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Charlie Bird's Farro Salad

Updated: Oct 4, 2019

Would you look that this beautiful salad? I mean, it's perfection- chewy farro, crunchy radishes and pistachios, peppery arugula, sweet tomatoes, fragrant herbs, and salty parmesan all tossed together in a simple, piquant vinaigrette. There is a lot going on in this picture, but all the components of this recipe work together in perfect harmony. Each ingredient serves a special purpose and can be clearly tasted in the finished product. It's one of my absolute favorite recipes from the New York Times, one that I keep returning to over and over again. This salad can be enjoyed as a light main course on it's own or with some additional protein added on top (i.e. chicken, salmon, shrimp, or eggs). It's also a gorgeous spring/summer side dish. To switch things up, try using barley in place of farro and swapping in some basil in lieu of or in addition to the mint. But other than that, try not to make too many tweaks- this recipe is flawless as written! Farro-bulous!


prep time: 30 min. cook time: 5 min. serves: 4-6


1 cup farro

1 cup apple juice or apple cider

kosher salt

2 bay leaves

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese (use a veggie peeler)

1/2 cup toasted pistachio nuts, chopped

2 cups baby arugula

1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

1/2 cup basil, chopped

1/2 cup mint, chopped

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup thinly sliced radish

flaky salt for finishing


Bring the farro, apple juice or cider, 2 tsp salt, bay leaves, and 2 cups water to a simmer in a medium sauce pan. Cook on low simmer until the farro is tender and the liquid has evaporated, about 30 minutes, adding more water as needed if the farro starts to dry out before it is tender. Remove the farro to sheet pan and spread it out to cool. Discard the bay leaves. In a large salad bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt, and slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Add the farro, cheese, pistachios, tomatoes, radish, herbs, arugula, and toss to combine, adding flaky salt on top to finish. *If you would like to make this ahead of time, hold off on adding the herbs, radish, and arugula until right before serving.

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