Warm Farro Salad with Cranberries and Spinach
This simple winter whole grain side dish is made with warm farro, dried cranberries, nuts, spinach, and herbs. It would be perfect as a Thanksgiving or Christmas side dish.
Like our comprehensive articles all about how to cook Lentils, Quinoa, Chickpeas, Tofu, and Tempeh, a post all about farro is coming up very soon. But first, we are sharing this winter farro recipe. It makes an excellent side dish, or you could make it a meal by topping it with your favorite protein, such as crumbled goat cheese and more nuts, roasted chickpeas, or a portobello mushroom steak.
Although we’ll be talking all about farro in another post, it’s worth mentioning now that farro is not a gluten-free food. If you are sensitive to gluten, you may prefer this Chickpea Quinoa Salad.
Step 1: Cook the Farro
Bring 3 cups of water and a little salt to a boil, then add the farro. Farro can be found whole, semi-pearled, pearled, or quick-cooking. This can be confusing, as they all have varying cook times. Follow the package directions to cook. You’ll know it’s done when it’s al dente – tender, but still with a bit of chew.
Step 2: Sauté the Shallots
Sauté the shallots in a bit of olive oil or butter, or both for flavor.
Step 3: Add Garlic and Cranberries
As you can see in the image above, I also tried this recipe with some apple and sage, but preferred it without.
- 1 cup farro
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
- Rinse farro until water is clear. Bring 3 cups of fresh water and salt to a simmer.
- Add the farro, and cook until tender but still chewy, according to package directions, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the shallots and saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cranberries and saute another minute longer.
- Drain the farro and add to the skillet. Remove from heat. Stir in the spinach until it just begins to wilt.
- Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with nuts and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
If you feel this dish needs a little acid, try adding some apple cider vinegar, to taste (about 1 tablespoon).
Crumbled soft goat-style cheese would be a tasty addition.
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated: All-Time Best Thanksgiving Recipes
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 181 Total Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 374mg Carbohydrates: 24g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 9g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 4g