Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Black Berry Farro Salad & Roasted Jalapeno Dressing

You may be thinking, “Oh no, another farro dish!”  But farro is versatile and goes with so many flavors, and it’s healthy, and mostly its' because I bought a big bag of farro at Costco! 

As I was thinking about the characteristics of this salad, I realized that it has the same characteristics that I look for in a friend.  It’s a little spicy, but not obscene.  It’s sweet, but not cloyingly sweet.  It’s a bit tart, to keep things in balance.  It’s cheesy, and cheesy is just good clean fun.  Lastly it’s healthy, but in a tasty way, not in a way that’s preachy. 

Now I wonder; if I start to compare everyone to food, what weird and possibly disturbing things will I think of? 

I don’t think I’m gonna do that!
Any hoo…Black Berry Farro Salad & Roasted Jalapeno Dressing makes for a perfect summer supper.  While I used black berries, pretty much any summer fruit (with the exception of melon) would be gosh durned tasty!
Black Berry Farro Salad with Roasted Jalapeno Dressing 

Serves 2 as an entrée, 4 as a side


5             oz.          Goat cheese
¼             cup         Toasted sliced Almonds, finely chopped
2             cups       Cooked farro
1             cup         Chick peas, drained and rinsed
1             cup         Cucumber, medium dice
1                             Avocado, medium dice
1/3         cup         Scallions, green part only, sliced
¼             cup         Cilantro, roughly chopped
Roasted Jalapeno Dressing, recipe follows
Salt and pepper to taste
6             oz.          Black berries

1.  Scoop 1 teaspoon of goat cheese and roll it into a ball, repeat with the remaining goat cheese.  Pour the almonds on to a plate and roll the balls of goat cheese, pressing lightly, in the almonds to coat.  Put to the side. 
2.  In a large bowl combine the cooked farro, chickpeas, cucumbers, avocado, scallions, cilantro, and 1/3 cup of the dressing; season with salt and pepper to taste.
3.  Pour the farro mixture onto a serving dish, arrange the black berries, avocado, and goat cheese balls in an attractive manner on the top of the salad.  Serve the remaining dressing on the side.

Notes:  * While the balls of goat cheese make for a pretty presentation, you may choose just to crumble the goat cheese and sprinkle it and the sliced almonds (in which case don’t chop the almonds) on the salad at the end.
**Swap out the black berries for any other kind of berry you like, or grapes, or peaches.
***To have this serve 4 as an entrée, serve the salad over a bed of head of butter lettuce, or a 5 oz. bag of baby spinach or baby kale; and the addition of seared shrimp or scallops would be lovely.


Makes 1 cup

2                             Jalapenos, halved, with the seeds removed
2             tsp.         Canola or grape seed oil
2             cloves    Garlic, whole and unpeeled
3                             Scallions, white part only, minced
1 ½                         Limes, juice only
2             Tbsp.      Rice vinegar
1             tsp.         Dijon mustard
2             tsp.         Honey
½             cup         Avocado oil, canola oil, or grape seed oil (you may add up to 2/3 cup oil depending on how acidic you like your dressing)
                                Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  On a small, shallow baking dish (or sheet pan) toss the jalapenos and garlic cloves in the 2 tsp. of canola oil.  Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until the skin of the jalapenos has blistered and the garlic is soft.  Remove the skin from the jalapenos and squeeze the garlic out of it's skin.
2.  In a food processor or a blender add all of the ingredients except for the avocado oil (or canola or grape seed oil).  Turn the food processor on and slowly stream the oil in through the top until completely blended; season with salt and pepper to taste. 
*Note, the spicy heat in this dressing is just enough that it tickles the back of your throat, for spicier dressing, leave the jalapenos whole when you roast them, and then remove the seeds after they’re cooked.         

You may also like:

Aprircot Quinoa Salad with Citrus Vinairgrette
Nectarine (peach) & Feta Salad

Tomato & Cheddar Pie
Farro Lentil & Vegetable Salad


  1. Well Kari - this is a gorgeous salad! I love the friend analogy too - fantastic!

  2. Ooh yay a new dressing for me to try! This salad is so beautiful!

  3. That's an a amazing salad, Kari.
    Love the comparison with the qualities you are looking for with friends :)