This farro salad with grilled chicken, pistachios and pomegranate has a great nutty flavor and makes a great healthy lunch or dinner.
Product samples were provided by Wonderful Pistachios, thoughts and opinions are my own.
At the beginning of the year, I know a lot of people, myself included, are trying to focus on healthier eating after all the holiday treats and indulgenes. But healthy isn't fun if it doesn't taste good!
Several years ago I was at a local restaurant in Chicago called Siena Tavern and we decided to try the Farro Seafood Salad. This was really my first introduction to farro and all I can say is YUM!
How to make farro salad
This dish comes together quite quickly as it only has a few steps, making it an easy weeknight meal.
Cook the farro: Cooking farro is similar to cooking other grains. You should rinse the farro first, then combine it with the water and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Let it come to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Remove it from the heat and fluff with a fork.
Grill the chicken: While the farro is cooking you grill the chicken, either indoors or out, or you can use any type of cooked chicken.
Make the vinaigrette: After the chicken and farro are cooked you can quickly whip up the vinaigrette. I generally use a mason jar for making dressings as you can easily shake everything up with the lid on. It also works well for storing any leftovers.
Assemble the salad: Once everything is ready, add the chicken, pistachios and pomegranate to the saucepan with the farro. Then drizzle the dressing over everything and toss to coat. Using the farro pan for mixing the salad means less cleanup. You can serve immediately or refrigerate and let the flavors meld for a bit. It's fantastic either way!.
- Farro: Farro has a nice nutty, earthy taste that makes it a great base for dishes on its own, as well as an add-in for a traditional lettuce-based salad or soups. You can find it in most large grocery stores, unusually in the same aisle as the pasta and the rice. Be sure to get the unpearled version.
- Chicken breast: If you are going to grill your own check, use boneless, skinless chicken breast. You can use the breast from a rotisserie chicken or if your local market sells it, use pre-cooked, pre-shredded chicken breast.
- Pistachios: When I'm cooking with pistachios I typically purchase the pre-shelled version so I don't have to spend the time to take them out of the shell.
- Pomegranate seeds: You can either purchase a whole pomegranate and take the seeds or perils out or you can buy the seeds on their own. Both Trader Joe's and Whole Foods sell them. You'll find them in the produce section.
- Thyme: For this recipe, you'll want to use fresh thyme.
- Sherry vinegar: This might be a pantry staple for some but if not it's worth the splurge to buy it for this recipe. Stored in a cool, dark place it will keep for a very long time.
- Pantry staples: salt, ground pepper, dijon mustard, honey, olive oil, shallot (fresh or freeze-dried)
More Weeknight Recipes
If you are looking for other ideas for weeknight meals, check out these recipes:
- Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowl
- Pork Tacos with Avocado Corn Salsa
- Skillet Lemon Chicken
- Garlic Ginger Cashew Chicken
tools you may want for this recipe
Grill pan - If you live in a place that has colder winters, a grill pan can be a very useful kitchen tool.
Farro, Grilled Chicken & Pistachio Salad
For the salad:
- ½ cup pearled farro
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ cup Wonderful shelled pistachios
- ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon coarse ground pepper
For the vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon minced shallot
- pinch of ground pepper
- pinch of sea salt
- ½ teaspoon honey
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Cook the farro. Rinse the farro using a fine mesh strainer. Add the farro and water to a medium saucepan; bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for an additional 10-12 minutes until the water has evaporated.
- Cook the chicken. While the farro is cooking, brush the chicken with oil and grill over medium-high, either in a grill pan or on an outdoor grill; cooking 6 minutes per side. Chop into bite-sized pieces when done cooking.
- Chop the pistachios. Roughly chop the pistachios with a sharp knife and set them aside.
- Make the vinaigrette. Add vinegar through honey to a small bowl and whisk together. Slowly add olive oil whisking to combine. Add to farro mixture as desired.
- Assemble the salad. When the farro is done cooking add the chopped pistachios, thyme, pomegranate seeds, chicken, salt and pepper. Mix well.