The best way to make a salad into a full meal? Add grains! This spin on a Greek salad is made far more hearty with the addition of cooked farro. It’s fantastic for meal prep since it stores well (no lettuce!), and it’s delicious at any time of the day.
If you’ve never had farro, do yourself a favor and grab a bag of the Bob’s Red Mill® variety. It’s an ancient whole-grain wheat that’s high in both protein and fiber. It has a nutty taste and chewy texture when cooked, and the grain is a bit wider than rice. Since it’s chewy, it holds up really well in soups, salads, or just about anywhere else you’d use rice.
When it comes to cooking, farro is easy and relatively quick. It takes about 30 minutes on the stovetop until al dente. For this Greek Salad it’s best if the farro is chilled, so we typically run it under cold water to quickly cool the grains. You can also cook a large batch of farro ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to use.
When it comes to vegetables and other ingredients, we like to add cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, chickpeas and kalamata olives. Chickpeas are optional but make the salad much more filling and more balanced. Salty Litehouse® Crumbled Feta Cheese is a must – it adds so much flavor to this recipe.
We toss the farro and vegetables in an easy Greek vinaigrette, seasoned with Litehouse® Freeze-Dried Oregano, Parsley and Garlic. It’s so much easier to use dried instead of fresh herbs, and unlike regular dried herbs, Litehouse® Freeze-Dried herbs are fresher, more flavorful, and much more similar to fresh! We especially love using the garlic to cut down on prep time. It’s a lifesaver for anything from easy vinaigrettes to sautés. No garlic hands and no extra cutting board to clean = a win in my book!
To round out the vinaigrette, we use lemon juice, dijon mustard and red wine vinegar, all of which add the perfect pop of tanginess and acidity that characterizes Greek Salad.
You can make the entire salad – dressing included – several days ahead of time. Or, if you’d prefer a super fresh salad, you can cook the farro and make the dressing ahead of time, which brings prep time down to about 5 minutes when you’re ready to enjoy.
For extra protein, feel free to add in grilled chicken or another protein of choice. This salad makes for an excellent side dish, but it’s also great on its own as a healthy lunch or light dinner.