Not too many salads look more like Christmas than this Festive Farro Salad! When it came to styling the photos, I thought, “Wow. I could take a shot of this salad as is, with no props or styling, and still want to frame it on my wall.” It is stunning, and your guests will be mega impressed to see this on your holiday table. Even further, their taste buds will be so thrilled once they have their first bite!
I was introduced to farro about five years ago by my old boss who was a highly skilled chef. She actually introduced me to many new foods, and I am forever grateful to her for that. Thank you, Heidi!
Farro is an ancient grain, composed of certain wheat species, with a taste and texture similar to brown rice. It serves amazingly in soups, stews, and yep, you guessed it… salads!
Here’s what our resident RHN, Connie Oickle, has to say about the health benefits of farro:
The ancient grain farro is an excellent source of plant protein, providing more than most whole grains, and about the same as most beans and legumes. It is also high in B vitamins, which are important for maintaining energy levels, brain health, and supporting our central nervous system. Farro is a good source of antioxidants, and a great supplier of iron, zinc, and magnesium.
This salad is loaded with other healthy ingredients as well. Not to mention, the flavour is unlike anything you’ve had before! The Basil Tahini dressing is so dreamy creamy, I could sneak finger licks of it all day long.
Make sure to tenderize your kale before adding it to the salad. To do this, simply tear the leaves into bite size bits, add them to a bowl with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, and massage them until you can feel their firm veins start to break down.
If you don’t want to break the bank, skip the pine nuts and use pecans instead. As well, if you can’t find fresh pomegranate, this salad tastes just as heavenly with roasted beets in its place. You can also easily swap cilantro for fresh basil in the dressing. I have used all of these variations and I can’t decide which I love more!!
This farro salad can be eaten warm or cold, but I prefer it right around room temperature.
Okay kiddos, you ready to make the most beautiful, delicious holiday salad ever?! Me too!! Let’s hup to it!
Festive Farro Salad
This farro salad is loaded with healthy ingredients, packed with awesome flavour, and is absolutely stunning!
For the salad:
- 5 cups cooked farro cooked in vegetable broth
- 3 cups tenderized kale torn and packed
- 3 cups cubed, roasted butternut squash
- 2 cups pomegranate seeds
- 1 cup garlic roasted chick peas
- ½ cup pine nuts (sub pecans if on a budget!) toasted
- ½ medium red onion slivered
- Olive oil for tenderizing kale
For the Basil Tahini dressing:
- 4 cloves garlic
- ½ cup tahini
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 cups fresh basil (or cilantro) packed
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- ½ tsp salt
- ½-1 tsp red pepper flakes depending on spice preference
- ¾ cup water
For the salad:
Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Cut the butternut in half length-wise, scoop the guts, and add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Flip over onto a baking sheet, and pierce the skin several times with a fork. Roast for about 30-40 minutes, or until soft.
Cook the farro in vegetable broth according to the directions on the bag. About 2 1/2 cups dry will produce 5 cups cooked.
- Tear the kale into small pieces, and toss in a bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil. Massage the leaves until you feel the firm veins soften.
Toast the pine nuts in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, until golden brown. Shake often so they do not burn. Remove from pan and allow to cool on a plate in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt.
Once the squash is done, allow to cool before scraping the skin off with the side of a spoon, and cutting into bite-sized cubes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked farro, tenderized kale, roasted butternut, pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, roasted chickpeas, and slivered onion.
Mix in about half of the dressing, and drizzle the rest over the top. You may want to adjust the dressing proportions depending on how saucy you like your salad.
For the dressing:
- Combine all of the ingredients into a high-speed blender, and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Store in a sealed container in the fridge if not using right away.
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to one week, but best eaten within 2-3 days.
As always, nutritional information is a rough estimate. For a full explanation of nutritional analysis, please read our Disclaimer.
If you made this recipe, I would be so honoured if you could rate it, share it, and leave a comment. Also, don’t forget to take a photo, tag @thedeliciousmanifest on Instagram, and hashtag it #thedeliciousmanifest. Thank you so much!
Connie Oickle, our resident RHN,
brings with her over 10 years experience
working in the Food and Health
& Wellness industries.
Find out more about her here!