While y’all know my love for quinoa runs deep, I’ve really been having a moment with farro lately, and I’m not mad about it. And for those who think salads are boring, let me change your mind with this delicious recipe. The addition of a grain is always my secret weapon to make salads instantly more interesting.
This version is perfect for summer and full of flavor, and the farro really is the star in my opinion. For those unfamiliar, farro is an ancient grain originating back to Mesopotamia, and it’s incredibly nutritious. Farro is an excellent source of antioxidants, protein, fiber and nutrients like magnesium, zinc and some B vitamins.
I personally love this grain for the texture and chew it provides. You can enjoy it on its own or throw it into salads, grain bowls and more. Plus, it’s super inexpensive and easy to find these days! I’ve been able to snag a bag at both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods recently.
If you don’t like farro or are looking for a gluten-free alternative, you can easily swap this out for any other grain (or grain-like food like quinoa). I also have TONS of quinoa recipes on my blog if you’re in need of more inspo!
My secret to making farro, quinoa, rice, etc. extra delicious is cooking it in bone or vegetable broth instead of water. This infuses it with tons of flavors and additional nutrients – a double whammy.
In addition to the farro, apples, arugula, pistachios, cheddar and shallots provide a great variety of textures and flavor. Honeycrisp apples are always my go-to, but you can utilize whatever is freshest and easily available to you. Regardless they add great tartness, sweetness and crunch to this recipe.
Arugula is also an ingredient I have on hand almost always – it’s easily one of my personal favorite greens. It has a slight natural bitterness (which is incredible for digestion and detoxification) and is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals.
Once you have all of these staples prepped, toss everything together with my simple vinaigrette made from dijon, EVOO, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. You can serve and enjoy this right away or even keep it overnight to let all of the flavors meld and be absorbed into the farro.
I hope y’all enjoy this summery salad that’s great for any and all activities you have planned this year!
- 2 cups cooked farro (about 1 cup uncooked)
- 2 heaping cups of arugula
- 1 large Honeycrisp apple, diced
- ½ cup sharp English cheddar cheese, cubed
- ½ cup roasted pistachios
- ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1 small shallot. minced
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- juice of one lemon
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- salt & pepper to taste
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