Mixed Vegetable Farro Salad

Aside from ample health benefits in Sonja Finn's low-cal salad, there's a bounty of textures and flavors to experience – from the chewy feel of farro between your teeth, juxtaposed with smooth and creamy avocado, to the tangy taste of the Chile-Mint Vinaigrette.
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Nutritional Bonus: The hidden gems in this meal are the Thai bird chile and farro. Capsaicin, the fiery phytochemical in chiles and peppers, is believed to increase metabolic rate. According to the International Journal of Obesity, a diminished appetite and increased energy levels were observed in participants who ate hot peppers. High in protein, fiber and antioxidants, farro is also rich in magnesium, niacin, zinc and iron. It's often tolerable for people with gluten allergies, too.

  • 8Servings

Ingredients

FARRO

  • 1 1/4 cups semi-pearled farro, rinsed
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

VINAIGRETTE

  • 1/2 Thai bird chile, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp chopped mint
  • 1 tbsp champagne vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt, to taste

SALAD

  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced into half moons
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 2 heads butter lettuce, washed and leaves separated
  • 2 avocados, pitted, peeled and sliced

Preparation

  1. Prepare farro: In a 6-qt stock pot, bring 12 cups water, farro and salt to a boil and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until tender. Drain farro and toss with oil. Spread out on a baking tray and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Prepare vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine ingredients and whisk together. Let rest in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to meld flavors. (NOTE: Vinaigrette does not need to emulsify.)
  3. Assemble salad: In a large mixing bowl, add farro, onion, cucumber, salt and vinaigrette. Toss until everything is well coated. Add lettuce and avocados and toss a few more times. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Divide among 8 salad plates and serve.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 3/4 cup
  • Calories: 269
  • Carbohydrate Content: 28 g
  • Fat Content: 15 g
  • Fiber Content: 6 g
  • Protein Content: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 2 g
  • Sodium Content: 642 mg
  • Sugar Content: 2 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content: 2 g