Pickled Cherry and Farro Salad with almonds, fresh herbs, goat cheese and Vanilla- Balsamic Dressing. Vegan adaptable.
Start your farro (or grain of choice) cooking. This can be done hours ahead or a day or two before and refrigerated until ready to use. If you are making the salad all at one time, when the grain has finished cooking, scoop onto a tray or shallow pan to cool more quickly. (It can be a little warm still but not too hot that it will cook the fresh herbs.)
Slice the cherries in half, remove pits and place in a pint-sized jar or container.
In a saucepan combine the first 7 ingredients (apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, sugar, black pepper, coriander, red pepper flakes and water) and bring to a boil, simmer 3-4 minutes. Pour hot brine over the cherries. Set aside for at least 30 minutes. (A few hours will develop flavor even more. These will keep in the fridge for a few months.)
Whisk together the vinaigrette. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, add parsley, mint, basil, lemon zest and scallions to the cooked grain. Toss with half of the vinaigrette. Serve over tender salad greens, adding more vinaigrette to taste. Top with toasted almonds and goat cheese.
Note: I have found that when I make this a day ahead, the grain really absorbs the dressing. The vinaigrette recipe is ample so you can add and adjust before serving.
If making this vegan, adding a touch maple syrup will balance out the vinegar.
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