My search for healthy, easy-to-prep-in-advance weekday lunch options continues. Protein and fiber packed farro and quinoa dishes tossed with your favorite seasonal veggies seem to be the best way to get variety while still being healthy.
This savory salad combines nutty, chewy farro with creamy cannellini beans and is sure to leave you feeling satisfied until dinner time. It is refreshing with cool crisp cucumbers, peppery arugula, and sweet basil dressed simply with lemon juice and good olive oil. It certainly feels like more of summer salad than an autumn salad, which makes it perfect for the bursts of warm, sunny days we've been experiencing in the Bay area.
These are my favorite cannellini beans- sauteed with chile de arbol, shallot, garlic and simmered in vegetable broth (until dry). I make them regularly as a side dish and like to use leftovers in a salad like this one.
Farro Salad with Cucumber, Arugula, Cannellini Beans
1/2 cup farro cooked
1/4 cup cooked cannelini beans, see below
1/2 medium cucumber, halved and diced
1 cup baby arugula
2 tbsp basil, chiffonade
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp good olive oil
Maldon or other flakey salt
Combine baby arugula, cucumber, cannelini beans, farro and basil in a bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Taste for seasoning. Add flakey sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
1 15 oz can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1-2 dried chile de arbol or other red chili
1/2 cup vegetable broth
Heat a large skillet over moderately high heat for 2 minutes. Add olive oil, dried red chili, shallots, and garlic. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add cannellini beans, stirring to coat well, about 1 minute. Add vegetable broth and simmer until absorbed, stirring occasionally. Season with sea salt and pepper. Beans should be cooked but not mushy. Can store, chilled and covered, for up to a week.