Farro Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
Farro has quickly become one of my favorite whole grains. It has a chewy texture and nutty flavor that lends itself well to all kinds of dishes, but I especially love it as a base for salads, making an excellent backdrop for all kinds of veggies.
The variety most often found in stores here in the states is partially cooked, speeding up your prep at home. It’s not that common of an item to find, but I can find it at Kroger, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Publix here in Virginia. Look for it near the rice and quinoa. This article from NPR details a bit of the history of this ancient grain.
My current favorite salad made with farro features diced tomatoes, Kalamata olives, diced cucumber, green onion, beans, and homemade mustard vinaigrette. Just look at how beautiful this is before mixing it up!
- One cup dry farro, cooked to package directions and allowed to cool to room temperature (try cooking it in vegetable broth for extra flavor, but water with salt to your liking works just fine!)
- One cup diced cucumber (I like the small Persian variety; typically takes 3-4)
- One cup diced tomato (I like grape or Roma tomatoes)
- One can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup pitted, halved Kalamata olives (or more to your liking)
- 2-3 green onions, diced (discard white bulb)
- 1 part olive oil (about ¼ cup)
- 2 parts apple cider vinegar (I like Bragg’s)(about ½ cup)
- 1 T dijon mustard
- 1 T dried dill weed
- 1 T dried parsley
- Salt, pepper, and onion salt to taste
Assemble salad ingredients in a large bowl. For the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a jar and shake! If you’re a big olive fan, you can add a bit of the olive brine to the vinaigrette for some extra flavor. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients in the bowl and combine. Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. I usually serve this with some type of fresh greens, but it’s great as is as well!
There are infinite ways you can modify this recipe. Have leftover roasted veggies? Make them into a farro based salad and sub some of the vinegar in the vinaigrette with balsamic. Don’t have apple cider vinegar? Sub for what you have. Prefer a Mexican twist? Use black beans, tomatoes, peppers, corn, onions for your veggies and sub a bit of lime juice for the vinegar, and swap a bit of cumin for the dill in the vinaigrette. Or roast some peeled, cored, and sliced apples, add toasted walnuts or pecans, leave the dill out of the vinaigrette, mix with the farro, and serve over arugula. So many possibilities!
Let me know if you try these recipe ideas!