The sweet-tart warm blueberry dressing is a wonderful counterpoint to the earthy elements of this simple yet satisfying salad. All the cooked elements of this salad—berry dressing, chicken, and farro—can be prepared ahead of time and then assembled for a quick weeknight meal. If farro is not available, other grains, including spelt berries, sorghum, or quinoa, can be used.
Raise a toast
To deepen the flavor of the farro, you can give it a quick toast before simmering in water. Simply heat a small amount of oil in the saucepan and then toss in dry grains. Heat, stirring a few times, until grains turn a shade or two darker and emit a nutty aroma. Then add water to pan.
- 1 cup farro
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot peeled and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and chopped
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 8 cups baby spinach or mesclun mix
- 1 large red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1 lb cooked chicken sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- In medium-sized saucepan, place farro and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, or until grains are tender. Drain well.
- In small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic; heat for 30 seconds. Add blueberries, 2 Tbsp water, lemon zest, dried thyme, red pepper flakes, and salt; heat for 3 minutes, or until blueberries have softened and released some of their juices. Stir in balsamic vinegar.
- Divide greens, farro, bell pepper, and chicken among 4 serving plates. Top with warm blueberry dressing and scatter parsley overtop.
Per serving: 432 calories; 34 g protein; 7 g total fat (0 g sat. fat); 56 g total carbohydrates (11 g sugars, 11 g fiber); 260 mg sodium