Ratatouille Black Rice & Farro Salad

by Staci O’Connor, RD, CLC, CDN

Black rice is a whole grain that is high in protein, fiber, and iron with trace amounts of fat and sodium with a mild, nutty flavor (see our previous blog post). This recipe is perfect for an end of the season salad, enjoy!

Makes: 10 servings, 1 1/4 cups each


  • 1 cup farro, rinsed
  • 2 cups water plus 1 1/3 cups, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2/3 cup Forbidden black rice, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 2 tablespoons port or water

Grilled Vegetables

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 small eggplant (about 1 pound)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 medium red bell peppers
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley


  1. To prepare grains: Combine farro, 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover and cook until the farro is tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine rice, 1 1/3 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt in another medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover and cook until the rice is tender, about 30 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
  3. Drain any remaining liquid from the farro and rice; fluff with a fork. Spread out on a large baking sheet to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, thyme and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is browned in spots, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook very gently, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes more. Add port (or water), increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until the liquid sizzles away, 15 to 30 seconds. Set aside to cool.
  5. To prepare vegetables: Preheat grill to medium-high.
  6. Whisk 1/2 cup oil, red-wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, garlic, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper and fennel seeds in a large bowl.
  7. Slice zucchini and eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices; cut onion into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Cut bell peppers lengthwise in quarters; remove seeds and stem. Core tomatoes and cut in half. Brush all the vegetables generously on both sides with 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette, leaving the remaining vinaigrette in the bowl.
  8. Place about half the vegetables on the grill. Grill, turning once or twice, until softened and charred in spots, 5 to 10 minutes total. Remove to a large plate as they are done and grill the remaining vegetables.
  9. To assemble: When cool enough to handle, peel the tomatoes and add to the bowl with the vinaigrette. Crush them with a spoon or your hand into a chunky sauce. Chop the other vegetables into bite-size pieces and add to the bowl; gently stir to combine. Add the farro, rice and onion mixture and gently stir to combine.

Nutrition Per serving: 292 calories; 14 g fat (2 g sat, 10 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 38 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 6 g protein; 7 g fiber; 480 mg sodium; 547 mg potassium. Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (135% daily value), Vitamin A (45% dv), Potassium (16% dv)

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 2 1/2 vegetable, 2 1/2 fat

Resource: www.eatingwell.com