Charlie Bird’s Farro Salad

I first saw this salad in The NY Times, and I made it that night years ago. What I love about it, is the flavor of the farro–which is cooked in apple cider with bay leaves, so I want to make the farro the star as opposed to the arugula. Don’t worry about the “fresh” apple cider–I always use what ever is easiest to find — and I’ve even made it with Martinelli’s sparkling apple juice when that was leftover from a celebration. You can add whatever you like — for me, it’s most often corn, capers, and cucumbers. Easy to make early in the day for a dinner party. LOVE IT!

  • 1 cup pearled farro (6 ounces)
  • 1 cup fresh apple cider
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup good olive oil
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup roasted, salted pistachios, whole or chopped
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved through the stem
  • ¹⁄3 cup thinly sliced radishes (2 to 3 radishes)
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • ½ cup shaved Italian Parmesan cheese
  • Flaked sea salt, such as Maldon

Place the farro, apple cider, bay leaves, 2 teaspoons salt, and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, until the farro is tender. (If all the liquid is absorbed before the farro is tender, add a little more water.) Drain the farro and transfer to a large serving bowl. Discard the bay leaves.

Meanwhile, in a small measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir the vinaigrette into the warm farro and set aside for at least 15 minutes to cool.

Before serving, stir in the pistachios, parsley, mint, tomatoes, and radishes. Add the arugula and lightly fold in the Parmesan so as not to break it up too much. Sprinkle with the sea salt and serve immediately.

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