Recharge your batteries with this wholesome bountiful 8 layer farro salad. A powerhouse of health benefits so delicious, you’ll be asking for seconds! Thank you Alessi for sponsoring this post!
Bountiful 8 Layer Farro Salad
Bountiful salads seem to be the cooking theme in our kitchen these past couple of weeks. I have fallen madly, deeply in love with big, nutritious and colorful salads. There is something really satisfying and feel good about chopping fresh fruits and vegetables and tossing them with grains and a healthy homemade dressing. I feel like Popeye every time I have a bountiful salad – completely recharged and ready to tackle the world!
One ingredient I’ve particularly enjoyed cooking with is farro. Higher in protein and calcium than quinoa, and less nutty in flavor, farro is a grain that pairs well with just about anything. It can be used as a main or as a side dish and the best part about it? It’s really filling while virtually being fat free!
What is farro?
Farro is a protein and fiber rich grain from the Tuscan region of Italy. In ancient Roman times, farro was known as the ‘Mother of all wheat’ due to its nutritional benefits, and was sometimes used as a form of currency. Farro is sold as a whole, semi-pearled, or pearled grain. Whole farro has slightly higher levels of fiber and iron, but it must soak overnight and cook for almost an hour before eating. Pearled farro – which is what I’m using for this dish – indicates the grains’ hull has been removed, and results in a faster cooking time (around 20 minutes). You can purchase Alessi Farro Perlato (pearled farro) at your local grocery store or online.
This bountiful 8 layer farro salad has it all: apples, pomegranate, cashew nuts, goat cheese, avocado, arugula, meatless chicken and farro. The homemade dressing is just as healthy; made with fat free yogurt, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, lemon thyme and olive oil.
And have I mentioned how delicious it is? Packed with tangy, sweet, savory and nutty flavors, every bite delivers a different taste and makes you want to dig in for more. This is one meal where I finish my plate feeling content and energized! You can prep most of the ingredients for this farro salad ahead of time so little work is needed when dinner time rolls around.
Keep all the ingredients separate until right before serving and enjoy!
Did you like this Bountiful 8 Layer Farro Salad Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 cup Alessi Farro Perlato, dry
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 5oz meatless chicken cutlets or boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
- ½ cup cashew nuts
- ½ cup crumbled goats cheese
- 1 avocado, peeled, cored and sliced into small bite size pieces
- ½ cup cashew nuts
- Seeds from 1 pomegranate
- For the creamy dressing:
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons fat free Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon thyme leaves
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Put farro in a pot with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until most of the water has been absorbed.
- Drain farro using a colander, shake well to remove as much water as possible and set aside.
- In a pan over medium high heat, add olive oil and chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Assembling the salad:
- In a tall flat bowl, start by placing the arugula at the bottom of the bowl. Top with farro and continue adding layers in the following order: cashews, goat cheese, avocado, meatless chicken, apples and pomegranate.
- For the dressing:
- Put all the ingredient in a jar and tightly close the lid. Shake vigorously until the mixture has emulsified. Set aside.
- Serve on plates and drizzle a little dressing on top before serving.