TriathlEats: Venison With Farro Salad

Lean meat and a zesty vinaigrette highlight this nutrient-rich dish.

Photo: Mark Finkenstaedt

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Lean meat and a zesty vinaigrette highlight this nutrient-rich dish.


For toasted farro salad:
1 cup cooked farro
1 T tarragon, chopped
1 T fresh mint, chopped
1 T basil, chopped
1 T chives, chopped
1 cup grilled mushrooms
4 T citrus vinaigrette
(see recipe below)
Sea salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

For citrus vinaigrette:
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 T Dijon mustard
1 tsp oregano
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ T sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
½ cup olive oil
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 tsp crushed red
pepper flakes

For venison marinade:
2 T reduced sodium
soy sauce
1 T fresh ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T sesame oil
1 T lime juice
2 T raw honey
1 T red rooster sauce (or Sriracha sauce)
4 5-ounce portions
venison loin


For the mushrooms, select your best local mushrooms, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper (optional: toss with some of the venison marinade), and grill. To make the toasted farro salad (yields 4 portions), toast farro in olive oil over medium-high heat. When the farro is golden brown, add 2 cups boiling water seasoned with salt. Continue cooking over low heat for about 12 minutes, or until soft. Refrigerate until cool. To make the citrus vinaigrette (yields 1 cup), combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Toss the cooked (and cooled) farro, herbs, grilled mushrooms and citrus vinaigrette together, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Marinate the venison overnight by combining all ingredients in a bag with the venison, shake to combine and store in the refrigerator. Grill venison over medium-high heat until desired doneness (Artley grills it to 145 degrees, or medium-rare). Serve over farro salad.

Cooking tip: Chef Artley likes to reserve a touch of the marinade before adding to the venison and save it to drizzle over the dish after it’s sliced and plated.

RELATED: Why (And How) To Try These 5 Ancient Grains

Meet the Triathlete-Chef

The word “determined” accurately sums up chef Will Artley—not only in his career, but also in his pursuit of a healthy lifestyle (thanks to triathlon, he lost 130 pounds in a year!). His dedication helped him land his current job as the executive chef of Washington, D.C.’s BLT Steak, a high-end steakhouse steps away from the White House. Going in, Artley’s résumé was already impressive—he has a master’s degree from the Culinary Institute of America, was a guest chef at the White House, and has appeared on Food Network’s “Chopped.” He’s now cooking for the who’s who of the political scene (Michelle Obama was a recent patron). He’s aiming high in his active pursuits as well with an Ironman, something that seemed impossible just a couple of years ago when he topped out at 360 pounds. “I wouldn’t have lived a long life had I not made a change, and I thought, ‘what would be the farthest possible thing away that I could physically and mentally do?’” he says. “And that was Ironman.” With a strong support team around him—his wife, his brother (a four-time Ironman), friends and team (Team Tri360)—he’s completed two half-Ironmans and is signed up for Ironman Maryland. “If you dedicate yourself 100 percent to something, you’ll get 100 percent in return,” he says.

More “TriathlEats.”

Trending on Triathlete

Jan Frodeno Reflects on His Final Ironman World Championship

Immediately after finishing 24th place at his final Ironman World Championships, the Olympic medalist (and three-time IMWC winner) explains what his race in Nice meant to him.