This beautiful healthy Mediterranean Farro Salad is extremely satisfying and it has an amazing depth of flavors! There is an array of textures going on with the combination of the slightly chewy farro, crunchy veggies and creamy fresh mozzarella. You can leave out the cheese if you want to keep it vegan. The vinaigrette adds a significant amount of flavor so you won’t lose flavor if you lose the cheese. You can serve it as either a side or as a main dish with the addition of some crusty bread.
I am really psyched right now because Robby and I are going on a road trip to visit my mom in Hood River, Oregon to celebrate our one-year anniversary. Hood River was my home for many years and was the location where I opened my restaurant Purple Rocks. We rented a cute studio close to town we found on Airbnb. I haven’t been back for 8 years. I can’t believe how fast time flies. I am looking forward to showing Robby around Hood River and introducing him to my friends and all the cool things to see and do in the area. My friends tell me a lot has changed since I left and I am very excited to try some of the new restaurants, wineries and breweries. The weather can be a bit iffy this time of the year. So, I have my fingers crossed that there will be some sun or at least that it will not rain during our entire stay, but we are ok with it either way. As an added bonus, we are stopping over in Ashland Oregon along the way for one night both ways. I have never been to Ashland so I’m excited to check it out.
- 1 1/2 Cups Dried Farro – 3 Cups Cooked
- 6 Cups Filtered Water
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1/2 Cup Toasted Walnuts – or to taste
- 2 Cup Purple Kale – chopped into small pieces
- 1 Fennel Bulb – about 1 1/2 Cups – stalks removed – bulb quartered – thinly sliced – diced
- 2/3 Cup Pomegranate Seeds – or to taste
- 1/2 Cup Red Cabbage – minced – or to taste
- 1/2 Cup French Breakfast Radishes – thinly sliced – or to taste
- 1/2 Cup Fennel Stalks – thinly sliced – or to taste
- 1 Container Mini Fresh Mozzarella Balls – sliced and quartered
- Parmesan Cheese – peels (use peeler) – to taste
- 2 Tablespoons Sun-dried Tomatoes – minced – optional
Toasted Walnut Caper Vinaigrette
- 1/4 Cup Toasted Walnuts
- 1/2 Cup Roasted Walnut Oil
- 1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Capers – drained
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
- 1 Tablespoons Champagne Vinegar
- 1 Small Garlic Clove – minced
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Shallot
- 1/4 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- Dash Pepper
- Fennel Fronds
In a medium saucepan, add the farro, water and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a medium heat and cook, uncovered, until tender. About 30 to 35 minutes. Drain and let cool completely. It should be a little chewy but not hard or mushy.
While farro is cooking, start toasting the walnuts for the vinaigrette and salad.
Preheat oven to 375°F and spread the walnuts on a baking sheet. Roast walnuts until they start to brown and smell toasted about 7 to 10 minutes. Make sure and check them frequently so they don’t burn.
In a food processor, add the walnuts and grind to a fine crumble. Add all the other ingredients and turn on until smooth.
Prep all the vegetables and cheese. Set aside some fennel fronds for garnishing.
In a large bowl, massage the kale with a drizzle of olive oil and then mix in the farro. You can either spread the farro and kale onto a large plate or bowl and then sprinkle on all the vegetables and cheese or just mix everything together in a large bowl. Serve the dressing on the side. Garnish with fennel fronds.
Farro has four times as much fiber than brown rice. Fiber helps reduce the risk of heart problems, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. Farro is really high in Iron and also rich in protein, magnesium, zinc, vitamins B and E. It is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates that stimulate the immune system with its high antioxidant content.
Kale is low in calories, high in fiber and it is a loaded with antioxidants which help detox the liver. It is also an anti-inflammatory with omega-3 fatty acids, which is helpful for arthritis, joint pain and asthma. Kale has more Iron than beef and more calcium than milk which helps prevents osteoporosis, joint flexibility and helps maintain normal bone health. It is great for cardiovascular support that helps in lowering cholesterol. It is really high in vitamin A, C, and super high in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K (anyone taking anticoagulants should avoid kale because the high level of vitamin K that may interfere with the drugs.) More on kale