Jul 26, 2012

Farro, Bean, Radish Salad

I have always been a girl that loves a routine or schedule. This has gone beyond my daily work and school activities and has included my food and meals. It’s really breakfast and lunch to be exact. Growing up, lunch was a cheese sandwich, plain, on bread with chips, fruit and homemade dessert. When I decided to be a bit more adventurous, I added some turkey or chicken to the mix but it was pretty much the same thing every day and I was perfectly content with it that way. I guess it was about four months ago when I decided I had to get out of the sandwich routine. It wasn’t really filling me up or hitting the spot after my morning runs and so slowly but surely I have expanded my lunch routine horizons. I generally start with a grain such as wheat berry, quinoa or farro and then throw in a combination of veggies, beans and herbs that I have in the fridge. Each week I try to change it up in some way so as not to get too bored with things. But then again, who am I kidding, I could even eat this same lunch day after day!

I found this particular farro salad, loved the flavor combination and decided it needed to make it into my lunch routine rotation. It took me a little bit of time to put together but that honestly could have been attributed to me being a bit on the slow side in the kitchen. But even if it wasn’t, the good thing about this dish is that you can make a big batch and it will keep perfectly for a few days. So invest a little extra time at the beginning and you then have a ready made lunch waiting for you to grab on the go each morning!

Here’s what you need:


(Adapted from Honest Fare. Makes four lunch servings.)


  • 1 cup uncooked farro
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 1 cup cooked cannellini beans
  • 4 radishes, sliced very thin
  • 1 avocado, sliced and cubed
  • 1/2 apple, sliced into matchsticks (I used Fugi)
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Apple Parsley Dressing

  • 3 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 apple (I used Fugi)
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 of a shallot
  • 1 tablespoon greek yogurt
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

This dish becomes much easier if you already have your beans and farro cooked. But if you don’t have your farro cooked, it’s relatively easy and you can start it while you assemble everything else. In a medium pot, bring 3 cups of water to a boil and add the farro. Let this cook for 20-25 minutes until the farro softens and has the slightest bit of bite to it. Be sure to drain out any left over water from the pot. Now, if you already have cooked farro you can skip ahead to the next steps.

In a medium bowl, combine the beans, radishes, parsley, basil, cooked farro,matchstick apple slices, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Definitely be sure to add the lemon juice once you have the apples cut and in the bowl because the acidity will keep the apples from going brown.

For the dressing, I used my mini Cuisinart and it made things much simpler. You could also use a blender if you don’t have a food processor. Chop the apple, shallot and parsley and throw them in the food processor bowl. Pour in the lemon juice, rice vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and pulse the mixture until you have a smooth mixture. If things don’t seem to be smoothing out easily, you can add a little more olive oil or water and that should do the trick. The last thing I added was the greek yogurt and then I gave it one last good pulse.

Before pouring the dressing over the rest of the salad ingredients, don’t forget the avocado! Slice and chop the avocado and add it to the bowl. Pour in the dressing and give everything a big stir to make sure everything is completely coated!

Portion out the salad into four servings. Save one for immediate consumption and keep the other servings in airtight containers. I enjoyed mine with seed crackers and a small side of fresh fruit.

When I try to think of that one ingredient in this dish that “makes” it, I can’t even pinpoint or choose just one! Everything combines so perfectly and the dressing really brings it all together. You not only have the perfect balance of flavor with this dish but you’ve got a great balance of nutrition with the farro, beans, avocado and apple. That’s fiber, protein, potassium, folic acid, and the list could go on! Now, I was a little suspicious of what my avocado would look like after even the first day, as it’s not surprising to find a cut avocado looking brown after even a few hours. But just like the apple, the lemon juice works it’s magic on the avocado and even on day three of this lunch, the avocado was still the perfect pale green! This was one of those lunch combinations that did not have me missing the sandwich whatsoever! Actually, it makes me wonder why I didn’t start making things like this sooner! For now, that’s farro, bean, radish salad…in the shell of a nut!


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