Picnic-perfect farro salad is studded with juicy peaches, cucumbers, and frizzled onions and tossed with creamy Vidalia Poppyseed dressing. It’s great as a side dish, but it’s also hearty enough to enjoy as as your main course.
Last week, I finished my culinary program‘s unit on pantry staples. It was all about sauces, stocks, dressings, and quick pickles. More than any other unit so far, it really made me want to get in the kitchen! I spent the weekend making vegetable stock, marinara sauce, and an amazing cashew bechamel that I’ll use to make creamed spinach later this week.
I was also inspired to make this creamy Vidalia onion dressing that’s delicious as a dip for carrot sticks, on a garden salad, or in this summery farro salad.
This Vidalia poppyseed dressing is easy to make and so delicious! All you need is a blender and a few simple ingredients. The onion and mustard help the dressing emulsify, making it super creamy. It looks like it has a dairy or mayonnaise base, but there’s no dairy or egg in it at all. Vidalia onions have a natural sweetness to them that gives the dressing an amazing, mellow flavor – don’t try making it with regular yellow onions because their flavor is too sharp and spicy for this recipe. You also want to use a neutral oil, like grapeseed, to keep the flavors in balance.
I used the dressing on this simple farro salad that’s so tasty I’ve eaten it three times in the past 24 hours. Inspired by the Vidalia onions, which are grown in Georgia, I added peaches to the salad. Cucumbers keep things light and fresh while arugula adds a bitter note and keeps everything from being too sweet. I also added some lightly fried onions for additional texture and flavor. You can leave them out if you really want to, but I they definitely take the salad to the next level. Serve this salad well-chilled – it’s even better after it sits in the fridge overnight!
Vidalias are in season now, so what are you waiting for? How about a coupon for 50-cents off your next purchase?
For the dressing:
- ½ cup grapeseed oil
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 Vidalia onion chopped
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- salt and pepper
For the farro salad
- Grapeseed oil for frying
- ½ Vidalia onion sliced
- 1 cup farro
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup arugula
- 1 peach cut into a 1/4-inch dice
- 1 cucumber cut into a 1/4-inch dice
- In a blender, combine the oil, vinegar, mustard, and onion. Cover and gradually increase the speed to high; blend 2-3 minutes or until smooth. Stir in the poppy seeds and season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill until ready to use.
- In a small sautee pan, heat 1/2-inch of grapeseed oil. When hot, add the sliced onions. Fry for 2-3 minutes, or until light golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.
- Meanwhile, add the farro and water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the farro is soft and the water is absorbed. Transfer the cooked farro to a large mixing bowl.
- Stir in the arugula, peaches, cucumber, fried onions, and half of the dressing. Chill thoroughly and serve with additional dressing, if desired.
I created this recipe for my client, the Vidalia Onion Committee. Thank you for supporting the recipes that keep me inspired in the kitchen!