Wednesday, September 7, 2011

late summer farro salad

farro salad. 

this glorious grain has been getting more and more well-deserved hype. if you haven't yet, i fully encourage joining the farro cult. 
come hang, we're a we-love-chewy-grains kinda way. 

this farro salad is a beautiful thing. there are many of things going on, but everything works.. and lives together in peaceful harmony. 

i can only think of a few things i don't want to eat with farro. 

1. mayonnaise. no, i don't want that. 
2. soft serve. sorry, you know i love you soft serve. but not this time. 
3. cantaloupe. i hate you. stay away from my farro and my life. 

and pretty much everything else i would want to eat with farro. 

wanna know what's in the salad? there's a bunch. 
yellow split peas
red onion
fresh corn
roasted cherry tomatoes and green onions
roasted fennel

then it all gets tossed together with an orange parmesan vinaigrette. 

it's tangy and crunchy and salty and earthy. it has a full hearty chew, but it's still light and feels good to eat. it can be lunch or dinner, snack or side. 

and the best part is that i take take it with me through every season. i imagine using roasted squash and sage and apples in the fall. roasted brussels sprouts, caramelized onions, and goat cheese in the winter. throwing in black beans and chiles for some heat. 
it's impossibly versatile and balls to the walls delicious, every time. 

you'll make it and it will sit out in its bowl and you will take spoonfuls of it every time you walk by. and you'll scoop yourself seconds, even thirds during dinner. 
then dinner seems to be ending and...hang on, i'm not ready for dessert yet, i'm happy just eating more of this. 

i continued to tell myself that up until these came around. 

alas, patience is a virtue and those are for another time...we should focus on the task at hand, which is:

this farro salad is stupendous and i want you to make it soon. please. i know you'll be quite pleased with yourself and maybe come to trust me a little more. and you know all good relationships are built on trust. 

totes, man. 

i adapted this salad from the incroyable heidi swanson. she is a wealth of inspiration and total badass.

Late Summer Farro Salad
adapted from 101cookbooks

6 cups cooked farro
3/4 cup dried yellow split peas
2 cups peas, fresh or frozen, blanched
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 ears corn, stripped
2 pints mixed cherry tomatoes, halved or kept whole
1/2 bunch green onions
1 bulb fennel, sliced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
a few big handfuls of arugula
1/2 cup feta

1 large orange
1 shallot, minced
1/3 cup parmesan, finely grated
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

preheat the oven to 325. arrange the tomatoes, green onions, and fennel in two large baking dishes. generously drizzle with olive oil and kosher salt. roast for about an hour. 

to cook farro: place farro in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat and cover with a couple inches of water and salt generously. cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the farro is tender, 45 minutes to an hour. taste as it cooks, you want the farro to be a little chewy and retain structure. remove from heat, drain any excess water, and set aside. 
to cook dried yellow split peas: bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. add 3/4 cup dried yellow split peas and cook for 20-30 minutes, until tender. drain, salt, and set aside. 

to make orange parmesan vinaigrette: whisk together the zest and juice of the orange, the minced shallot, parmesan cheese, vinegar, and olive oil. salt to taste. 

in a large bowl (very large people), toss the farro, split peas, peas, onion, and corn with the vinaigrette. get everything well coated. add in the roasted tomatoes, onions, and fennel, the cilantro, and arugula. gently toss everything together. taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. crumble the feta over the whole beautiful mess and serve. 


  1. Your photos are incredible and the food looks delicious - can you please get your good friend Jamie to make one of these dishes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I've been substituting wheat or spelt berries for farro because I've been too lazy to buy it! But with all this praise, and this delicious salad in front of my eyes, I think it's time I took the plunge!