Baked farro Mediterranean salad

Do you ever order a salad for lunch? Around you, people are ordering hamburgers, fries, and milkshakes. The waiter asks you what you’d like and you say, in a very saintly manner, “I’ll just have the salad with grilled chicken, hold the cheese, dressing on the side.” You sit there and eat your salad, feeling quite proud of yourself.

Two hours later you’re sitting at your desk, and all you can think about is that apple fritter that’s in the lobby coffee shop. You saw it this morning as you walked in. You could have sworn it winked at you.

So you play a game with yourself. If it’s still there, it’s destiny. You have to have it. If it’s not there, it’s just the universe telling you that you didn’t need it anyway. And 30 minutes later, you've stuffed your face with the sugary pastry, in a shame spiral.

If you want to avoid the above scenario, try adding grains to your salad. The addition of a grain helps you stay full for longer. Farro is one of my favorites. It is an Italian grain that has more fiber and protein than rice. It has a nutty flavor and a toothsome texture. Most recipes call for it to be cooked on the stovetop, but mine never turns out quite right, so I prefer cooking it in the oven for an hour. It’s super easy and a batch can last all week! The Greek dressing makes enough for leftovers and it’s a great addition to all sorts of tasty salads and such.

Servings: 6

Ingredients and Directions

Best Greek Dressing

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients in a jar and shake to combine.

Note: This recipe makes 1 1/2 cups. Only 1/2 cup is needed for the salad. Store leftover dressing in a sealed jar in the fridge. 

Baked Farro

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups farro
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon butter, olive oil, or vegan butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Place farro in a baking dish with an oven-safe cover. In a medium sauce pan, bring water, salt, and butter (or oil) to a boil. Pour over farro. Cover and cook for one hour. Fluff with fork. 

Greek Greens and Grains

Ingredients

  • 2 cucumbers, chopped
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • one 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
  • Olives, optional
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 batch of baked farro
  • 1/2 cup of Best Greek Dressing
  • 1/2 cup shaved parmesan, optional

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cucumbers, tomatoes, cannellini beans, chopped parsley, and olives (optional). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. On each plate, place a pile of spinach, top with about 1/2 cup of the farro, and then top with your cucumber mix. Drizzle with Best Greek dressing and some shaved parmesan (optional).

Nutrition Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 330
  • Total fat: 13 g
  • Saturated fat: 2.5 g
  • Sodium: 590 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 49 g
  • Dietary fiber: 9 g
  • Sugars: 4 g
  • Protein: 11 g

Note: Nutrition information does not include olives or shaved parmesan.

Contributor

Amanda Bloom, RN

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