Farro Salad

Farro is an extremely nutritious wheat grain that is an excellent source of protein, fiber and nutrients. It’s a healthy and flavorful alternative to barley or rice, and makes for a very satisfying salad.

There are two approaches to this recipe: for a heartier version, sauté both the mushrooms and the spinach in a little olive oil before adding to the salad. For a lighter version, leave both of them raw. Both are great; it’s just enough of a slight variation to make them feel very different.

1 cup farro, cooked ahead of time: add the farro to a large pot of boiling salted water, reduce the heat to medium-high, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until it reaches the desired doneness. I like it cooked so that it is still a bit al dente. Drain and allow to cool.

8 oz. mushrooms, fresh or sautéed

½ lb. asparagus, sliced into bite-sized pieces, blanched in boiling water for 2-3 minutes and drained

½ lb. feta cheese, diced or crumbled

2-3 cups spinach, fresh or sautéed (*If sautéing, increase the amount to 4 cups as it will cook down quite a bit).

1 can white beans (navy, great northern, cannellini are each great choices), drained

2 Tb capers

½ a red onion, diced

½ cup roasted red peppers, diced

1 cup crumbled cooked bacon (optional)

For the dressing:

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

2/3 cup olive oil

1 Tb dried oregano,

3-4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and crushed

Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together the dressing ingredients and then toss together with the salad ingredients.

Serves 4 as a main course, 6 as a side