Thursday, January 24, 2013

Warm Winter Farro Salad



When I first got married  I used to ask my husband if he wanted salad with dinner, the answer was usually "no." After a few years I wised up and started serving him salad without asking first. But often he didn't eat much of it, despite my raving "Have some salad! It's delicious!"  Lately I've hit upon a solution. I serve salad as a main dish, or pile everything onto it so it's an integral part of the meal. Main dish salads, if only someone had told me 12 years ago! 

During the Winter or whenever it's cold outside salads, either side salads or main dish salads are not top of mind, but they should be. Just as Summer is the perfect time for cold soup, Winter is the ideal season to try a warm salad. I like to start with a cooked grain like farro or quinoa then use seasonal fruits or vegetables and add some heartier elements too, in this case feta cheese and almonds. 

I have to admit, this salad sounds a bit like a parody, it's filled with trendy ingredients and super foods, all that's missing is a little chocolate and kale! I love the sunny colors and hearty crunch to this salad, it's kind of the antithesis of a tossed green salad all floppy and wilted. It's bright and cheerful and yet very hearty. I like combination of citrus, pomegranate, almonds and feta with a touch of ginger but feel free to change up the ingredients in the salad or use a different dressing or spice if you prefer. 

Warm Winter Farro Salad
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup pearled farro
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1 cup diced feta, about 6 ounces
1 cup toasted sliced almonds
2 tangerines peeled and segments cut in half 
3/4 cup sliced celery about 2-3 stalks
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions

Bring a pot of water to boil and add the farro, cook for 10- 15 minutes or until al dente (or cook according to package instructions). In a bowl combine the feta, almonds, tangerines (remove any seeds) and celery. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil and ginger in a bowl. 

When the farro is cooked, drain it and toss it in a bowl with the other ingredients and dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Enjoy!