As much as I live by the “put an egg on it" mantra, this vibrant, dinner-worthy salad shows us a different way. Here, the eggs are whisked with water, seasoned with lemon zest and Parmesan, and sizzled in a pool of olive oil—then torn into bite-sized pieces and nestled up with toasted farro and springy, fresh ingredients. (Don't skip the water: Once the eggs hit the hot skillet, the water evaporates, leading to a fluffier, lighter result).
Once whipped up, these eggs are the perfect complement to pretty much any grain salad you can imagine; I'm quite partial to this unexpectedly satisfying combo of red wine vinegar-plumped dried apricots, buttery Castelvetrano olives, snappy radishes, and peppery arugula (all no-cook mix-ins, to boot). Even better, the salad keeps well for days—meaning you can and should make a big batch of it and enjoy it for lunches and dinners all week long.
The technique for toasting the farro in olive oil, crushed garlic, and chile flakes comes by way of Joshua McFadden's Six Seasons cookbook. It’s a quick, why-didn’t-I-think-of-that step that makes this (and any) farro salad infinitely better. If you don’t have farro, wheat berries, pearled barley, or freekeh are all fine substitutes. —EmilyC
- Prep time 15 minutes
- Cook time 30 minutes
- Serves 4
extra-virgin olive oil, divided
garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 1/2 cups
Kosher salt plus freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Finely grated zest from 1 large lemon (save lemon for juicing)
finely grated Parmesan, plus 1/2 cup shaved for serving (divided)
dried apricots, slivered or finely chopped
red wine vinegar
pitted castelvetrano olives, torn into irregular pieces
walnuts, toasted and chopped
bunch radishes, about 8 medium sized radishes, very thinly sliced
(packed) baby arugula
- In a wide saucepan or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the smashed garlic and red chile flakes, and cook until the garlic starts to brown around the edges, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the farro and stir to coat the grains evenly in the oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until toasted, 3 to 5 minutes. Add a few generous pinches of salt and enough water to cover the farro by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the farro is al dente, about 20 to 25 minutes (or according to the package directions).
- While the farro is cooking, make the eggs: In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, water, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan until well blended. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. When the oil is hot enough to sizzle a drop of water, add the eggs all at once, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook into a large flat omelette, lifting the edges as they set and tilting the skillet so the uncooked eggs run under the edges, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. When the middle is starting to set up but still runny, tear the eggs into irregular, bite-sized pieces with a spatula, then immediately transfer to a plate. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the top. The torn eggs should be a little browned on the bottom and soft and puffy in texture.
- Drain the farro, then return it to the pot. Immediately add the apricots and vinegar, tossing well. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes so the warm farro soaks up the vinegar, then add 3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and toss well (I like the full amount of olive oil, but start with a lesser amount of you prefer). Let cool for another few minutes (or until the farro is only slightly warm), then assemble the salad by tossing in the olives, walnuts, radishes, arugula, and torn eggs. Taste and correct for seasoning and acid, adding a little more lemon juice if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.