Mediterranean Farro Salad
There’s something about Mediterranean dishes that just puts my heart at ease. It may be related to the fact that it’s my heritage, but I attribute most of it to my visits to Greece and the Mediterranean back when I graduated high school. Of course nutritionally, I love the focus on healthful eating practices, moving for pleasure and enjoying leisurely meals with loved ones, but my intuitive eating self also swoons over the way this culture puts love and soul into the preperation of meals. Ingredients are simple, but chosen ever so carefully to represent the highest quality- cucumbers, tomatoes, olive oils are paired with a variety of meats, cheese and accompanied by fresh salad or plain yogurt.
This Mediterranean Farro Salad is a less than stellar version of the dishes I enjoyed in my travels to Greece, but represents the similar ingredients that are present in most dishes.
Make prep a breeze by chopping all the ingredients beforehand, then simple toss everything in a bowl and serve.
Mediterranean Farro Salad
1/2 Cup Cooked Farro
1- 15 oz Can Garbanzo Beans, Drained and Rinsed well
½ Cup Red Onion
½ Cup Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
½ Cup Cucumber, Diced
2 oz Feta Cheese, Crumbled
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
½ Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (I used a White Peach, you can choose any!)
Fresh Dill, minced
½ tsp salt and pepper, or to taste
Start off by measuring and rinsing 1/2 cup of farro and placing it into 1.5 cups of water, or stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium- low and let simmer until just tender. Drain any excess water.
Drain and rinse garbanzo beans
Chop, measure and prepare all other ingredients
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, chill to let ingredients combine and serve
Typically, I would buy dried garbanzo beans, soak all day and have them ready to prepare this dish. However, with a toddler in tow, I always keep at least 2 canned beans on hand for convenience. Just be sure to do the following when using canned beans:
Opt for beans in tetrapacks versus cans, cans have been shown to contain BPA
If you cannot find tetrapacks, look for BPA Free cans such as Eden Food's
When using packaged beans, always pour into a bowl and rinse them well, this reduces the amount of sodium by half
Choosing cherry tomatoes gives a sweeter taste, and provides more fiber due to the smaller surface area of the sweet little tomatoes!
Using fresh herbs in Mediterranean culture is associated with reducing ailments such as stomach aches or coughs
I love about this recipe because its so versatile, just grab the basics and you can add variety and modify as you like. One of the things I love to do when I create a recipe is to repurpose it as a “round two” meal, meaning I can use it to make an entirely different meal to gain some variety.
Round Two Recipe Suggestions
Serve with whole grain crackers or pita bread and hummus for a great lunch to go the next day
Grill some protein such as salmon or chicken to slice up on top
Pile it high upon a bed of fresh greens such as peppery arugula or spinach