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.

More Great Recipes: Cauliflower|Vegetables|Rice & Grains|Side Dishes|Salads

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