I’m experimenting with a new grain this week, farro, and the first thing I wanted to make was a salad. Farro is excellent for salads because the firm little grains add a delightful chewy texture to the mix, is very filling, and also adds a lot of protein and fiber, making the salad very “meal” worthy. Because the nutty flavor is fairly neutral, you can combine it with just about anything. I went with a classic tomato and cucumber combo, seasoned and sautéed some chickpeas, then topped it off with my favorite creamy (and vegan) tahini dressing. This Mediterranean Farro Salad was pretty quick to prepare and I can keep the ingredients in the fridge all week to assemble whenever I want a fresh salad.
In case you missed it, yesterday I cooked a pot of farro and have the cooked grain stored in my refrigerator. Over the next few days I’ll be using the cooked grain to make several new dishes. I want to demonstrate how convenient and cost saving it can be to keep cooked grains in your refrigerator or freezer for quick meal prep.
If you don’t like farro or can’t find it in your area, you can use bulgur (cracked wheat), couscous, brown rice, or even quinoa in place of the farro.
Mediterranean Farro Salad with Spiced Chickpeas
- ⅓ cup tahini $1.13
- ⅓ cup water $0.00
- ¼ cup lemon juice $0.18
- 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
- ½ tsp cumin $0.05
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper $0.03
- ½ tsp salt $0.02
- 15oz can chickpeas $1.15
- 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.12
- ½ tsp smoked paprika $0.05
- ¼ tsp garlic powder $0.03
- ⅛ tsp cayenne (optional) $0.02
- Freshly cracked pepper (10-15 cranks of a mill) $0.03
- Salt to taste $0.02
- 3 cups cooked farro (or other grain) $1.49
- 2 Roma tomatoes $1.39
- 1 cucumber $0.99
- ¼ bunch parsley $0.79
- To make the dressing, combine the tahini, water, lemon juice, minced garlic, cumin, cayenne, and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth. Set the dressing aside until ready to use (keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days).
- Rinse and drain the chickpeas in a colander. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot add the drained chick peas. Sprinkle the smoked paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper (if using), and some freshly cracked pepper over top. Stir the chickpeas to coat in the spices, then continue to sauté for about five minutes, or until the outside of the chickpeas are slightly browned and blistered. Season with salt to taste.
- Chop the tomatoes, cucumber, and parsley. Place about ¾ cup cooked farro in each bowl, then top with chopped tomato, chopped cucumber, spiced chickpeas, and a large pinch of chopped parsley. Drizzle the dressing over top and serve.
Step by Step Photos
Make the dressing first so that the flavors have a few minutes to mingle. Add 1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste), 1/3 cup water, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, and 1/2 tsp salt to a blender. Blend until smooth. Set the dressing aside, or refrigerate for longer storage (up to five days).
Dice two roma tomatoes and one cucumber. Roughly chop about 1/4 bunch parsley (I only chopped a small amount of parsley in the photo).
Rinse and drain a 15oz. can of chickpeas.
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a non-stick skillet and heat over a medium flame. Add the chickpeas, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp cayenne (optional), and some freshly cracked pepper (about 10-15 cranks of a mill). Stir to coat the chickpeas in oil and spices. Continue to sauté the chickpeas until they get slightly brown and blistered on the outside (about 5 minutes). Season with salt to your liking.
Begin to assemble the bowls by placing about 3/4 cup cooked farro in each bowl, then topping with some diced tomato, cucumber, spiced chickpeas, and a sprinkle of the chopped parsley.
Drizzle the tahini dressing over top.
And now it’s time to eat! There’s so much flavor packed into this one bowl, it’s incredible.