Bountiful salads seem to be the cooking theme in our kitchen these past couple of weeks. I have fallen madly, deeply in love with big, nutritious and colorful salads. There is something really satisfying and feel good about chopping fresh fruits and vegetables and tossing them with grains and a healthy homemade dressing. I feel like Popeye every time I have a bountiful salad – completely recharged and ready to tackle the world!
One ingredient I’ve particularly enjoyed cooking with is farro. Higher in protein and calcium than quinoa, and less nutty in flavor, farro is a grain that pairs well with just about anything. It can be used as a main or as a side dish and the best part about it? It’s really filling while virtually being fat free!
WHAT IS FARRO?
Farro is a protein and fiber rich grain from the Tuscan region of Italy. In ancient Roman times, farro was known as the ‘Mother of all wheat’ due to its nutritional benefits, and was sometimes used as a form of currency. Farro is sold as a whole, semi-pearled, or pearled grain. Whole farro has slightly higher levels of fiber and iron, but it must soak overnight and cook for almost an hour before eating. Pearled farro – which is what I’m using for this dish – indicates the grains’ hull has been removed, and results in a faster cooking time (around 20 minutes). You can purchase Alessi Farro Perlato (pearled farro) at your local grocery store or in the Alessi Online Store.
This bountiful 8 layer farro salad has it all: apples, pomegranate, cashew nuts, goat cheese, avocado, arugula, meatless chicken and farro. The homemade dressing is just as healthy; made with fat free yogurt, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, lemon thyme and olive oil.
And have I mentioned how delicious it is? Packed with tangy, sweet, savory and nutty flavors, every bite delivers a different taste and makes you want to dig in for more. This is one meal where I finish my plate feeling content and energized! You can prep most of the ingredients for this farro salad ahead of time so little work is needed when dinner time rolls around.
Keep all the ingredients separate until right before serving and enjoy!
Recharge your batteries with this wholesome, bountiful 8 layer farro salad. A powerhouse of health benefits so delicious, you'll be asking for seconds!