Looking for something different in the cold salad category, I searched my pantry and refrigerator and came up with this concoction. We’re having it tomorrow for lunch after it spends the night marrying all the flavors together.
There were black beans, farro, shallots and olive oil on the shelf, red cabbage and feta cheese in the fridge, orange juice concentrate in the freezer, and fresh mint growing right outside the kitchen door. Farro is a filling, satisfying grain. I love its slightly chewy texture and it’s sturdy enough to handle some serious additions. It’s easily cooked in the same way you cook pasta. Making this salad a day before you want to serve it gives the dressing time to soak into the farro, beans and feta. You could swap out the cabbage for other vegetables – try sturdy greens like fresh spinach or baby kale.
– Joan, 12 July 2019
Farro and black bean salad
- 1 cup uncooked farro
- 1 15-oz. can black beans
- 1 cup feta cheese
- 1 cup red cabbage or leafy greens, chopped or sliced thin
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 avocado, reserved for serving time
- 1 small shallot, sliced very thin
- 1½ tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate, or juice and zest of 1 orange
- pinch of salt
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon mint leaves, minced
Mix all the ingredients for dressing in a glass jar and shake vigorously to mix.
Cook farro by adding 1 cup grain to 4 cups salted water. Bring to a boil. Boil gently for 20-30 minutes, testing for desired level of chewiness. I cook it for 20 minutes. Drain and spread the grains out on a cookie sheet to cool.
While the farro cools, chop the cabbage or greens, drain and rinse the beans. Put all the ingredients except avocado into a large bowl. Give the dressing a good shake to mix it all together, then pour about 3/4 of it over the ingredients in the bowl and stir it all together. The avocado can be cubed to add to the salad or sliced to serve alongside, but wait to cut into it until you’re ready to serve so it doesn’t discolor. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. Refrigerate the extra dressing. When ready to serve, stir salad well and add more dressing if needed. Will keep for 2-3 days refrigerated.