I think this salad is particularly well-balanced–hefty and satisfying, but also bright, fresh, and just a little spicy. All the salad-parts can be prepared while the farro cooks and cools. If you don’t enjoy a lot of heat, use a less spicy pepper.
This recipe is an amalgamation of the green garlic-dressed farro I ate at Otto Enoteca Pizzeria (they very graciously shared the recipe with me), and Charlie Bird‘s recipe for Farro Salad printed in the New York Times. It is good, covered in the fridge, for up to 5 days. —Cristina Sciarra
1.5 cups (290 grams) farro
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 very small red onion, cut into half-moon slices
1 tablespoon + 1/4 cup olive oil
2 heads spring garlic, minced
1/2 Scotch bonnet pepper, seeds removed and thinly sliced
the juice and zest of 1 large lemon + 1 teaspoon lemon juice
Set a pot of salted water (4.5 cups water to 1 tablespoon salt) on the range. Add the apple cider vinegar and the bay leaf. Bring the water to a rolling boil, and then add the farro. Lower the heat to medium-high and cook the farro uncovered for 30 minutes, or until chewy and al dente. Drain the farro, and allow it to come to room temperature.
Meanwhile, soak the onion slices in lukewarm water for 10 minutes, to make them less harsh; drain and dry the onion slices.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss the zucchini coins with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Let the zucchini sit for 15 minutes, until it slackens.
Meanwhile, over medium-low heat, saute the green garlic and the pepper with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. When the vegetables are translucent and soft, spoon them into a mortar and pestle. Add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and the zest and juice of 1 lemon; make a vinaigrette/paste. (If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, this can also be done roughly with a bowl/large fork.) Fold the vinaigrette into the farro.
Fold the zucchini into the farro. Fold in the Parmesan shavings, chives, parsley and pumpkin seeds. Adjust the lemon juice, if needed. Serve slightly warm, or at room temperature.
Cristina is a writer, cook, and day job real estate developer. She studied literature, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and completed the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She lives in Jersey City with her husband--a Frenchman she met in Spain--and their sweet black cat, Minou. Follow her writings, recipes, publications and photography at theroamingkitchen.com.