I am not a salad eater by nature. In fact, that’s typically the last thing I want to take for lunch or would consider ordering off a menu. This was a solid fact until Farro made it’s way into my life – and my salad. Farro is a dense, chewy, high protein whole grain that is used in many different dishes, particularly salads, to add some texture and fiber. When cooked in a flavorful liquid, it takes things to a new level of tasty.
This farro salad has a beautiful mix of seasonal greens, herbs, fruit, cheese and a slightly sweet, yet tart dressing. All the flavors play off of one another for the ultimate salad flavor bomb. There is no coincidence that I meal prep this salad AT LEAST once a month to take for work. It is easy to prep, and very forgiving when one of the items is switched up.
TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE THE BEST HERBED FARRO SALAD:
- Start with a really good salad base of local or organic spring mix or arugula. Half it with romaine for a sweeter salad flavor. Locally grown is going to give you the most variety and flavor if you can find it.
- Top with 1/2 cup of a grain like brown rice or my favorite, FARRO that has been cooked in a flavorful liquid (like apple juice or apple cider).It is NOT gluten free though, so make sure to pick a different grain (like brown rice or buckwheat) if that is something you are trying to avoid. These grains are super easy to cook in an Instant Pot too. If you don’t have this life changing appliance, check it out HERE.
- Add a fruit. I like to change up between blueberries, raspberries and grapes depending on whats available and on sale.
- Mix it up with some herbs! A combination of cilantro, mint and basil and my favorites. Try to pick at least 2 herbs, with mint being one if you can. Do’t skip out on the herbs…they bring a unique flavor to this salad that you won’t get if they are left out #nomoreboringsaladsplease
- Pick a cheese – I feel like feta balances out this salad the best, but I love Parmesan and goat cheese too. You could make this vegan by adding in your favorite plant based cheese.
- Mix up a tangy dressing. I like to buy pre-favored bottles of vinegar and mix them together with olive oil. Easiest dressing ever. The Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar is both tangy and sweet so you don’t have to add a sweetener and is delicious! You can buy it online HERE.
- Add some extra veggies or a protein if desired. I almost always add pre-cooked chicken for Kevin, but I prefer it without meat. Shrimp is a great option too! The farro adds protein too so don’t feel like you are missing out on that category if you decide to skip the meat.
- If you are meal prepping, make enough for one week and it is the fastest and easiest way to stay on track with healthy eating. It takese about 10 minutes to crank out 10 salads for the week. I like to keep an assortment of GLASS and BPA FREE PLASTIC CONTAINERS on hand at all times for meal prepping.
Herbed Farro and Feta Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
a game changing salad filled with flavors and textures of farro grain, herbs, and a sweet tangy lemon vinaigrette
- organic spring mix
- romaine optional
- 1 cup farro uncooked
- 2 cups apple juice or apple cider
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese or goat or parmesan
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 cup chopped mint
- 1 cup chopped basil
- 1 cup blueberries, raspberries or sliced grapes
- chicken or shrimp optional
- thin sliced veggies – radishes work very well
Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing Option 1
- 4 tbsp Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar
- 4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing Option 2
- juice from 2 lemons
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Farro cooked in Instant Pot
Add farro and apple juice/cider into instant pot. Cook on high pressure for 7 minutes. Let natural release for 7 minutes, then quick release. Let cool completely before putting on salad.
Farro cooked on Stove Top
Add farro and apple juice/cider to a pan and bring to a boil. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until liquid has evaporated and farro is soft. Let cool completely before putting on salad.
Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
Pick dressing option and mix those ingredients together. Separate into to go cups or pour over salads if eating immediately.
Place greens in container or bowl (about 2-3 cups each)
Top with 1/4 cup cheese, 1/4 cup fruit, 1/4 cup COOLED grain, and 1/4 cup of each herb. Top with any extra proteins or veggies.
When ready to eat, toss with dressing and enjoy!
This salad is very versatile so feel free to mix up ingredients but don’t skip out on the herbs and dressing!
If using apple juice instead of cider, sprinkle some cinnamon and nutmeg into farro before cooking for a little extra flavor kick