Farro Salad with Cherries, Pine Nuts, Pecans and Roasted Red Onions

Monday, January 21, 2013

Love farro and really don't make it enough. Decided to make this salad for my potluck at work. I am on a renewed health kick since the new year and figured if I make something healthy, I won't ruin my being good with something that's not even worth the calories.

This salad is pretty flexible in terms of what you put in it, so you can get creative.

Ingredients for potluck (this makes a lot so feel free to cut in half or more)
2 cups farro
6 cups water (plus more for soaking)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup pecans
1/2 cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons white balsamic for soaking cherries (plus 2 more for dressing)
1 diced red onion (shallot or white onion is fine also)
1 tablespoon oil (I used grape)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (plus 2 more for dressing)
Salt to taste

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon orange juice (optional)
1 clove crushed garlic

Preparation for Salad:

1) Soak farro in cold water for about 25 minutes. Rinse and drain.

2) Add 6 cups of water to 2 cups of farro. Bring to boil. Cook on low flame for about 1/2 hour. 

3) Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Set aside to cool.

4) Dice your red onion, toss in 1 tablespoon of grape oil or another oil that tolerates high heat. Roast for about 1o minutes at 425. Turn over half way through. Once cook, set aside. You can easily not cook the onion but I figured since this will be served the next day, I would rather cook it through. Once onions are cooled, add to farro.

5) While your onions are roasting, fix up your dried cherries. If they  are large, feel free to cut them in half. Soak them  in 2 tablespoons of white balsamic and 2 tablespoons hot water. Let them sit while onions are cooking. Drain. Add to farro.

6) Toast nuts on a dry skillet about 5 minutes. Watch carefully not to burn. I toasted pine nuts and pecans separately due to different size. Let cool and add to farro.

7) Add salt to taste.

Mix olive oil, white balsamic, orange juice and crushed garlic. If you are eating salad immediately, you can add to salad. If you are serving later, set aside and combine right before eating.

You can garnish with grapes like I did or add a green such as arugula or mustard greens. I did not only because I need this to keep overnight.

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