Farro + Feta = Fabulous Fall Fare

Even though it has started to cool off a bit here, I still have those days that I crave a salad.  But it needs to be a season-appropriate salad.  A bit on the hearty side, with a warm element or two and a recipe that uses the best of fall produce.  And, if it has bacon in it…. even better!!  My answer is this spectacular salad.

Apple, Farro and Bacon Salad with Warm Feta Cheese comes from Woman’s Day magazine.  It’s a salad that definitely stays with you for a while — you won’t be hungry thirty minutes after eating it.  Roasting the bacon also makes it a bit chewier than if you simply fried it which, along with the farro, gives you something to sink your teeth into.  And besides that … its bacon, so it has that going for it already.

Apple, Farro and Bacon Salad with Warm Feta Cheese

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 slices of bacon

4 oz feta cheese

2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp fresh thyme

Kosher salt and pepper

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

1 cup red seedless grapes, halved

1 crisp red apple, cored and cut into thin 1-inch pieces

1 bunch arugula, thick stems discarded

Procedure:

  1. Heat oven to 425F.  Cook the farro according to package directions.  Place the bacon in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until crisp, 12-15 minutes; crumble and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, place the feta in the center of a piece of foil.  Drizzle with 1 tsp. oil; sprinkle with thyme and pepper.  Pull the foil up around the feta to create a pouch.  Bake for 5 minutes just before serving.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar and 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper.  Add the onion and toss to coat; let sit for 5 minutes. Add the celery, grapes and apple and toss to combine.
  4. Add the farro, drizzle with the remaining 2 Tbsp. oil and toss to combine. Fold in the arugula and bacon and serve with the feta.
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