The Good News "The first time I tasted farro, it changed my life," says Melissa Kelly about the ancient grain that's rich in fiber, complex carbohydrates and magnesium. She's particularly fond of the nutty, chewy farro from Anson Mills, a Charleston-based company that's nationally famous for its grits (ansonmills.com).
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In a medium saucepan, cover the farro with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover, remove from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain the farro and return it to the pan. Add 2 more cups of water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cook the farro over high heat until al dente, about 10 minutes; drain well.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the green beans until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes; drain. Rinse the beans under cold water and pat dry.
Heat the pure olive oil in a medium saucepan. In a small bowl, toss the sliced shallots with the flour, separating them into rings. Transfer the shallots to a strainer and tap off the excess flour. Add the shallots to the hot oil and fry over high heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried shallots to paper towels to drain thoroughly; season lightly with salt.
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the oil from the saucepan. Add the mushrooms and cook over high heat, stirring, until browned. Transfer to a plate.
In a medium bowl, whisk the sherry and balsamic vinegars with the minced shallot, garlic and thyme. Whisk in the extra-virgin olive oil. Add the farro, green beans, hazelnuts and three-fourths of the fried shallots and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a platter or shallow bowl. Garnish with the remaining fried shallots and serve.
The recipe can be prepared through Step 4 one day ahead. Keep the fried shallots in an airtight container at room temperature. Refrigerate the farro, green beans and mushrooms separately. Let return to room temperature before tossing the salad.