Farro & Fresh Mozzarella Salad with Arugula Walnut Pesto

June 13, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4 to 6
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. - thirschfeld —thirschfeld

Test Kitchen Notes

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. - drbabs —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • VanessaJo
  • There'sAlwaysPie
  • drbabs
  • dymnyno
  • healthierkitchen

10 Reviews

VanessaJo April 14, 2014
I know this is an old recipe - but I just wanted to comment and add my praises. Not quite tomato season yet, so I subbed roasted red peppers for the tomatoes. Also subbed ramp tops for the chives and subbed dandelion greens for most (but not all) of the arugula. Made it for a potluck, but couldn't resist eating a little for dinner. Thank you!
stellasnap August 14, 2012
I've had this recipe saved forever, and I finally made it last night! I wish I had made it sooner, because it was delicious. My boyfriend even said I need to add it to our rotation, and he's a tough critic! I'm so glad I doubled the recipe, so I can have some for dinner again tonight. I subbed basil for half of the arugula, since I have so much of it in my garden. Thanks for this recipe, thirschfeld!
Westminstress April 27, 2012
Made this last night and we really enjoyed it! Though I just realized now that I forgot to add the red pepper flakes and we probably would have it liked it even more with those included. I only had a bit of lemon so added a dash of red wine vinegar for acidity, and I subbed shallot greens for the chives since I happened to have a bunch of green shallots on hand.
There'sAlwaysPie September 30, 2010
Made this last night - it was delicious! I bought my first bag of farro to experiment with and this was the first recipe I tried. Will definitely make it again!
thirschfeld October 1, 2010
Thanks I am so glad you liked it. I have become a fan of farro over the years. I think it is an underappreciated grain.
drbabs June 27, 2010
thirschfeld, I'm testing this for EP and I made it for a dinner party last night. I have a new favorite grain--loved the farro. The pesto was gorgeous, and the flavors were all really well balanced. A really good recipe!
dymnyno June 19, 2010
I can't believe that I have lived as long as I have and I just discovered farro a couple months ago...thanks for posting a delicious recipe.
healthierkitchen June 15, 2010
I love to find new ways to use farro! I did one this past weekend for a graduation party with saenyc's wild ramp pesto (with spinach added) and chunks of mozzarella. I like your use of the tomato and lemon juice. I think mine could have benefitted from some tomato for flavor and the red color. Wish I'd seen this before! I've got a fall and a spring farro posted here.
TheWimpyVegetarian June 14, 2010
Really creative. Love how this looks and sounds.
drbabs June 14, 2010