This post is sponsored by iHerb. As always, the opinions and text are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep My Sequined Life going!
This Mediterranean farro salad includes cannellini beans, pine nuts, figs, and more in a hearty dish that works beautifully as a side dish or light meal. Served straight from the fridge or at room temperature, this nutritious farro salad features several prep-ahead elements to make it a great choice for entertaining.
I am ridiculously excited to share this farro salad with you today. It's a hearty grain salad that's at its best straight from the fridge or at room temperature, and it features a satisfying mix of flavors and textures perfect for the warmer weather months.
As soon as my first batch was gone, I immediately made a second. And we didn't even host a gathering! My husband and I can really put a dent in some farro salad, though it's not hard to do when it works for lunch, part of dinner, a snack...
I ordered most of the ingredients for this recipe outside of fresh herbs and vegetables from iHerb (affiliate link). Have you ordered from them before? If not, iHerb is an online retailer that carries over 30,000 natural products and ships to over 150 countries.
Their orders are shipped from climate-controlled distribution centers to help ensure the quality of your products, and iHerb offers 24/7 customer service available in 10 different languages. Because sometimes you just want to chat with a representative, ask your question, get your answer, place your order, and cross 'order groceries' off your to-do list as efficiently as possible. iHerb makes that happen.
What I love about ordering from iHerb is that I can buy a variety of ingredients that can be hard to find elsewhere in one fell swoop. I know that I'm lucky to live near a big city with many shopping options, but driving from place to place picking up specialty items gets tedious and takes up half the day. Not my favorite thing to do, you know?
For this Mediterranean farro salad, I was able to save myself all the legwork and ordered a whole host of healthy goodies in just minutes. I bought (affiliate links):
- organic farro
- organic extra-virgin olive oil
- organic pine nuts
- cannellini heritage beans
- organic apple cider vinegar, and
- super plump dried figs
Like, super plump and moist jarred figs. They are a serious find, and I already plan to order more to make fig cookies around the holidays. YUM.
Everything came quickly and I was impressed with the packaging. The figs and vinegar are in glass containers, and each was wrapped generously in bubble wrap so nothing would happen to them in transit.
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This Mediterranean farro salad comes together easily, with several different prep-ahead options to make assembling it even more efficient. Farro is an ancient grain that is actually quite nutritious, acting as a good source of iron, protein, and fiber. It provides such a great base to this substantial side dish salad.
First I cooked the cannellini heritage beans according to the package directions. White beans are one of my favorite additions to grain salads as they add some oomph in terms of fiber and protein. With their creamy texture and slightly nutty flavor, these beans certainly didn't disappoint.
Next I cooked the farro, also according to package directions. Told you this recipe wasn't too tough. After thirty minutes of cook time, the farro manages to be hearty, chewy, and fluffy all at the same time. Love it!
Now it's time for roasting and toasting. Fresh asparagus spears are seasoned, drizzled with oil, and then softened and roasted in the oven, with the pine nuts following closely behind to briefly toast. As always when toasting nuts, keep a close eye on them while they're in the oven as they can go from wonderfully golden-brown to singed and burnt very quickly. These are too good to waste.
All of the above steps can be done the day before serving this Mediterranean farro salad, or even earlier!
Just prior to assembling, whisk together the dressing ingredients, which include organic extra-virgin olive oil, organic apple cider vinegar, a bit of honey to counter the vinegar tang in the best way, garlic, and salt and pepper.
Simply pour it over the cooked farro, stir to coat the farro evenly, and then stir in the rest of the ingredients, including the sliced figs, fresh tomatoes, and fresh herbs, until combined.
This Mediterranean farro salad is ready to serve at room temperature, or is enjoyable straight from the refrigerator. If waiting to serve, just give it a stir before setting out to redistribute the dressing that has made its way to the bottom of the bowl.
- I've cooked the cannellini beans both on the stovetop and in the pressure cooker with success.
- Cooking the beans, roasting the asparagus, and toasting the pine nuts are all steps that can be done a day or more in advance of assembling and serving this farro salad.
Mediterranean Farro Salad
- ½ cup Bob's Red Mill Cannellini Heritage Beans, cooked
- 1 ½ cups Bob's Red Mill Organic Farro
- 4 ½ cups water (36 oz)
- ½ bunch asparagus spears, trimmed
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup Now Real Food Organic Pine Nuts
- 6 tablespoon La Tourangelle 100% Organic Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 ½ tablespoon Dynamic Health Laboratories Organic Raw Apple Cider
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3.5 oz St. Dalfour Luscious Figs, sliced
- 5 oz cherry tomatoes, sliced (or mini San Marzano)
- ½ tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- ½ tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, or your favorite herbs
Cook the cannellini beans:
- Sort and rinse ¾ cup of the cannellini beans. Set a medium saucepan over high heat and add the beans. Cover the saucepan and let it come to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer/cook for 60-90 minutes, or until beans are soft. Add additional water as needed throughout the cooking process to make sure the beans stay covered. You will have extra beans leftover.
Cook the farro:
- Add water to a medium saucepan, and then add the rinsed farro. Cover and set the saucepan over high heat until it reaches a boil. Uncover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook/simmer for 30 minutes, or until the farro is soft. Drain and add cooked farro to a large bowl to cool to room temperature.
Roast the asparagus:
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Trim the ends from the asparagus and place the spears in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 6-8 minutes, or until the asparagus has become slightly tender. Let cool, then slice into smaller pieces.
Toast the pine nuts:
- Reduce oven heat to 375°F. Place pine nuts on a dry (ungreased) rimmed baking sheet and toast for 6-8 minutes, or until they are just becoming fragrant and are golden-brown. Remove immediately to a plate or bowl to cool once done.
Make the dressing:
- Add olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper to a bowl and whisk well to combine. If not assembling the farro salad right away be sure to whisk it again right before using.
Assemble the farro salad:
- Once the farro has cooled, pour the dressing over top and stir everything up to coat the farro completely. Add the cannellini beans, sliced asparagus, pine nuts, figs, tomatoes, and herbs and stir to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving, stirring it up just prior to serving to redistribute the dressing. Farro salad will stay for several days in the refrigerator.