Many days I am happy that I recently discovered my dairy sensitivity because it has made me explore new foods that I have never cooked with before. White rice, brown rice, wild rice, and different forms of pasta noodles were our staples before now. These have been basically replaced with couscous, farro and quinoa. Mediterranean Couscous/Farro salad is a perfect example!
Although couscous looks like a grain, it is technically a pasta made from semolina. There are three types of couscous and I cook with the Lebanese form which is the largest in size and is often called pearl couscous. It does take longer to cook but is worth the wait. Farro is an extremely nutritious grain. It is a much healthier alternative to rice.
Mediterranean Couscous/Farro Salad ~
One only has to type Mediterranean Couscous Salad into the Pinterest search line and you will get numerous versions of this recipe. I added a link in one of my posts recently that took you to one of the recipes I tried and loved ➡️➡️Surviving a Dairy Free Life – With Recipes! Since first trying some of these recipes, I have tweeked them a bit to come up with something a bit different.
The basic ingredients are typically the same in most recipes you see. One of the biggest differences is that I mixed couscous and farro in the same dish. What is awesome about making Mediterranean Couscous/Farro Salad is you can add in items you may need to use up from your fridge and it’s still amazing. The dressing you use is basically what makes the biggest difference in my opinion!
- Pearl Couscous – 1 1/2 cups
- Farro – 1 to 1 1/2 cups
- Garlic – minced – 2 to 3 cloves
- Chicken or Vegetable Broth – 32 ounce
- Bell Pepper – Orange, Red, Green and/or Yellow – diced -I used only 1 orange bell pepper
- Onion – Red and White – diced- 1/2 each of medium sized onion
- Tomatoes – diced (whatever is in season – Cherry, Roma, Campari, Plum, etc) – 1 1/2 cups
- Banana or Poblano Pepper – diced – 1 pepper
- Black Beans (or beans of choice) – 1 can
- Basil – to taste (I used about 3 tsp)
- Salt & Pepper – to taste
- Green Onions – dehydrated or fresh – chopped – 1/2 cup fresh or 2 Tbsp dehydrated
- Tbsp. Olive Oil – divided – 4 Tbsp + 1/4 cup
- Lemon Juice – 2 tsp. or 1 lemon juiced
- Red Wine Vinegar – 2 Tbsp
- Scallion Oil – 1 Tbsp.
- Feta Cheese – For those who are NOT dairy free like my husband 😜
Heat 4 Tbsp. olive oil in pan.
Add garlic and onion. Cook on medium-low heat until translucent. (A good garlic press is so important to have in the kitchen….I personally love the ones with the built in cleaner to help get all the bitty pieces out!)
Toss in couscous and farro. Cook until browned (about 5 minutes).
Add chicken/vegetable broth. Start with half of the 32 ounce container. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium/low heat. Add broth as needed to keep the couscous and farro moist.
Remove from heat and let cool.
In separate bowl, add bell pepper, tomatoes, poblano pepper, black beens, green onions, basil salt and pepper.
Mix veggies with cooled couscous/farro mixture.
Whisk together remaining olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and scallion oil. Add in a bit of extra basil, salt and pepper. I love using a salad dressing shaker when making all of my dressings. Toss the ingredients into the dispenser, make sure top is closed and shake until mixed. Then move the top piece over to pour. Such a great tool from countertop creating to kitchen table. In fact, many times I leave a dressing “undressed” and let everyone top their own according to their preference.
As stated above, you can add in so many different ingredients according to taste or just what you need to use up in your fridge. I do always try to add some type of pepper in addition to the bell and green pepper. The poblano is one of my favorites because it doesn’t pack a lot of heat but still gives some great additional flavor. However, I do use other spicier peppers at times too because my husband prefers a lot of spice!
I would like to also note that it is very common to use chick peas in this recipe, which are very good. I had to make a change due to food allergies. What I have found when making the Mediterranean Couscous/Farro Salad is that many different “beans” are good in this recipe so choose your favorite and enjoy!
This salad is awesome when paired with grilled salmon! However, it is truly a great accompaniment to almost any main dish…or honestly it is great served as the main dish as well! I love making it for dinner and then using the leftovers for lunch….meal prep at it’s finest!
Have you tried this recipe? Let me know in the comments below! I look forward to hearing from you!
P.S. Are you looking for some other fresh recipes? Check out my delicious stir fry chicken and vegetable recipe here!
Happy Cooking ~