Farro and Arugula Salad


A few of the outdoor Boston Farmer’s Markets are coming to a close for the season. I wanted to make a dish that incorporated some of the remaining beautiful fresh produce. The credit for this tasty salad goes to New York chef Charlie Bird. Farro can be bland on it’s own, but in this recipe it’s slowly simmered in fresh apple cider with a bay leaf. My version of this dish has just a few embellishments, feel free to alter it as you wish. The dressing is simply olive oil and lemon juice, to which I added some lemon zest and a teaspoon of honey. A light champagne vinaigrette would work well too.

Farro is a hearty wheat-based grain that has a rich, nutty flavor. It is a good source of fiber and protein. Look for the pearled farro or semi-pearled farro as the cooking time is less than cooking the whole grain. Farro is a great addition to soups, salads and hot cereal.

charlie-bird-farro-salad

  • 1 cup farro, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 cups arugula or assorted mixed greens
  • 1 cup mint leaves, shredded
  • 1 cup radish, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced lenthwise
  • 3/4 cup pistachios, lightly toasted (optional)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese shavings

In a medium saucepan, combine the farro, apple cider, water, salt and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer the farro until it’s tender but still has some bite, about 30-40 minutes. If all the liquid evaporates before the farro is done, add some more water. Place the farro in a large bowl, let it cool and discard the bay leaf.

In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey and a pinch of kosher salt. Add the dressing, greens, mint, radish, tomatoes and pistachios to the farro. Toss together well and add the parmesan shavings. The farro can be made a day ahead and refrigerated overnight. Bring it to room temperature before dressing and adding the other ingredients. Serves 6.

Inspiration: New York Times

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