Feb 28
2013

Farro Salad Recipe with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Cashews

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Farro Salad Recipe with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Cashews #salad #vegetarian #recipe
This robust whole grain salad incorporates slightly chewy farro with fresh spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, cashews and a light lemon dressing.

“Farro?! What’s that?” inquired my boys. I know, I know. First it was quinoa, then it was barley, and now I’m pushing this new whole grain on them. Well, it’s not actually new. In fact, farro has been showing up in Italian, North African and Middle Eastern cuisine for hundred, if not thousands, of years. It’s been likened to spelt or wheat berries, but the truth is that farro is a plant all of its own.

So, what the heck do you do with farro, and why do you want to incorporate this tender, chewy grain into your diet?

Let’s answer the second question first. Rich in fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, B, C and E, farro is a virtual powerhouse of “good health”. Since farro is a complex carbohydrate, it breaks down slowly and keeps you feeling full for hours. Work the light brown grain into everything from soups to salads and puddings to “risotto”s.

Farro Salad Recipe with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Cashews #salad #vegetarian #recipe

A couple of years ago, farro was next to impossible to find in Salt Lake City. Now it’s popping up in various markets, including at Whole Foods, in their bulk food section. When I was browsing through our one and only Trader Joe’s store, I came across their 10-minute farro, which has been par-cooked. The Trader Joe’s site claims that this process preserves the nutritive properties of the grain. Say it’s so!

After 10 minutes of simmering the farro is ready to go. For this salad, I let the cooked grain cool to room temperature, then tossed it with sliced sun-dried tomatoes, crunchy raw cashew nuts, fresh spinach leaves and a tangy lemon vinaigrette. It’s the perfect side dish for a simply broiled salmon fillet or grilled chicken thighs.

The recipe:

The salad:

Combine the farro and water in a small saucepan set over high heat. Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and let the farro simmer until tender (10 minutes for quick-cooking and about 25 minutes for regular farro). Remove from the heat, let the farro rest for 5 minutes, then pour off extra water and fluff with a fork.

Farro Salad Recipe with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Cashews #salad #vegetarian #recipe

Transfer the farro to a serving and let it cool to room temperature.

FarrFarro Salad Recipe with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Cashews #salad #vegetarian #recipe

When the farro is cool, stir in the spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, cashews and basil.

The dressing:

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil salt and pepper until combined.

Farro Salad Recipe with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Cashews #salad #vegetarian #recipe

Pour the dressing over the farro salad and toss to coat. Serve.

Farro Salad Recipe with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Cashews #salad #vegetarian #recipe

Other recipes using whole grains:

Whole Grain Recipes
Cookin’ Canuck’s Baked Turkey, Quinoa & Zucchini Meatballs in Lettuce Wraps
Cookin’ Canuck’s Barley Stew with Caramelized Onions, White Beans & Spinach
Family Fresh Cooking’s Sweet Dumpling Squash with Quinoa, Bacon & Cheese
Kitchen Confidante’s Barley Risotto with Artichokes & Asparagus
Brooklyn Supper’s Farro Salad with Blood Orange, Kumquat & Kale

Farro Salad Recipe with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Cashews

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 6

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Calories per serving: 183.5 cal (complete nutritional info listed below)

Fat per serving: 7.5g

Farro Salad Recipe with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Spinach & Cashews

From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com

Ingredients

    The salad:
  • 1 cup farro
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 oz. sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil), thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 cups (packed) fresh spinach, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews, split in half
  • 5 large basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • The dressing:
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground pepper

Instructions

    The salad:
  1. Combine the farro and water in a small saucepan set over high heat. Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and let the farro simmer until tender (10 minutes for quick-cooking and about 25 minutes for regular farro). Remove from the heat, let the farro rest for 5 minutes, then pour off extra water and fluff with a fork.
  2. Transfer the farro to a serving and let it cool to room temperature.
  3. When the farro is cool, stir in the spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, cashews and basil.
  4. The dressing:
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil salt and pepper until combined.
  6. Pour the dressing over the farro salad and toss to coat. Serve.

Notes

Calories 183.5 / Total Fat 7.5g / Saturated Fat 1g / Cholesterol 0mg / Sodium 70.6mg / Total Carbohydrates 24.2g / Fiber 2.4g / Sugars 2g / Protein 5.3g / WW (Old Points) 4 / WW (Points+) 5

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar February 28, 2013 at 6:52 am

This salad is totally calling my name! What a fabulous idea!

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2 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) February 28, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Thanks, Katrina! I was surprised by how much I loved these flavors together.

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3 Kristi Rimkus February 28, 2013 at 7:31 am

I recently discovered farro in a magazine and picked up the same bag from Trader Joe’s. We really enjoyed it in a salad with asparagus, artichoke hearts and feta. It has such a wonderful nutty taste and nice texture for a salad. Can’t wait to this!

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4 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) February 28, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I’ll have to try that combination, Kristi. It sounds wonderful!

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5 Cassie | Bake Your Day February 28, 2013 at 7:39 am

Great mixture of flavors, Dara! I could probably eat this every day.

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6 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) February 28, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Me too, Cassie. Thank you.

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7 Bev @ Bev Cooks February 28, 2013 at 7:48 am

I so so so so so so love this. So.

So.

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8 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) February 28, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Thanks, Bev. You “so” said it!

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9 claire @ the realistic nutritionist February 28, 2013 at 8:20 am

Looks amazing Dara!! So light and flavorful!

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10 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) February 28, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Thanks, Claire. The lemon-y flavor of the vinaigrette is getting me excited for spring.

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11 Brianna February 28, 2013 at 8:38 am

Uh….This recipe has my husband Grey’s name written all over it! Fresh ingredients? Check. Whole grains? Double Check. Thanks for posting this Dara! … I’m putting it on this weeks’ menu. :)

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12 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) February 28, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Perfect! I hope Grey enjoys it.

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13 Kevin @ Closet Cooking February 28, 2013 at 9:31 am

Now this is my kind of salad; both tasty and healthy!

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14 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) February 28, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Thanks, Kevin. This is the kind of salad that holds me through the afternoon.

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15 Gerry @ Foodness Gracious February 28, 2013 at 9:40 am

I saw these at my TJ’s recently, I have to get some and try working it in to a veggie burger!

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16 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) February 28, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Ooo, yes. I hope to see that on your site soon.

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17 Carla @ Carlas Confections February 28, 2013 at 9:49 am

I have really been loving adding these new grains into our foods. I cant wait to try farro! This salad looks so amazing :)

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18 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) February 28, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Thanks, Carla. I’m so excited to finally have access to farro. I know it will be making its way into many of our meals.

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19 sue {munchkin munchies} February 28, 2013 at 9:53 am

Looks so fresh and delicious and perfect for Spring!

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20 Cathy R February 28, 2013 at 10:42 am

Thanks! I bought some farro about a year ago and haven’t ever used it!

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21 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) February 28, 2013 at 2:51 pm

You sound like me. I’m sure I have several bags of random grains lurking at the back of my pantry.

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22 kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts February 28, 2013 at 10:43 am

I was reading on Nosh My Way about farro so I added it to my Trader Joe’s shopping list. Then I was overcome with a craving for bagels, lox and cream cheese with capers and red onion (stay with me here, it will make sense) and the bagel place is near the Trader Joe’s so I swung by–and picked up lox and red onion since I already had capers and cream cheese at home.
I also, just 2 hours ago, picked up my own blue bag of farro. I’d planned on making taco rice tonight, since I have leftover taco meat, but Dara your salad has convinced me that I’m going to make Taco Farro instead! It’s kinda fun to say, as well.

Thanks!

And the yellow base under the bowl–I have a blue dishcloth crocheted or knitted by my friend Heather. I hope you got it from your friend or made it yourself–every time I see my blue cloth I think of my friend and her kindness.

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23 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) February 28, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Now I’m craving lox and bagels! I hope you enjoy your taco farro…what a great idea! And yes, a dear friend did knit that potholder for me. I have blue and orange ones, too, and just love them.

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24 Laura (Tutti Dolci) February 28, 2013 at 10:44 am

I love sun-dried tomatoes, this is my kind of salad!

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25 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) February 28, 2013 at 2:53 pm

I feel the same way about sun-dried tomatoes, Laura. I could happily incorporate them into every meal.

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26 Shea @ Dixie Chik Cooks February 28, 2013 at 10:50 am

Looks delicious! I love farro :)

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27 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) February 28, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Thanks, Shea. Farro is definitely a new favorite of mine.

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28 Amanda February 28, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Gorgeous Dara!! Wish I was eating this for lunch! :)

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29 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) February 28, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Come back to SLC and I’ll serve some up for you!

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30 Paula - bell'alimento March 1, 2013 at 7:44 am

I heart Farro. So sooooo good.

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31 Valerie March 1, 2013 at 6:47 pm

Lovely dish! I’m always on the lookout for healthier ways to satisfy my carb. addiction. :)

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32 Nicole @ youngbrokeandhungry March 1, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Farro is one of those grains I love to cook with but am stumped when it comes to pairing it with different ingredients. Can’t wait to try this salad! It sounds so refreshing and light.

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33 Dara @how_to_eat March 2, 2013 at 6:43 am

I absolutely love the chewiness of farro. This combination looks amazing! Can’t wait to try! I bet it would also make a great main dish topped with some chicken, salmon, or tofu. Even a can of beans thrown in. Perfect lunch!

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34 Oliver Denton March 4, 2013 at 6:02 am

Looks lovely – I’m really interested in trying out new grains (I always default to barley). Not sure if the French supermarkets will have caught on to farro yet though…

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35 shelly (cookies and cups) March 4, 2013 at 7:00 am

I need this today for lunch! I’ve never tried farro, but I am adding it to the shopping list!

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36 Bryan March 6, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Just had to pop in here and say that I made this recipe last night and both my husband and I *loved* it! I made it into an entree, though, by making more farro (I used the entire package of TJ’s 10-minute Farro, so about 1 1/2 cups) and bumping up the amount of basil, cashews, tomatoes, spinach and vinaigrette. Oh, and I cut a block of tofu into medium-sized cubes and sauteed them a bit before adding to the final product. Anyway, we loved it so much I’m making it again tonight. Thanks for the great recipe!

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37 Shar|Tickled Red March 6, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Looks delish! I have not tried farro yet, you’ve inspired me :D

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