This apple pecan farro salad with apple cider vinaigrette is an easy, vegan lunch or dinner and perfect for fall and winter!
Salads are not just for summer. You can enjoy salads all year long, and fall is a great time to flip the salad switch and take advantage of all the seasonal produce available. It’s also a time to enjoy filling whole grains and hardy leafy greens.
I shared a version of this recipe during my cooking demo last week using hemp seeds instead of pecans. While the hemp hearts are a nutritious option and perfect for your friends and family with allergies, I prefer the crunch and bulk the pecans provide. Plus pecans add some southern flair to the salad.Make this Apple Pecan Farro Salad to celebrate the goodness of fall! #healthyrecipes
Maple Cider Vinaigrette
The maple apple cider vinaigrette pulls this farro salad together with a sweet, tart flavor. I used maple syrup to keep it vegan, but honey would also work.
My little trick to ensure equal distribution and to keep the apples from browning is to toss the apples and farro with the dressing first. Do this and add the greens just before serving to keep the greens crisp and fresh tasting.
Use this same dressing in my Fall Mason Jar Salad. It’s perfect for meal prep and swaps in roasted butternut squash for the apples – though you can use both if you’d like!
Best grains for winter salad
I used cooked farro to make this salad suitable for a dinner or lunch entree. Farro is a gluten-containing ancient grain. It cooks in about 30 minutes and is perfect for meal prep.
It’s a hearty grain that’s perfect for cool weather salads. It has a pleasant chew and can be made ahead for quick meal prep.
Its nutty flavor will elevate warm, cold, or room temperature salads and it pairs perfectly with apples and greens. You can add your favorite protein like tofu or chicken to make it even more filling.
I’ve heard people say that salads at home don’t taste like the ones they get when out at restaurants. And to that, I say look to fix a couple of different areas.
How to make a healthy salad that tastes good
- Dress it right. Homemade salad dressings add incredible fresh flavor and take just a few minutes to shake up. And here’s a tip, double this apple cider vinaigrette dressing to enjoy on other recipes or roasted vegetables later in the week.
- Use the freshest seasonal ingredients. Apples are ripe, crisp, and delicious right now. Greens like kale are less bitter in colder weather too. Make the most of these to build a perfect salad.
- Season your salad. Yes. Add salt and pepper – in the dressing and on the actual fruits and vegetables. Restaurants always do this, and it makes all the difference!
Those are just a few tips but start with the recipe below for a simple fall salad. PIN it for later!
Apple Pecan Farro Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- 1 cup uncooked farro (2 cups cooked)
- 2 medium apples, diced
- 4 cups super greens (greens mix like kale, chard, spinach, etc.)
- ½ cup toasted pecan halves
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or as needed for sweetness
- 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- pinch black pepper or to taste
- Cook the farro according to package instructions or using the pasta method here. Boil a large pot of salted water. Add 1 cup of uncooked farro and boil until al dente, about 30 minutes. Drain well and store in the refrigerator if prepping for later or serve at room temperature.
- Add the dressing ingredients to a large bowl and whisk until combined.
- Toss the diced apples, pecans, and farro in the vinaigrette until well coated. Add the greens. Plate and serve.