I was raised on tuna salad made with mayonnaise, sour cream and lemon juice. It was one of my mom’s go-to dishes, often served as a last-minute meal staple.
Using the classic Portuguese combo of tuna and chickpeas as a starting point, this version is a complete turnaround from that tradition. Farro, a whole grain similar to wheat berries, brings pleasantly nutty flavor, fiber and plenty of nutrients. It’s one of the most accessible of the ancient grains, especially in pearled form. The result is fresh and light, and it doesn’t need an accompaniment of bread or crackers.
Here, oil-packed light tuna lends more flavor than tuna packed in water, but you can use either. Pearled farro, which cooks in 15 to 20 minutes, is a wonderful time-saving alternative to whole farro, which requires a long soaking and/or cooking time. Pearled farro is available at Whole Foods Markets and from various online purveyors. Semi-pearled farro can be substituted; it will take longer to cook.