This Ancient Grain Salad combines farro and fresh ingredients for the most flavor filled lunch or side dish. Farro Salad comes together in an hour with the perfect homemade dressing and it is so easy to make.
This Farro Ancient Grains Salad is one of my absolute Fall favorites. It's also great for holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, and can be prepped the day ahead with the cranberry sauce with orange juice to save time on the actual holiday.
Thanksgiving gets a little stressful with all the items going into the oven. Pop this farro salad right out the fridge before serving dinner. No need for warming up because it's served cold. Plus, it gives guests a healthy option, opposed to the heavy classic potato and stuffing recipes.
Why You'll Love This Recipe:
- It's really easy to make and the farro can even be cooked in the rice cooker
- No baking required
- Minimal chopping and prep
- Make this salad ahead for lunches during the week or the day before Thanksgiving or Christmas to save time during the busy holiday
Farro-A healthy ancient grain that comes from wheat used frequently in Mediterranean and Italian cuisine. It has a chewy texture similar to barley and is delicious in salads and soups. This recipe uses Ancient Grain Farro, which is also called whole grain. Semi-pearl and pearl farro is a different variation, but can still be used in this recipe.
Red Onion-Minced fine and brings in texture with the crunch. It also offers a bit of peppery flavor and beautiful color to the salad.
Parsley- A must have in this recipe for it's fresh herb taste.
Pecans- Brought in for their buttery taste and for texture. The nuts are chopped fine in this recipe for the best addition.
Dried Cranberries- Used for their tart taste and chewiness. They also look really festive when serving for holiday dinners.
Curry Powder, Olive Oil, White Wine Vinegar, Sugar- Combine to form a simple dressing that splashes the salad without overwhelming it with oil. Curry powder is earthy, warm and the ideal spice for this salad. It might sound different, but it's so delicious and I highly recommend this dressing.
*Full recipe ingredients and quantities can be found in the recipe card below.
Substitutions and Variations:
Not big on curry dressing? Try this Creamy Balsamic Dressing.
The preferred type of farro for this recipe is traditional whole grain, but semi-pearl or pearl can be used too.
Instead of using pecans, walnuts or sliced almonds would be delicious too.
Farro is my ancient grain of choice with this recipe for its chewy barley like texture, but you could use other ancients grains if preferred.
How to Make Ancient Grain Salad:
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Here are the Step by Step Instructions for Farro Ancient Grain Salad.
Step 1: Rinse the farro in a mesh strainer with water, then cook the farro on the stovetop according to the package directions or visit this post on Cooking Farro in a Rice Cooker for an easy way to make it.
Step 2: While the farro is cooking, chop up the parsley, onion and pecans very fine.
Step 3: For the curry dressing, whisk together the curry powder, olive oil, white wine vinegar, sugar, and salt and pepper. Place it in the fridge until the salad is ready to toss.
Step 4: Once the farro is cooked, fluff it with a fork and allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes.
Step 4: Add the farro to a large bowl and top with parsley, pecans, onion and cranberries.
Step 5: Pour over the curry dressing and toss to combine.
Step 6: Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Then, serve and enjoy!
Expert Tips for this Farro Salad:
- Rinsing the farro before cooking removes dust and debris as well as extra starch that can cause the grains to stick together.
- Chop everything up very fine for the best taste.
- Fork fluff the farro rather than stirring to prevent the grains from sticking together. Allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes before mixing with the other ingredients.
- Give the dressing a good shake or whisk before pouring over the farro salad.
No, farro is made from wheat and not gluten free. If you need a gluten free version, substitute the farro with quinoa or wild rice.
This salad can be served warm or cold, but I prefer the cold version.
Store the ancient grain salad in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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