05 January 2015

Charlie Bird's Farro Salad

Trish and I had our birthday dinner last year at Charlie Bird.  There was one salad that we couldn't stop eating and it's one that luckily others love also.  I found the recipe in the NY Times and I kind of replicated the salad of my dreams.  It's worth the effort.

The salad we ate and the recipe differs a little because of the winter/early spring vegetables that were available in March.  I highly recommend it with sweet potatoes instead of the tomatoes.  I think other vegetables would be equally delicious.

  • 1 cup farro
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler 
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachio nuts
  • 2 cups arugula leaves
  • 1 cup parsley or basil leaves, torn
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • ¾ cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • cup thinly sliced radish
  • Maldon or other flaky sea salt, for finishing
In a medium saucepan, bring farro, apple cider, salt, bay leaves and 2 cups water to a simmer. Simmer until farro is tender and liquid evaporates, about 30 minutes. If all the liquid evaporates before the farro is done, add a little more water. Let farro cool, then discard bay leaves.

In a salad bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Add farro, cheese and pistachio nuts and 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.

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