are maybe “a bit much.” Here’s a big, bright salad, loud and colourful, just like you. Shine bright my friends, in whatever way you choose.

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Farro, corn & tomato salad
Serves 4 people as a side dish
Cooking soundtrack: case/lang/veirs
Note: to cook the corn, I bring it to a boil in a lot of water with the lid on, once it starts boiling I turn off the heat and move it off the burner. Let it sit for 10 minutes and then it’s ready. Let cool before using.

Note 2: If you wanted to make this gluten free you could easily substitute a gluten free grain -I’m sure quinoa would be delicious. Similarly, if you are vegan, you can leave out the parmesan, and maybe add some toasted pine nuts or walnuts for a nice fatty addition.

  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic)
  • 6 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked farro
  • 1 cup cooked corn kernels (see note) from 2 heads of corn
  • 2 cups smaller tomatoes, halved or quartered based on size.
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions (greens and light greens)
  • 1/2 cup chopped basil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook the farro: bring a medium pot of water to the boil. Rinse the farro well in a fine mesh strainer, then add to boiling water. Turn down heat to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes with the lid off until cooked, but still al dente. Either leave farro to cool, or if you’re impatient like me, rinse under cold water to speed up cooling time (I’m sure this offends some chef, but whatever).

2. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl: vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste, whisk to combine with a fork.

3.  Mix together farro, corn, scallions and basil in a large boil, drizzle over dressing and mix well. Add tomatoes and parmesan cheese and toss gently until combined. Taste for seasoning.