Its hard to decide who the star of this grain bowl is.
Is it the chewy, satisfying farrow?
...the creamy vegan feta?
...the smokey tomato viniagrette?
I can't decide. But what I can decide is the marrying of all of the ingredients in this grain bowl creates a depth of flavor that is almost too good to be actually good for you.
Farro is often referred to as an "ancient grain". Ancient grains are groups of grains and seeds that have remained mostly unchaged for thousands of years and are thought to have more nutritional depth than their more modern cousins (like wheat or barley). Farro is a personal favorite of mine because not only does it offer deeper nutritional sustinence it also offers a more chewy, pasta-like consistency than other grains. AND it happens to be a great source of fiber, magnesium and iron.
Pairing the chewiness of the farro with the crispness of the dark leafy greens, will help to make this bowl more balanced, texturally and nutritionally. And by adding in a colorful assortment of vegetables, you're not only getting a dose of the dark leafy green magic but you're also getting a well-rounded assortment of vitamins and nutrients available in only the most chromatically fluent veggies.
Plus, its just really really good.
Because its a chilled salad, its light enough to have on the hottest of summer days, while also being filling enough to have as a main course.
And dont even get me started on the smoked tomato dressing. Its shockingly good.
Supercharged Farro Grain Bowl
For the Salad Base
2 Cups Cooked Farro (cooled to room temperature)
1 Cup Finely Chopped Red Chard
1 Cup Finley Chopped Red Curly Kale
3/4 Cup Finely Chopped Broccoli
3/4 Cup Cubed Extra Firm Tofu
1/2 Cup Shredded Carrots
1/2 Cup Chopped Beets (pre-cooked and chilled)
1/2 Cup Chopped Raw Almonds
1/2 Cup Vegan Feta
Smoked Tomato Vinaigrette
1 Heirloom Tomato (or 2 small garden tomatoes)
1 Garlic Clove
1 Tsp Honey
1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tsp Liquid Smoke
1 Cup Avocado Oil
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Soak 1 cup of uncooked farrow in cool filtered water for 1 - 2 hours. Drain off soaking water and simmer until well cooked. Drain off excess water and set aside to fully cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl combine and toss all of the salad base ingredients
(reseving some additional feta and almonds for serving).
In a blender or food processor add all of the smoked tomato vinaigrette ingredients and blend on high until smooth and creamy. You can add small amounts of water if the dressing is too thick after blending.
Pour the dressing over the salad mixture and top with more vegan feta, almonds or fresh herbs if desired.
This salad can be made for a small group but it also keeps well in the fridge if you're cooking for one.