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Winter Farro Salad

January 25 2013 - 1:00 AM

I’ve learned that sometimes the best salads don’t have any lettuce. Especially in the winter, a cold plate of lettuce just doesn’t always sound appetizing. I love salads that have some substance to them. Plenty of vegetables, grains and a unique combination of flavors. This farro salad is just that.

Farro is the new trendy grain that has been popping up on restaurant menus and in supermarket aisles. Trader Joe’s now markets quick-cooking farro, which is what I used for my salad. Farro looks like oatmeal when cooked but has a similar taste to a risotto with a nutty undertone. It’s full of fiber, low in gluten and has tons of vitamins. It’s the perfect vehicle for a salad and an easy side for any meal.

I chose to use the vegetables I had in my kitchen, and you can substitute whatever you have on hand. I think it’s best to use cooked vegetables so you can serve this salad warm as well as cold. I loved the combination of colors from the charred, orange carrots, deep green kale and specks of sundried tomatoes. You get some sweetness from the carrots, a hearty flavor from the mushroom and a hint of earthiness from the silky kale. The sundried tomatoes are chewy and hold up well in the salad.

The dressing really brings everything together, and I would highly recommend making it. It’s full of basil, nutty parmesan and has some great creaminess from the yogurt. The honey helps cut a bit of the bitterness from the herbs, and it’s a perfect compliment to this sweeter salad. It isn’t easy to make, yet it’s not that hands on. Just throw your veggies in the oven while your farro cooks, and you’ll have a worthwhile salad.

Get the full Warm Winter Farro Salad Recipe here and see the Creamy Basil Dressing recipe here >