Roasted Mushroom and Green Bean Farro Salad is a wonderful dish that works great as a lunch or a side dish. Mix it up by adding your favorite veggies!
This food blog has truly expanded my sense of adventure when it comes to food. I never ate quinoa, farro, bulgur, or any of those grains before I began the blog. Yes, I knew they are all really good for you, but they just don’t look appetizing. I finally gave in about 2 years ago, and cooked the quinoa in water, per the instructions. It tasted like cardboard, and I almost threw it away. After that I was very leery, and it was a few months before I took another chance. I made it with chicken broth, and the difference was night and day. The broth adds so much flavor.
Farro was the next grain on the list, mainly because the recipes I found looked pretty good. I always say I need to eat more grains, and when I get in that zone I do a great job. But once I’m out of that zone, I have to truly focus on getting back in.
I recently found a recipe for Roasted Mushroom and Green Bean Farro Salad. The original recipe does not call for any onions or garlic. To me, that’s a huge miss. It’s funny, because just the other day I found the most accurate meme about garlic
On my first attempt, the only change I made was to add onions and garlic
Delicious, but incredibly savory. And there’s nothing in the dish to cut that savory bite. I substituted goat cheese for feta, and couldn’t really tell a difference. But even with the cheese, I was craving something sweet about 15 minutes later.
On my second attempt, I made more changes, and added toasted almonds, dried cranberries, and grilled chicken
The next time I made Roasted Mushroom and Green Bean Farro Salad, for some reason I thought I needed chickpeas for the recipe. By the time I realized my mistake, I had already soaked the dried chickpeas overnight. Chickpeas are okay soaking for a day or so, but much more than that, and they start to smell. And cooking does not eliminate the smell. So I decided to replace the chicken with chickpeas. I also added asparagus, because I always have asparagus in the fridge, and it’s a great way to add more vegetables into the dish
I use sliced almonds, and toast them in a dry pan for a few minutes; this releases the natural oils, and gets them golden brown. I add the dry cranberries into the farro for the last few minutes of cooking, so they rehydrate naturally.
Cooking farro is basically the same as quinoa. The most important part of cooking these grains is to toast them for several minutes before adding the broth, as this allows the nutty flavor to develop and release. Once I learned how to make homemade vegetable broth, I always use it. Just like store-bought broth adds lots of flavor, homemade broth knocks it out of the park. Homemade has a much deeper color and a much more intense flavor. I add the cranberries about 5 minutes before the farro is complete, to rehydrate the cranberries with the flavorful broth. I also toast the almonds to release the oils and create a greater depth of flavor.
Never in a million years did I ever think I would say this…but I like Roasted Mushroom and Green Bean Farro Salad better with chickpeas than with chicken. The heartiness of the chickpeas works so well with everything else in the dish. My parents are vegetarian, and they would love this dish. Normally when I make something we can all eat, I’ll add chicken to my portion…no need to do that with this recipe.
The crowning glory of Roasted Mushroom and Green Bean Farro Salad? The balsamic vinegar drizzled on top at the end. My friend Dianne introduced me to Lucero Balsamic Vinegar about 2 years ago. The only down side is that you can’t find it in the grocery store, so you have to order it online. But I do it, because the grocery store balsamic doesn’t come close to the rich, thick goodness of Lucero. Yes, there are other very good brands, but once I tried Lucero, I never looked back. It is pricey, but so well worth it. And besides, a little goes a very long way.
Will I make Roasted Mushroom and Green Bean Farro Salad again? Yes, of course I will, and it is on my regular recipe rotation
Adapted from Closet Cooking
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- 1/2 cup farro
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 4 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, quartered
- 1/2 pound green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 pound asparagus spears, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup yellow onions, sliced 1/2" thick
- 2 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
- 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, drained
- 1/2 Tablespoon Canola or Vegetable Oil
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 Tablespoon slivered almonds
- 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar (I use Lucero)
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup feta or goat cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Add slivered almonds to saute pan and toast until they become golden brown. Do not allow them to burn. Remove and set aside
Toss the mushrooms, asparagus, green beans, garlic and onions in the oil, thyme, salt and pepper and place them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast vegetables for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
In saucepan over medium heat, add dry farro and toast for a few minutes, until nutty. Add broth, reduce heat and simmer, covered, until farro is al dente, approximately 20 minutes
Add cranberries to farro for the last 5 minutes of cooking
Add roasted vegetables, onions, farro and chickpeas to large bowl, and combine thoroughly
Portion into serving bowls, top with almonds and cheese, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar
For more delicious recipes, click on the pictures below!