I have a confession to make – I am not only a terrible gardener, but I’m also a terrible herb gardener. They’re so easy to grow, but they’re oh-so-hard to remember to water. Lucky for me, my mom recently came to visit and planted tons of new herbs, including my favorites – basil and mint – just in time to include them in this salad. What would spring be without an herby grain salad, right?
This one is packed with chewy farro, peppery watercress, and dried tart cherries, which add a necessary pop of sweetness to balance it all out.
I’ve talked about the benefit of tart cherries here, here, and here. We love them mostly because they taste good, but they have some real superfood qualities as well – they’re a natural anti-inflammatory and also a good source of melatonin.
Feel free to switch up this salad with whatever herbs you might have growing – and if you’re gluten-free just switch out the farro for quinoa… meanwhile, I’m going to go water my new herbs while I’m thinking about it…
- 1 cup uncooked farro
- 2 cups watercress
- ¾ cup chopped carrots
- ⅓ cup ricotta salada or feta cheese, crumbled
- ⅓ cup dried tart cherries
- 1 cup basil leaves, torn
- ½ cup mint leaves
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- big squeeze of lemon (about 1T)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ teaspoon maple syrup
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- In a pot of salted boiling water, cook farro for about 35 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Make the dressing: In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, white wine vinegar, lemon, garlic, maple syrup, salt, and pepper.
- Assemble the salad: Toss cooked farro with watercress, carrots, cheese, dried tart cherries, basil, mint, and sliced almonds. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss again. Taste and adjust seasonings. Let salad sit at room temp for 15 minutes, then serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. This makes a great lunch the next day.