I made this wonderful salad for my birthday dinner celebration at home. This salad was not only published by Melissa Clark in The New York Times, Ina Garten also shared it in her book, Cook Like a Pro. What endorsements!
The original recipe is from Charlie Bird in NYC. It is a signature dish on the menu. The New York Times article stated,
“There are two essential steps to a stellar farro salad. The first is cooking the farro with enough salt and aromatics so that it delicious before you combine it with the rest of the ingredients. The second is to use very good olive oil in the dressing. This farro salad, from the restaurant Charlie Bird in SoHo, hits both these marks. The chef Ryan Hardy cooks the farro in apple cider seasoned with bay leaves and plenty of salt, which renders it good enough to eat on its own. But it’s even better after he adds loads of olive oil, plus pistachio nuts and Parmesan cheese to make it even richer. Then, before serving, he folds in fresh vegetables to brighten it up: juicy tomatoes, radishes, arugula and plenty of herbs. There are many farro salads of this ilk out there. This is one of the best.”
I had to make it- it sounded incredible! It was loaded with so many of my favorite ingredients.
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I increased the amount of arugula in the salad and served it over a bed of arugula. It was for my birthday. 😉 I also incorporated my CSA cilantro and modified the proportions in the dressing. Next time, I would reduce the amount of salt in the farro, noted below.
I served it with rotisserie chicken to make it a complete meal for my crowd. Happy Birthday to me. 🙂
Yield: Serves 6 for lunch/side dish or 4 as a main course
- 1 cup farro (I used Trader Joe’s 10 minute farro)
- 1 cup apple cider or unfiltered apple juice
- 1 to 2 tsp coarse salt, more as needed
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 T fresh lemon juice
- 70 grams Parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler (about 1/2 cup), divided
- 70 grams chopped pistachio nuts (1/2 cup) (I used salt & pepper pistachios)
- 2 cups (2 large handfuls) arugula leaves, plus more for serving, as desired
- 1 cup parsley or basil leaves, torn or chiffonade
- 1 cup mint or cilantro leaves
- 1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced radishes (I used my CSA French breakfast radishes)
- Maldon or other flaky sea salt, for finishing
- In a medium saucepan, bring farro, apple cider, salt, bay leaves and 1 cup water to a simmer.
- Simmer until farro is tender and liquid evaporates, about 20 to 30 minutes. If all the liquid evaporates before the farro is done, add a little more water. (If using regular pearled farro, increase the water to 2 cups.)
- Let farro cool, then discard bay leaves.
- In a salad bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
- Add farro, 2/3 of the shaved cheese and pistachio nuts. Mix well. (This salad base will keep for up to 4 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator (bring to room temperature before serving.)
- Just before serving, fold in arugula, herbs, tomatoes, radish and flaky salt to taste.
- Garnish with remaining shaved cheese.
- Serve over additional arugula, if desired.