Warm Balsamic Farro and Spinach Salad
with chickpeas / strawberries / blue cheese / almonds
This entree salad is just the sort of thing that makes us look forward to spring - fresh strawberries and balsamic vinegar give the salad a nice balance of sweet and tart. This salad was first featured in 2018.
Smarts: Savory, salty blue cheese adds nice contrast to the salad, but feel free to use any cheese you'd like - goat cheese or feta would be great alternatives.
- Shallots - 1 clove , diced
- Vinegar, balsamic - 3 Tbsp
- Mustard, Dijon - 1 Tbsp
- Honey - 2 Tbsp
- Oil, cooking - 1/2 cup
- Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp
- Farro, pearled and uncooked - 2/3 cup
- Beans, garbanzo (14 oz / 387 g) - 1 can
- Strawberries - 1 pint , quartered
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Baby spinach - 8 oz
- Cheese, blue - 4 oz (sub feta or goat cheese)
- Almonds, sliced - 1/3 cup
Farro - Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Give it a generous sprinkle of salt and add farro. If you bought semi-pearled or husked farro, it should take about 25 minutes to cook until al dente, tender but not soggy. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Balsamic vinaigrette - Dice shallots. Combine shallots with vinegar, mustard, honey, oil (the portion for the vinaigrette), and lemon juice. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Marinate beans - Drain and rinse beans. Combine beans with half the vinaigrette (reserve the other half for dressing). Marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to 3 days. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
Strawberries - Quarter strawberries.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil (the portion for the salad) and then beans (including marinade) and farro. Saute until marinade has cooked off and everything is heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.
Assemble salads by topping spinach with farro, beans, strawberries, crumbled cheese, and almonds. Finish with reserved half of vinaigrette at the table. Enjoy!