Recipe: Grain Salad with Walnuts and Herbs

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Looking for something simple and unique to take to your next summer BBQ? Or maybe you just need some new lunch ideas? Look no further. Grain salads are hearty, hold up well to heat and travel, and score a perfect 10 in the "nutritious and delicious" category.

I recommend that you try this salad with these ingredients just once before you start experimenting with different combinations. It may seem like an odd combo - how could all those unrelated ingredients come together and taste good? Believe me, it's magic.

Of course, this recipe welcomes experimentation. Try different grains (wheat berries, wild rice,  orzo or pasta, barley, etc) use different herbs, nuts, or seeds, try your favorite cheese, swap the baby arugula for spinach or kale, add in sliced olives or sun dried tomatoes, or... or ... the list is endless.

Let us know in the comments if you have any ideas to add.

Farro Salad with Walnuts and Cilantro

1 c. farro (or another whole grain)
3 c. water
1 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced very finely
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2-3 oz. baby arugula
4. oz feta cheese, chopped into small cubes
a few handfuls of cilantro, roughly chopped

Pour the farro and water into a heavy bottomed pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, then simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, or until the grains are cooked through, but still pop in your mouth when you eat one. Using semi-pearled farro will cut this cooking time by about half. When done, drain the excess water and set aside to cool while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

Place the walnuts in a skillet over medium heat and dry roast them until they start to turn brown and smell amazing. Set aside.

Combine the lemon juice, oil garlic and salt in a bowl and whisk until combined. Alternately, you can put it all in a jar and shake it.

When everything is prepped, throw the farro, arugula, and most of the walnuts, feta and cilantro in a big bowl. Drizzle the olive oil mixture over it and toss to combine. Top with the remaining walnuts, feta and cilantro, and serve.

Elizabeth Willams, LAc is an acupuncturist and herbalist in Greenville, South Carolina, specializing in pain management, women’s health, and psycho-emotional issues. She’s passionate about helping people feel their best and sharing her wealth of knowledge with the community. Elizabeth is the owner of Dragonfly Acupuncture & Massage on Wade Hampton Boulevard. Appointments can be made by calling 864-451-4313 or scheduled online.