Fall Farro Salad

By • November 16, 2009 • 27 Comments

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Author Notes: I love farro and most other grains and am always trying to find a recipe that might influence others to enjoy them with me. This one has been popular with both adults and less picky kids. The inspiration for this was a recipe in Bon Appetit in which the cauliflower is fried and the other vegetables and prosciutto are cooked in with the farro and then discarded. I changed it up a bit to make it healthier and, I think, full of flavor. Since this is great at room temperature it's great for a potluck. If you buy your farro in the bulk section of a coop or organic market, the price is much better than in the smaller packages. Because it makes so much, there's always some left over for lunch the next day! - healthierkitchenhealthierkitchen

Food52 Review: Healthierkitchen’s Fall Farro Salad is everything I look for in a one-dish meal. Savory whole grains, cooked to tender perfection, the addition of roasted nutty cauliflower, olive oil kissed soffritto, salty pancetta, and bright, herbal, citrusy notes from oregano, chives, and Italian parsley. The resulting dish is flavorful, balanced, and delicious. It can hold its own as a weeknight dinner as well as present itself as an elegant side on a holiday table (perhaps with the addition of roasted mushrooms or Brussels sprouts). It is also wonderful the next day—I am slightly embarrassed to say that I did not have as much leftover for lunch as I had hoped! (I also made this with quinoa for my non-gluten eating husband and it was equally good.) - gingerroot The Editors

Serves 8 - 10

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut up into small florets (I sometimes do this with brussels sprouts in addition - they cook more quickly so only roast them about 15 or so minutes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch salt
  • 4 cups low or no sodium added chicken (or vegetable if you want to keep it vegetarian) stock
  • 4 cups water
  • about 1 pounds farro, rinsed
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced (omit if you're keeping this vegetarian)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (or even marjoram if you've got it)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1/4 cup best quality olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • about 1 cups crumbled feta, spread over top
  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Toss the cut up cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a Ziploc bag or large bowl. Make sure all pieces are lightly coated with olive oil. Spread cauliflower in a single layer in a shallow baking dish or half sheet pan. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over cauliflower.
  3. Let cauliflower roast, stirring and turning pieces occasionally, until tender and golden brown, about 25 - 35 minutes.
  4. While cauliflower roasts, bring the stock and water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Once the stock boils, add the rinsed farro and stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until tender, about 20 - 25 minutes. Drain farro, and set aside in a large serving bowl.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan over medium heat, saute the diced pancetta unitl it darkens and gets a little crispy. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and carrot has softened, about 10 minutes. You might have to lower the burner to medium-low if the onion is starting to crispen. Season vegetables with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  6. Once cooked, add onion mixture to the farro in the serving bowl.
  7. Add the cooked cauliflower to the serving bowl.
  8. Add parsley, oregano and half the chives to the serving bowl.
  9. Add lemon juice and olive oil to serving bowl and mix contents gently, but thoroughly. Taste for salt and pepper and add if necessary.
  10. Garnish with remaining chives and feta.
  11. Can be served warm or room temperature.
Jump to Comments (27)

Tags: fall, Healthy, serves a crowd, Vegetables, whole grain

Comments (27) Questions (0)

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9 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

On the menu this weekend, using freekeh instead of farro because I just happen to have that on hand. So looking forward to it! (Will use a combination of cauliflower and broccoli, and basil instead of oregano, because my flourishing basil bush beckons.) ;o)

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8 months ago healthierkitchen

Hope it worked out for you AJ! So jealous of your basil - we are so far from that here. I do have chives up, though :)

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8 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

What a great recipe! We did enjoy it, tremendously. Used only cauliflower, as Brusslies have been quite dreary looking for months. I didn't have any chives, but it didn't matter. My copious amounts of fresh herbs, including marjoram, carried the day. As noted, I used freekeh. Outstanding! Will likely make again soon, with local cherry tomatoes. A keeper, to be sure! ;o)

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about 1 year ago Maria

Just made this for dinner -- amazing! Great use of fall veggies! I halved the recipe and used half a cauliflower and about 3/4 lb of brussel sprouts. I didn't have any farro in my cupboard, so I used some wheat berries that I had. Turned out great!

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about 1 year ago healthierkitchen

So glad you liked it, Maria! Wheatberries are delicious too! Just take a little while longer to cook...

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over 1 year ago Judy Natal

I'm a little confused...I've never cooked farro before...
does the recipe call for 4 C water AND 4 C stock or is it combined total of 4 cups?
Thanks. I look forward to trying this! JN

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about 1 year ago healthierkitchen

Judy - I'm sorry that I'm just seeing this now. It is 4 cups of each - I cook farro like pasta so I use a lot of liquid and then drain it. That's why I don't use only stock. You could easily just use all water. Some people cook it more like rice.

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almost 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I am glad you entered this it's wonderful, I made it for a dinner party and it was such a hit. Everyone loved it. I am sorry I never posted this before, seeing the recipe again reminded me.

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almost 2 years ago healthierkitchen

Thanks for saying, sdebrango! I'm so pleased that you liked it. I actually changed up the recipe a little bit this time out, incorporating some of my more recent variations.

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almost 2 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

this looks fab, wendy!

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almost 2 years ago healthierkitchen

thanks Emily! It's very adaptable, too

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almost 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Love this! I have to make this right away. I love farro and brussels. Fantastic!

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almost 2 years ago healthierkitchen

thanks, sdebrango! I hope you like this!

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over 2 years ago Lilismom

Like it? We loved it! It was hard to stop eating it! Thanks so much for such a wonderful and healthy recipe! No problem with the minor confusion!

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over 2 years ago Lilismom

I'm cooking it right now and it didn't seem quite right so I just added more water like when usually cook farro. I'm having trouble not eating all of the cauliflower though as I wait for the farro to cook! It's going to be so good! Thanks!

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over 2 years ago Lilismom

I hate to be stupid...but, what's the water for? 4 cups of water.

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over 2 years ago healthierkitchen

Absolutely NOT a stupid question - I completely messed that up! I've just edited it to read that the stock and water should go in to the pot together for cooking the farro.

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over 2 years ago healthierkitchen

I hope it worked out in the end! Sorry for the confusion. And I know what you mean about the cauliflower - it's so good roasted.

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about 4 years ago Lucia from Madison

Yes this does sound good. I agree about the feta. I want this for lunch!

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about 4 years ago healthierkitchen

Thanks Lucia - I like to serve this for a dinner side one night and then we have many lunches left over. Unlike rice, farro doesn't harden up and really is fine at room temp.

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about 4 years ago gingerroot

This sounds delicious. I would love to open up my lunch container and find this!

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about 4 years ago healthierkitchen

Thanks so much, gingerroot! Was actually thinking about this over night (a little odd, I know) and thinking that if someone didn't eat pork, and left out the pancetta, a little feta on top at the end might be nice.

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about 4 years ago gingerroot

Not odd to me! : ) My brain is consumed with food thoughts these days. Feta instead of the pancetta sounds equally delicious!!

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about 4 years ago gingerroot

I made this last night for my family for dinner and it was amazing! I could eat this every night. Or day, for that matter. I actually cut the farro in half, and made the same amount of quinoa for my husband, and divided the vegetables, pancetta and herbs between them. I can see this as a lovely Thanksgiving side (especially with the brussels sprouts, and maybe even some roasted mushrooms). Thanks so much healthierkitchen!!

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about 4 years ago healthierkitchen

So glad you like it gingerroot! And thanks for the kinds words aout it. This really is one of my favorite fall dishes and since it makes a ton, I am always assured of my lunch for a few days. How was the quinoa version?

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about 4 years ago healthierkitchen

and sorry for the really bad typos in the last message!

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about 5 years ago healthierkitchen

In this photo, I had also added a few roasted brussels sprouts that I had leftover from another dish. Also delicous that way!