I have been trying to expand our palettes to include more of the different foods that the world has to offer. Let’s face it–sometimes we can get stuck eating the same thing over and over again. I also wanted to add more salads into our diet, but I was sick of garden and caesar salads. I really didn’t want to start making chef salads with dinner, those alone can be a meal. I wanted something that would be satisfying, healthy, and that my kids will eat. They are not picky eaters–I can get them to eat their vegetables–but getting them to eat a salad with dressing that is not Ranch is a different story.
They love ranch. I don’t blame them, I love ranch, too. Ranch is great on carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, and honestly any fresh vegetables. It is nice to switch things up to try something new, something different, something you didn’t know you needed in your life until you had it.
And this is when I start working my magic. I had a couple of sweet potatoes, a few apples, and lots of farro left. Really knowing flavors helps me combine foods that you would normally never see together, much less make a salad with. I like to live on the wild side. The wild rice side, that is. lol The nutty flavor of the farro goes great with the sweet potatoes and apples. The fresh crunch of the apples acts like a crouton. And everything sits on top of a bed of spring mix to get even more flavors and textures from the different types of lettuces.
The best part is the dressing that coats everything. If you love Harry Potter and butterbeer, you will not be disappointed with this dressing. It tastes like a healthier version of butterbeer that you can have on a salad! That was the biggest win for my kids. I think that they will never complain again about not having ranch as long as I have this on hand.
- 4 cups spring mix green
- 1 large sweet potato peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup farro chilled
- 1 apple thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup walnuts optional
- 1/4 cup shredded parmigiano-regginao
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp grainy mustard
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil divided
- salt and pepper. to taste
Preheat oven to 425˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium size bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add farro. Cook for 30 minutes or until tender. Once cooked spread on a plate and chill the refrigerator. (You can do this step the day before to really help bring out the nut flavor of the farro)
Toss sweet potato cubes with the 2 teaspoons of olive oil and spread onto the sheet. Roast for 20 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
Using a sharp knife thinly slice apples. To help prevent them from turning brown add a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice and toss. This will not affect the flavor at all.
In a small bowl, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp pure maple syrup, 1 tbsp grainy mustard, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Whisk until well combined.
In a large serving bowl, combine greens, sweet potatoes, farro, walnuts, apple, and parmigiano-regginao. If serving immediately, drizzle dressing onto salad and toss well to combine.