Serves a Crowd

Deb Perelman’s Winter Slaw With Farro

January  2, 2018
25 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
Author Notes

Deb Perelman had yearned for a grain salad with an inverted proportion of grains to vegetables for some time before tasting the inspiration for this one at the West Village restaurant Via Carota. Finally, she felt more confident to make her own. Since then, she’s seen scant proportions of grains peek through in other restaurant salads (often fried freekah for toasty, popcorn-like crunch) and made all sorts of variations herself. She loves switching in walnuts and “diced pillowy bits of Taleggio or Robiola instead of Parmesan cheese.” You can also swap any dried fruit for the apricot.
Adapted very slightly from Smitten Kitchen Every Day (Knopf, 2017). —Genius Recipes

  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8
  • 1/2 cup (100g) finely diced dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) white wine vinegar, plus more to taste
  • 1 small-medium (2 pounds or a bit less than 1kg) head green cabbage
  • 1 1/3 cups (145g) cooked farro, cooled (from about 3/4 cup uncooked)
  • 1/3 cup (45g) roughly chopped roasted almonds
  • 2 ounces (55g) Parmesan, thinly shaved on a grater with a vegetable peeler
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) olive oil, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper, more to taste
In This Recipe
  1. Place the apricots in a small bowl with the vinegar, and set aside while preparing the other ingredients.
  2. Cut the cabbage in half, and remove the core (and eat the core as a crunchy snack); then cut the halves again so you have quarters. With a mandolin or a knife, slice the cabbage into very thin ribbons. You’ll have about 12 cups total, which will seem ridiculous, but it will wilt down with dressing on it. Pile it into your largest bowl.
  3. Add to the bowl the apricots and their vinegar, the farro, almonds, and most of the Parmesan, plus the olive oil, salt, and a good helping of freshly ground pepper. Toss to combine, and try to give it 15 minutes to let the ingredients settle a little before making seasoning adjustments; then add more vinegar, Parmesan, oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Perelman emphasizes this: "With so few ingredients and most of them fairly mildly flavored, you cannot skimp on seasoning or texture; I hope everyone toasts their almonds well and uses salt and pepper until all the flavors are lifted/present."
  4. Heap the slaw on plates in piles, and top with remaining Parmesan. The slaw's textures are best for serving to company at this point, but this will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge for great take-to-work lunches.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Anne
  • Tenely Smith
    Tenely Smith
  • Jeffrey Breaux
    Jeffrey Breaux
  • Ellen Daniel Williamson
    Ellen Daniel Williamson
  • Katie Perata
    Katie Perata
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

    25 Reviews

    Anne October 28, 2019
    This salad is great and I make it regularly. A few tweaks to make it faster - I use a bag of ready-cut coleslaw and use white balsamic vinegar to soak the apricots then just lots of extra roasted almonds and parmesan cheese. This keeps well in the refrigerator for several days (if it lasts that long).
    EF March 27, 2019
    Easy and delicious, tastes even better the next day. I did not have white wine vinegar, so I used unseasoned rice wine vinegar. Doubled the amount of farro, and topped with shaved Pecorino Romano cheese. This is a keeper!
    Tenely S. March 8, 2019
    Finally tried this. It's fantastic. Bright and spring-like, yet hearty and satisfying. Next time I will add red pepper and scallions to boost the appearance (without compromising the great taste)
    Jennifer M. March 6, 2019
    This is incredible. Don't be wary of the ingredient combinations - the crunch, the sweet, the sour.. it all works together fabulously.

    If you want it GF, we used oat groats from the bulk section and cooked in the instant pot (20 minutes from dried). Give them time to cool down in the fridge/freezer before adding it so probably start them first while prepping cabbage.

    For more protein, also pressure cooked chicken in onion, carrots, etc to pair with it. Preferred plain chicken to avoid competing with the fabulous flavors in the salad itself. Pressure cooking chicken makes it very tender.
    Elizabeth February 25, 2019
    Love the blend of flavors here—this is a new workweek staple for sure! We've got a similar slaw right now at City Barbeque: smoked farro, cranberries, kale ( ... it's incredible and between this one and ours I am now pretty much on an all-farro-slaw diet. Thanks!
    Jeffrey B. January 28, 2019
    Just made this with red cabbage, roasted almonds, ladotyri (greek olive oil cured hard sheeps milk cheese), soaked and drained bulgur wheat and vinegar soaked chopped craisans and currants. DAMN this wheat cabbage fruit cheese combo is the bomb. New winter salad under the belt. Hey there Kristen! Been a while since I've checked out Food52.
    Kristen M. January 31, 2019
    Hi Jeffrey—good to see you here! Glad you liked this one.
    amy S. January 13, 2019
    Obsessed. Used nappa cabbage for the dual textures, and left out the parm (though it would be delicious). Toasting the almonds is key. Will make this again and again.
    Maureen January 3, 2019
    This was so good. Dinner last night, lunch today and luckily there's still more for later!
    J December 30, 2018
    I just made this and enjoyed it. I like that it is healthy and agree that it will be great for several lunches.
    Laura December 26, 2018
    Tried this to take to a Christmas potluck and it was great. I used more farro and upped the quantities on the nuts and apricots. I used a head of cabbage but had a half of bag of cole slaw mix so I added that and it was great. The slaw mix made this an easy recipe.
    eagleeye December 20, 2018
    Made as in the recipe - great salad!
    pottsy.1990 March 29, 2018
    Such a fab salad. I love all the textures and the balance of sweet dried apricots and salty parmesan. Definitely toast your nuts well and season generously, as Deb suggests. I've been eating this all on its own for work lunches but it would be great as a side to simple grilled salmon or chicken thighs too.
    Ellen D. March 15, 2018
    Great for lunches, and I added some bacon too for a little extra crunch and protein.
    Ttrockwood February 28, 2018
    I have made this a few times now and found my perfect version! I omit the parmesan (to make this vegan), and use salted almonds- a but more, probably 1/2 cup. I also used a suggestion here and add in the segments from 2-3 mandarin oranges. It’s SO delicious!
    I used a nappa cabbage my second batch and that was excellent too.

    I made a big batch and brought some each day or lunch either adding some chickpeas or cubed baked tofu.
    DanaMariaB February 11, 2018
    Love this. Made it with purple cabbage that gave it beautiful color. The contrast of textures makes it interesting and the flavors mesh well. Farro works very well here! Will be make It again
    caarin January 21, 2018
    Beautiful winter salad! The colors alone are so light and pretty. Crunchy, salty, sweet, and tangy. When I added everything and tossed it all at once, a lot of the goodies got lost on the bottom. It worked better for me to create a dressing from the apricot vinegar with the olive oil, dress the cabbage and farro separately, toss them together, then top with apricots, almonds and Parmesan. Thank you for this lovely recipe. Will make many times to be sure.
    Bread A. January 20, 2018
    Made this tonight for an impromptu dinner party and it is fantastic! Definitely going to be making this one again.
    capers January 16, 2018
    My takeaway from this recipe is the vinegar-soaked apricots! Otherwise far too dense and cloying, sweet, dried apricots become a much more appealing fruity accent for a salad. I'll keep these on hand!
    Katie P. January 7, 2018
    This is incredible. Made this today for lunch (and for the week) and I could not be happier. The only change was that I doubled the almonds (to use up what I had left). Make sure to use good quality finishing olive oil. I've already sent this recipe around to friends, I cannot put the fork down. I agree some green onion would be nice, but we prefer lunches with out onion aftertaste on work days.
    Chris January 5, 2018
    I wouldn't try this again. Not appealing to look at or overly tasty. I jazzed it up with some diced red onion, additional cider vinegar and diced red/orange peppers and still not enough zing for me. But will definitely try farro again and I like the concept of adding farro etc to future salads.
    Gina E. January 7, 2018
    I would agree. Made this today and added scallions and cranberries. There wasn’t enough apricots and the whole thing was blah to look at and bland. I’ll take your advice and add red onion and cider vinegar.