Farro & Fresh Mozzarella Salad with Arugula Walnut Pesto

By • June 13, 2010 10 Comments

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Author Notes: I like to use whole grains for salads. In this one the pesto really complements the grain and the mozzarella lends a creaminess that tames the peppery arugula. There is more pesto than the recipe calls for because it is better to be able to add more to your taste than fall short and not have enough. If you have extra try it in your omelet in the morning. - thirschfeldthirschfeld

Food52 Review: I made this salad for a dinner party and we all really enjoyed it. The pesto was gorgeous and very tasty. We really loved the farro and thought that the salad, even without the pesto, was delicious, with a nice kick from the red pepper flakes. It was also beautiful -- thirschfeld's instructions were very clear as to cutting the tomatoes and cheese into small cubes. That made for a beautiful, well balanced salad, which on its own could be a light lunch. With the pesto, it's rich and smooth and creamy. I thought all the flavors melded together beautifully. I did add a bit more lemon -- it brightened up the flavor of the pesto considerably. - drbabsThe Editors

Serves 4 to 6

For the pesto:

  • 2 cups arugula, washed and dried
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1 cup Manchego cheese, grated
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For the salad

  • 2 cups cooked farro
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced
  1. With the exception of the olive oil combine all the pesto ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse it a few times to form a paste.
  2. With the processor running drizzle in a 1/4 cup of oil and blend. If it seems wet enough do not add more oil but if it seems dry add a teaspoon or two.
  3. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  4. In a mixing bowl combine the farro with half the pesto and mix it to combine. Add the tomatoes, pepper flakes, lemon juice, chives, and mozzarella. Toss the salad to combine and taste. Adjust the seasoning if necessary or add more pesto if you think it needs it. Serve.

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

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