Mediterranean Farro Salad with Chickpeas

This is a delicious, nutritious, and hearty salad that lasts for days in the fridge.

Inspired by Ina Garten’s Farro Tabbouleh with Feta.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup farro
  • 1/2 hothouse cucumbers, unpeeled, halved, seeded, and 1/2-inch diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can organic chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley (if you like parsley, use the entire bunch)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (or more)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon (about 4 tablespoons)
  • 6 ounces feta, 1/2-inch diced-not crumbled (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios
  • Pitted Kalamata olives, drained

Directions

  1. Rinse and drain the farro and place it in a large saucepan with 4 cups water and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, until tender. Drain. I highly recommend cooking farro the way it is prepared in Charlie Bird’s Farro Salad.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the cucumbers, chickpeas, scallions, parsley, and mint in a large bowl. 
  3. Drain the farro and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  4. Add the warm farro to the vegetables and herbs and add olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  5. Carefully stir in the feta and olives.

*I have found with most beans and grain salads that much less oil is needed in the dressing than typical green salads. Therefor typical oil to acid ratios don’t apply.


Charlie Bird’s Farro Salad

In this recipe, the farro is not simply boiled in water, but simmered in apple cider, which gives it a wonderful, sweet, tart flavor.

From NY Times Cooking

Ingredients

For the Farro

  • 1 cup farro
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
  • 2 bay leaves

For the Salad

  • 70 grams Parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler (1/2 cup)
  • 70 grams chopped pistachio nuts (1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups arugula leaves (I prefer baby arugula)
  • 1 cup basil leaves, torn
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • ¾ cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup thinly sliced radish
  • Maldon or other flaky sea salt, for finishing

For the dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I use 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring farro, apple cider, salt, bay leaves and water to a simmer. Cook at a gentle boil until farro has doubled in size, is very tender, and all liquid evaporated (pearled farro takes about 30 minutes while regular takes about an hour). If all the liquid evaporates before the farro is done, add a little more water. Let farro cool, then discard bay leaves.
  2. In a salad bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Add farro and mix well.
  3. Just before serving, fold in arugula, herbs, tomatoes, cheese and pistachio nuts and mix well. Add flaky salt to taste.