Grain + vegetable + protein = an amazingly easy, tasty and healthy salad.
I make a lot of these types of salads. I even blogged one not too long ago. I hesitated sharing this one, but it’s so good, SO GOOD, that I just had to share.
The thing I love about these salads is that they pack a lot of flavor. They’re also full of vegetables, so I feel good eating a big bowl. Or two. And they’re easily adaptable. Use what grain(s) you like. Use what vegetables you like. Add chopped chicken for protein or garbanzo beans to make it vegetarian or quinoa to make it gluten-free.
There are two tips to make these salads really stand out. The first is to season everything as you go. The second is a well-seasoned vinaigrette. Please make your own. The vinaigrette I use for this salad comes from Giada De Laurentiis. Many, many years ago, I watched her (on Everyday Italian) make a curry vinaigrette to top a carrot and pear salad. While that particular fruit/vegetable combination didn’t knock my socks off, the vinaigrette did. If you’re not a fan of curry, this vinaigrette is not for you. If you are a fan, you’ll love it and want to use it all the time.
So here’s another salad recipe. This is the combination I used this time, but I’ve made it before with other ingredients. I often make it with whole wheat couscous for the grain. Sometimes, I’ll chop a cucumber and throw it in there. Oftentimes, I use golden raisins for a little sweetness. One big thing I did differently this time was roasting the vegetables first and, wow, was that a good idea. It’s not necessary, but if you have 20 minutes, I recommend it.
Curried Roasted Vegetable Farro Salad
Cook 1 cup of farro according to package directions, drain and place in a large bowl
2 carrots, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup garbazno beans
1 small handful of cilantro, chopped
1 small handful of dried cherries
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 450. Toss the carrots and red pepper in a bowl with oil (whatever you have. I like to use neutral oils when roasting such as grapeseed), about a 1/4 teaspoon of curry powder and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet for 20 minutes, turning once or twice.
While the vegetables roast, make the vinaigrette.
When the vegetables are done, add to the bowl with the farro, toss in 1 cup of garbanzo beans, a handful of dried cherries and the cilantro. Pour the vinaigrette over the mixture and stir to coat.
Refrigerate or serve at room temperature (I like it at room temp).
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 a small shallot, chopped
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In a blender combine the white wine, curry powder, shallot, honey, salt and pepper and blend to combine. With the machine running add the olive oil.