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jasmine green tea grain & herb salad
by Jackie Newgent | March 28, 2021 | 3 Comments
Meet Jasmine Green Tea Grain & Herb Salad … my newest grain salad, just in time for spring. You probably know by now that I’m a big fan of farro salads. So, I figure it’s time to share my 2021 twist on it.
This salad recipe is so filling, so refreshing, and so tasty. It lasts for several days in the fridge. So, if it’s just for one or two of you, you can enjoy it all week long. It’s got a couple surprises in store for you, too!
Pick a tea
First, the grain that you choose (I picked farro, of course!) is simmered with jasmine green tea bags. This infuses each bite with floral, aromatic goodness. If you have another preferred tea (think hibiscus or passion flower, lemon-ginger, or peppermint), try it instead. Then prepare the grain according to package directions. You’ll add the tea bags during the simmering process. I prepared the farro in pasta style (not rice style); that means you’ll have excess liquid to drain off. I find this to be a foolproof way to prepare many whole grains.
Add a “fun ingredient”
The other surprise is what you pick as your “fun ingredient” for sprinkling onto this salad at serving. In addition to sea salt-and-vinegar pistachios (try THESE), I chose finely diced roasted beets … mainly because I had extras in my fridge and since they offered color contrast. (I know beets don’t sound all that fun, but they actually are … especially when the leftover grain salad turns a fuchsia color from the natural beet juices!) Do use this as an opportunity to prevent food waste by picking whatever odds ‘n ends you find that you think will work well flavor-wise here. If you want, use a different “fun ingredient” for each serving! And go bigger or smaller with it based on what works best.
Try some of these “fun” ideas: blueberries, diced peach, pomegranate arils, cubed roasted butternut squash, roasted carrot coins, chopped artichoke hearts, sliced colorful grape tomatoes, dried fruit bits, or any leftovers from the grill. If using fresh fruit, I suggest tossing it with a little extra olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper before adding to this Jasmine Green Tea Grain & Herb Salad.
If you prepare this recipe exactly as I made it, you can’t go wrong with the ingredient combination. It’s got delightful taste and texture. And for extra delight, do finish with a bit of comfort by topping with the optional crumbled herbed soft plant-based cheese (try THIS)!
If you don’t prepare the recipe my way, please let me know what you picked for your grain and fun ingredient!
1 cup (200 grams) uncooked farro or other whole grain
2 jasmine green tea bags or other variety, paper tab removed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 lemon, juice and zest (3 tablespoons juice), divided
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups packed (70 grams) fresh baby arugula
1 1/4 cups (170 grams) chopped English cucumber
1/3 cup packed (13 grams) fresh mint leaves, chopped
12 large fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 medium Hass avocado, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup (75 grams) “fun ingredient” of choice, or to taste
1/4 cup (45 grams) no-shells sea salt-and-vinegar pistachios or roasted salted pistachios
4 ounces herbed soft plant-based cheese, crumbled or rolled into small balls (optional)
Prepare whole grain per package directions, adding tea bags into the pan just before covering it to simmer. After the whole grain is fully cooked, remove the tea bags and drain off excess liquid. (Makes about 2 1/2 cups/475 grams cooked grains.)
Transfer the cooked whole grain to a heatproof container or bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt; set aside to cool for about 30 minutes. Then cover and chill in the container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons lemon juice, the lemon zest, pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt. Add the chilled grains and stir to combine. Add the arugula, cucumber, mint, and basil and stir to combine. Add the avocado and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and gently fold together. Adjust seasoning.
Transfer to a serving bowl, platter, or individual plates. Sprinkle with the “fun ingredient,” pistachios and, if desired, plant-based cheese, and serve.
Per serving: 200 calories, 10g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 500mg sodium, 24g total carbohydrate, 4.5g dietary fiber, 4g total sugars includes 0g added sugars, 6g protein
Serving Size:about 1 cup (130 grams) each
Try my other salads featuring farro, including lemony herb farro salad with avocado & grilled zucchini (see recipe HERE), farro with california prunes, butternut squash & pecans (see recipe HERE), and lemon-ginger farro salad with pomegranate & pistachios (see recipe HERE).