The exploding popularity of traditional and ancient grains in recent years has brought with it an abundance of new options for delicious (and hearty!) salads. I love adding barley or quinoa to just about anything and recently discovered the fantastic nuttiness of farro. Once a mainstay of health food stores, this ancient relative of wheat is now widely available in grocery stores (I love Bob’s Red Mill) and is a fun addition to soups, stews, or salads. I’ve really been loving it lately in salads, and this Farro Salad with Arugula in particular.
Adapted from a recipe by Chef Ryan Hardy and the Charlie Bird Restaurant in New York, this salad is easy to make and full of great flavor. I love it for a hearty lunch but it is even great for a light dinner. The farro is best when made a little ahead and chilled and then mixed with fresh arugula, tomatoes, salty shaved parmesan, radishes and vinaigrette. It is studded with pistachios for a great little crunch. If you keep the arugula and dressing out until you’re ready to serve, the recipe is a perfect prepare ahead lunch option for the whole week!
Farro Salad with Arugula
- 1 cup farro
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 cups water
- 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped pistachios nuts only
- 2 cups arugula or arugula/spinach mix
- 1 cup parsley or basil leaves torn
- 1 cup mint leaves
- ¾ cup halved grape tomatoes
- ⅓ cup thinly sliced radish
For the Farro:
Check your brand's package instructions. Most farro requires a cooking ratio of 1 cup grain to 3 cups liquid. Adjust recipe as necessary.
In a medium sauce pain, combine farro, apple cider, bay leaves, salt, and water.
Bring to a boil and then simmer until tender and the liquid is evaporated, approximately 30 min.
Discard the bay leaves.
Set the farro aside to cool.
For the Dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and a small pinch of salt.
For the Salad:
In a large bowl, toss together the farro with dressing, cheese, and nuts. Just before serving, add the arugula, fresh herbs, tomatoes and radish and fold to combine.
Add a pinch of salt to taste.