Herbed Farro Salad With Pomegranate and Feta

Herbed Farro Salad
Stephanie Lang, MS, RDN, CDN
Total Time 75 min
Prep 15 min, Cook 60 min
Yield 6, 1.25 cup portions (470 cals)

Pomegranates contain antioxidant and anti-atherosclerotic 'heart healthy' properties due to the presence of multiple polyphenols including tannins, flavonols, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid. The ruby red seeds are popular in many Mediterranean-style savory meals and are seen in recipes with ingredients like chicken, yogurt, or eggplant.

This recipe combines the sweet and crunchy pomegranate seeds, also known as arils, with a salty and creamy feta cheese, bright green parsley, toasted walnuts, and a protein-and-fiber rich farro. The dressing is made with olive oil, pressed garlic, and pomegranate molasses. Pomegranate molasses is a thick, syrup-like ingredient made from reduced pomegranate juice. It helps intensify the flavor of food without the need for additional salt or sugar.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked farro, cooled to room temperature
  • 1 small garlic clove, pressed or crushed and chopped into a paste
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Preparation

  1. Place the cooked farro in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the pressed garlic, pomegranate molasses, and olive oil in a small bowl, pour it over the farro, and mix until the farro is evenly coated.
  3. Toast the chopped walnuts on a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant and just starting to brown, about 4 to 6 minutes. Let cool on a plate.
  4. Add the cooled walnuts, chopped parsley, pomegranate arils, and feta cheese to the farro mixture and toss until combined.

    Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

    If you are looking to decrease the fat content in the dressing, use half the amount of olive oil. You will still get to enjoy some of the mouthfeel of the olive oil, and the walnuts also provide a source of healthy fat.

    For a flavor variation, swap out half of the parsley for chopped fresh mint. To make this salad gluten-free, use 3 cups cooked quinoa, which is also full of fiber and protein, instead of the farro. Plus, quinoa only takes 15 minutes to cook.

    Cooking and Serving Tips

    Cook your farro ahead of time so that you can just toss your salad together in under 15 minutes. Depending on the type of farro you purchase, it could take anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 1/2 hours to cook. Whole grain farro requires longer cooking times or overnight soaking; semi-pearled farro has part of the bran removed but still contains some fiber; pearled farro has no bran at all and takes the least time to cook.

    Be sure to read your package instructions carefully before cooking. Generally, farro cooks in a 1:3 ratio of farro to liquid, but you can always be safe by adding more liquid to the pot and draining off the excess at the end of cooking.

    To take the seeds out of a pomegranate, cut off the top and bottom tips and using a paring knife, score the pomegranate around the outer sides.

    Carefully open up the pomegranate to reveal the inner seeds, remove them from the membrane, and peel away any pith. Place the seeds into a bowl.

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