This recipe from Cooking Light is actually supposed to be a side dish. But I thought it would make a great summer lunch! I have been looking for something that can be made the night beforehand and transports easily so this salad seemed perfect. I added in some blueberries because my boyfriend is allergic to cherries and I wanted him to still be able to enjoy a fruit within the salad (he’s fine with cherries being in something, he just has to pick them out).
- 5 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked farro
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 3/4 pound sweet cherries, pitted and halved (about 2 cups)
- 1/3 cup blueberries
- 2/3 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted
- 1/4 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- the juice of one lemon (about 2-3 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey (or agave nectar)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
I love cherries, but pitting them can be a real task. To make the pitting process easier (and dare I say it, fun), I use the OXO Cherry & Olive Pitter. You just remove the stem, line up the cherry and squeeze. The pit pops down out the bottom. There is even a splatter shield to to prevent being sprayed by the juices during the pitting (unpitting?). It’s also dishwasher safe 🙂 I tried to take step-by-step photos using it, but I couldn’t manage to “catch” the pit flying out the bottom. Those little guys must move fast!
To make the farro, bring 5 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. While waiting for the water to come to a boil, pit and halve yours cherries and chop your celery.
Add the farro and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the boiling water. Cook for 15 minutes or until al dente. Drain and let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
While the farro cools, combine the halved cherries, blueberries, and celery in a large bowl.
Add the walnuts to the saucepan you used for the farro and toast for about 1 minute over medium high heat (you’ll begin to smell them toasting, that is how you’ll know they are done). Add the walnuts to the large bowl.
Add the cooled farro to the large bowl along with the parsley and mix gently to combine.
Combine the lemon juice, whole-grain mustard, honey, ground pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring with a whisk. (You can also add the ingredients to a jar with a lid and shake to combine, or you can use a dressing shaker).
Add the olive oil, constantly stirring with a whisk until combined (also can be done in your trusty jar/dressing shaker).
Pour the dressing over the farro salad and mix to combine.
There is a lot of flavor and textures in this dish which I loved! Try to get a little bit of each ingredient in each bite, they each bring something different to the taste.
This dish is great too because farro fills you up pretty quickly — it’s high in fiber and is a good source of protein. This salad is a great addition to your next picnic or barbecue as well, the vegetarians will thank you!
Note: Farro is not gluten-free although it is lower in gluten than other grains. This recipe is also not vegan due to the honey in the dressing. To make this recipe vegan, substitute in agave nectar.