I like to add a little variety to the holiday table in the side dish department. Cranberries are my fall ingredient of choice. Yes, I still cook with them after the official start of winter on December 21st but I try to make exceptions for this red jeweled and tart wonder. The sweet in this recipe is coming from maple glazed pecans. I found a similar recipe by Some the Wiser and made some changes, dropped the celery and went with water to cook the farro, no dijon in this recipe and subbed the red wine vinegar for my stand by white balsamic. So without further adieu, here is your next favorite holiday dish. If it doesn't go over big, no worries, it is great as leftovers for lunch. —Liz | inspired by the seasons
In a medium saucepan that has a lid add the water and farro and bring to a boil. Stir in the butter and add the thyme. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20 minutes until plump and the liquid has been absorbed. Take out the thyme sprigs. Remove from heat transfer to a serving bowl. Fluff with a fork and let cool to room temperature while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
Lay a 12" long piece of parchment paper on the counter for cooling the pecans. In a 8" skillet (you want one large enough so the nuts are in a single layer in the pan) heat the maple syrup 1-2 minutes over medium heat, you don't want to bring it to a simmer yet. Stir in vanilla and salt and add pecans. Increase the heat until the syrup begins to bubble, stir constantly until all the syrup is absorbed. Transfer to parchment paper to cool. Once cool, break apart to bite sized pieces. If making ahead, store in an airtight container.
Cook the Cranberries and Assemble the salad
Add the syrup and cranberries to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cook until the cranberries burst, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
1 apple, cut into 1/2" cubes, a sweet firm apple is best.
In a bowl, combine the farro, nuts, apples and cranberries. Serve immediately, If you are making this ahead, add the nuts just before serving.