Vegan Farro Salad Recipe

Grain salads are a delicious, healthy, and versatile addition to any meal. They're hearty, packed with different textures and flavors and they make a nutrient-rich swap for more typical side dishes like refined pasta, white potatoes, or white rice. Whole grains — like the farro used here — are great sources of fiber and protein, as well as essential minerals like magnesium, zinc, and iron.

This festive vegan farro salad by plant-based recipe developer Alexandra Shytsman from The New Baguette features roasted sweet potatoes, balsamic sautéed shallots, toasted pine nuts, briny marinated artichokes, and plenty of herbs. It's the perfect accompaniment to any holiday meal — be it Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year's — and it works just as well for regular weeknights too. Read on to learn how to whip up this flavor-packed recipe, and use it as a template based on whatever ingredients you already have on hand!

Gather the ingredients for this vegan farro salad

To start, round up your ingredients. You'll need farro, sweet potatoes, shallots, balsamic vinegar, pine nuts, jarred artichokes, and fresh parsley. (Heads-up: Pearled farro cooks faster than whole.) This recipe lends itself to lots of substitution opportunities. For instance, you can use barley instead of farro, carrots instead of sweet potatoes, or almonds instead of pine nuts. If you're not a fan of artichokes, replace them with chopped green olives or capers for a salty touch.

Start by cooking the farro

To start, preheat your oven to 450 F for the sweet potatoes. Meanwhile, bring some water to boil in a small pot. Then, add the farro with a bit of salt, cover the pot tightly with a lid, and simmer the grain over low heat until all of the water is absorbed. It's imperative that you don't stir the farro at all while it's cooking — otherwise, you'll risk ending up with mushy, sticky farro. When there's no water left, turn off the heat and let the pot stand covered for another 10 minutes. This step allows the farro to absorb any remaining steam in the pot, thereby further avoiding potential mushiness.

Roast the sweet potatoes

Next, cube the sweet potatoes (no need to peel) and place them on a baking sheet. Be sure to arrange the potatoes in a single layer; if they're too crowded on a small tray, they will steam instead of roasting properly. Toss them with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste, then roast them for about 25 minutes until they are golden brown. Be sure to toss them once halfway through cooking to prevent them from sticking. 

Cook the shallots in a skillet and toast the pine nuts

Slice up the shallots and sauté them with olive oil for about 10 minutes over medium heat until they are browned around the edges. (If you don't have shallots, you can replace them with red onions.) When they're done, add the balsamic vinegar and immediately turn the heat off. Be sure to stand back while adding the vinegar, since hot vinegar fumes can be a shock to the nose. These shallots turn out sweet and sour, making them a delicious complement to the sweet potatoes. Finally, place a small skillet over medium heat and add in the pine nuts. Toast them for about 3 minutes, tossing occasionally until they are lightly golden. 

Combine the salad ingredients and serve

When all the components are ready, transfer the farro to a large bowl and add the sweet potatoes, balsamic shallots, toasted pine nuts, chopped artichokes, lots of parsley, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss to combine. Then, taste and season as needed with salt and pepper. Lastly, transfer the salad to a serving platter and sprinkle it with extra parsley. This salad is great enjoyed immediately when it's warm, but you can certainly prep it in advance and heat it up before serving.

Vegan Farro Salad Recipe
5 from 16 ratings
This colorful vegan farro salad is nutritious, versatile, and delicious. Serve it as a nourishing side dish with your favorite protein for a satisfying meal.
Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
38
minutes
Servings
6
servings
vegan farro salad
Total time: 43 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup farro
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt + extra to taste, divided
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 large shallots, peeled and cut into thick slices
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 (7-ounce) jar marinated artichokes, drained and roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, minced
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  2. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small pot.
  3. Add the farro with ¼ teaspoon of salt, cover tightly with a lid, and simmer on low heat for about 25 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Do not stir the farro while it cooks.
  4. Then, turn the heat off and let the farro stand covered for another 10 minutes to steam.
  5. Meanwhile, place the cubed sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
  6. Roast the sweet potato in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes until it is soft and golden brown, tossing once halfway through cooking.
  7. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  8. Add the shallots with a pinch of salt and cook until golden, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes.
  9. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and turn the heat off.
  10. Place the pine nuts in a small skillet and toast them for about 3 minutes over medium heat until lightly golden, tossing occasionally.
  11. Transfer the farro to a large bowl and add the sweet potatoes, shallots, pine nuts, artichokes, parsley, and the remaining tablespoon of oil.
  12. Toss to combine, taste, and adjust the seasonings if needed.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 275
Total Fat 14.4 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 34.4 g
Dietary Fiber 6.3 g
Total Sugars 7.3 g
Sodium 280.0 mg
Protein 7.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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