As a food blogger, keeping on trend has become a regular search for me on Google…whats trending in food today?… Gotta keep current! Plus, it get me to expand my horizons…..and apparently my waistline.….lol
Healthy grains are on trend these days. I must confess that I have never really eaten many of the avant-garde grains. No particular reason, just never have. Recently we were at a restaurant and I had a steak that was served on a bed of grains with spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms. I was not impressed with the meal per say, but the grains were wonderful, chewy and creamy, and al dente……I wondered what they would be like in a really good dish.
So, I did a little Googling…….here’s what I found…….
Whole grains took center stage a few years ago when the government recommended that Americans fill half of their plates with whole grains. But most folks were packing their plates with brown rice and whole grain bread. Which is ok. Those options are great ones, but many people don’t know what other grains are out there, like farro, barley, and the list goes on.
Whole grains are made of three parts: bran, endosperm, and the germ. Each part has it own health and nutrient benefit. Be sure to get the most out of your grains by making sure all three of these parts are intact…..i.e. read the label.
I chose Farro for several reasons……it is high in protein, fiber and B Complex vitamins and it’s pretty low in gluten. Cooked, Farro reminds me of barley, but with a chewier texture. That texture remains even after long-cooking in dishes like soups and stews. The chewy texture also makes it great as a substitute for pasta or rice in salads, which worked out great for me since I wanted to make a salad…..score! Salmon Farro Salad.
When someone asks you about this great grain and they will,tell them……. Farro has a protective husk on the outside, so the use of harmful pesticides is not needed to protect against pollutants and insects. Healthy and pesticide free……score again, and you sound so smart!
Now that you have had a grain/Farro lesson, on to the recipe……
Since this was going to be a healthy-ish dish, what better than salmon. Omega’s, protein, vitamins and minerals. Poached….. so no extra fat.
I have a thing for dried cranberries….mostly because I do not like raisins and cranberries sub easily for raisins. Now, if you have dried cranberries you need some sort of nut……don’t ask me why, you just do! I had toasted pecans left over from another recipe, so they became the nut of the day….it got Tim off the hook as resident nut……lol.
Green onions, parsley, and feta cheese….added the perfect flavor. All salads need dressing, and of course in our house….. we need spice…….Spicy Honey Vinaigrette. Honey, apple cider vinegar, a touch of Sriracha sauce, garlic and ginger …….perfection!
I cooked my Farro in my pressure cooker. If you do not have one of these I cannot express how much you need one. With busy families and lives, the time this shaves off of making dinner is amazing. It is also perfect for cooking grains……normally the Farro would have taken 30 minutes plus……pressure cooker time…..12 minutes. Once it was cooked I spread it on a cookie sheet and popped it into the freezer for about 10 minutes to cool. I added it to the other ingredients and tossed them with small amount of the dressing.
Grains at there best. This dish was so yummy!!!! The salmon was moist, the Farro added a nice chewy element, and the cranberries,pecans, and green onions were the perfect match for the other ingredients……topped with feta cheese, and parsley, this salad is a high protein, vitamins packed meal.
Hey…… its almost lunch time…..glad there is some Salmon Farro Salad left in the frig……..
- 2 cups cooked farro, cooled
- 5 scallions, one whole and 4 finely chopped
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
- ¼ teaspoon peppercorns
- ½ pound fresh wild salmon
- ¼ cup pecans, lightly toasted
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup SPICY HONEY VINAIGRETTE
- Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
- ½ cup fresh parsley chopped, divided
- ⅓ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- SPICY HONEY VINAIGRETTE
- ⅓-cup apple cider vinegar
- ⅓-cup honey
- 1½ teaspoon Sriracha sauce
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 clove chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled & chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- ⅔-cup extra virgin olive oil
- In a shallow sauté pan, place 1 cup water, salmon, the whole scallion, parsley, and peppercorns and bring to a simmer. Cover and poach for 5 to 9 minutes, until just cooked through. Remove the salmon and peel off and discard. Chill the salmon.
- Place the cranberries,pecans, chopped scallions, and ¼ cup parsley in a large bowl, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and toss to combine. Flake the salmon into the bowl and add the farro. Drizzle with ¼ cup SPICY HONEY VINAIGRETTE and stir to combine. Garnish with remaining parsley and feta.
- SPICY HONEY VINAIGRETTE
- Place all ingredients except oil in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Drizzle in olive oil and blend on high for 1 minute until emulsified.
- Keep refrigerated in a covered container.