Are you ready for the best salad ever for this holiday season? This white bean and Farro salad with red wine vinaigrette will wow your guests. Although you can prepare and serve it at any time of the year, the colors make it an excellent choice for the holidays.
- What you need
- About the Key Ingredients
- How to make a White Bean and Farro Salad
- Pro Tips, Helpful Links and Recipe Time Savers
- Try the Recipe, and dive in!
What you need
Below is a quick list of what you need to make a White Bean and Farro Salad recipe. Feel free to substitute to suit preferences.
quick shopping list
- 1 cup of Farro
- 1 can of White Beans
- 1 cup Kale
- 1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
- 1/2 cup Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)
- 4 oz Feta
- 1/2 cup Red White Vinegar
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Dried Parsley
- 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan Salt
- Mixing Bowls, preferably ones that stack and store easily and come with lids
- Measuring Set, I’m sharing these specifically as I absolute love them!
About the Key Ingredients
Before we get busy preparing, I will guide you through some of the key ingredients. Some of you might already know Farro and white beans. Still, others might not be as familiar with them, so I will do a short introduction to these wonderful grains.
Beans are classified as legumes, and they come in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and flavors. They usually grow inside a pod, like peas, and are high in plant protein, iron, and folates. They can even help you lose weight due to their high fiber and protein content and low-calorie count. Although low carb dieters would rather stay away from them because they are high in carbs, the rest can enjoy their high content of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Since beans are easy to prepare and go with almost anything. You can enjoy them as a main dish, in a casserole, in salads, and many more vegan recipes.
This is a grain, like wheat, that had been forgotten for a while. Now that it’s back in the shelves, they call it an ancient grain mainly because it has been around for centuries, but its high nutrient content has always been recognized.
- It is very nutritious
- It contains more fiber than most popular grains
- It contains a wide range of Healthy Antioxidants
- It’s a great source of protein, compared to many other plant foods
- It’s a weight loss friendly food
- Not suitable for people with Celiac disease
- Not suitable for people with gluten sensitivity
Just as beans, Farro is high in protein, iron, and fiber. It retains it’s consistency after cooking and has a nutty flavor. Please keep in mind that although highly nutritional, Farro, just as wheat, contains gluten. You can find Farro in whole grain, pearled and semi-pearled. This means you can get it with all the protein from the peel, with half the peel and totally clean.
Now, you must know what red wine vinegar is, right? I use this in a lot of dressings, and when I need a quick acidic boost to help with balance. I love using red wine vinegar to help break down and unravel herbs’ full flavor profile. This helps sauces and dressings mingle and release all of their lovely essences. Red wine vinegar has several benefits, including lower blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. As it’s derived from red wine, it also boasts a number of antioxidants.
Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)
And finally, organic pepitas. Pepita means seeds in Spanish. And although there are tons of pepitas out there, the ones used for baking and cooking are the pumpkin pepitas. These seeds are taken out of the pumpkin, washed and cleaned. Then dried under the sun, in the oven, or even fried. If you haven’t tried them, you must! They are delicious alone, as a snack, or over cereals, meat, and salads. Some Latin countries grind them after toasting them and use the powder to flavor fruit like mango and oranges.
How to make a White Bean and Farro Salad
As I said before, beans are an excellent and delicious source of iron, fiber, and vitamins. Even the Mayo Clinic recommends eating beans and offers readers a cooking guide with information on types, preparation and cooking tips. And if you would like to learn more about the wonderful world of beans, I recommend Beans 101 and Beans explained.
Some bean varieties cook rather quickly, but others are tough to soften. White beans will taste better and be less dense if you let them soak all night before cooking. Before cooking, discard the water you soaked them in (it will be very dark from all the iron that beans contain) and replace it with fresh water with almost no salt. This will help you achieve softer grains.
Pro Tips, Helpful Links, And Recipe Time Savers
If you can’t find Farro, the ancient grain, at any of your favorite grocery stores, you might want to try Amazon Pantry. They stock a lot of hard to find organic products and everyday essentials. They also have a wide variety of organic pepitas for sale, just in case you don’t see them at your local store.
If you are using a rice cooker for your Farro, take a look at the ones with highest reviews. You will be able to read all the comments from the clients and decide which is the best for you.
You can also prepare the salad and the vinaigrette ahead of time and place it in a fridge in an airtight container. Flavors will mix and enhance the taste, although you can keep it simple and just make and take.
Or… you can do it extra fresh and add the pepitas and the feta cheese at the end (basically when you are ready to serve), which will add an extra crunch to your plate.
Try this White Bean and Farro Salad and let us know what you think.
White Bean and Farro Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette
- 1 cup Farro Uncooked
- 1 can White Beans Drained and Rinsed
- 1 cup Kale Torn by Hand
- 1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
- 1/2 cup Pepitas Pumpkin Seeds
- 4 oz Feta Crumbled
- 1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
- 1/2 cup Olive Oil Cold Pressed
- 1 tsp Dried Parsley
- 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan Salt Recommended
- Prepare 1 cup Farro as directed in the package.
- While that is cooking, prepare dressing.
- Add all dressing ingredients to a small mixing bowl. Whisk until well combined and refrigerate.
- When Farro is done, rinse with cold water until cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, add Farro, beans, kale, feta*, cranberries, and pepitas.
- Toss until mixed.
- Pour dressing over salad, toss again and serve.
- *to make the night before, leave out feta until right before serving.
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