I usually go out for dinner at least one night during the weekend but this weekend, I cooked the whole time. It’s okay, though, because this farro salad with radish and parm was worth it.
I made the salad Saturday night for me and my boyfriend. We both felt like we should eat more vegetables because he’s been traveling a lot and I’ve been eating chocolate chip cookies for two weeks straight. This salad was the perfect solution.
You can get creative with toppings but I like the mix of flavor and texture components in this dish. You have crunchy radish and sliced almonds, slightly tender, chewy farro, sweet grape tomatoes, spicy arugula, fragrant basil, and salty parm. There’s a lot going on in the salad but it all works together to create a delicious and filling dish.
I added canned chickpeas in at the last minute because I thought the salad would benefit from some extra protein. White beans would also work well.
If you have some extra time and you feel like taking it to the next level, I’d recommend tossing the chickpeas with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasting them in the oven for about 20 minutes. I think the salad would taste even better with crunchy chickpeas.
I sort of improvised on dressing so I didn’t include a recipe for it below. All I did was squeeze juice from one lemon on top of the salad and drizzle on olive oil. I sprinkled the salad with salt and pepper and I drizzled about a capful of balsamic vinegar on at the end. I think it’s good to have a subtle dressing with this salad because there’s so much going on with it already.
Some salad ends up looking and tasting like a swamp on day two, but that’s not the case with this dish. If you put the leftovers in tupperware or an airtight container and stick them in the fridge, they’ll still be good for lunch the next day. In fact, it almost tasted better because the apple flavor in the farro had time to marinate.
Here’s a song to play while you’re making this salad. It came on in the car this morning and it reminded me how much I love it.
Farro Salad with Arugula and Chickpeas
1 cup quick-cooking farro (I used the Whole Foods brand)
1 cup apple cider
2 bay leaves
5 oz fresh arugula (or more if you’re feeding a lot of people)
2 oz fresh basil leaves, torn
1 container grape tomatoes, sliced
2 oz sliced almonds
1/2 bundle of radishes, sliced thin
1 14 oz can chickpeas, rinsed
shaved parm, salt, and pepper for topping
juice of one lemon, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil for dressing
First, make the farro. Combine the farro, two cups of water, bay leaves, and one cup of apple cider in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until most of the water has dissolved. Let the pot sit with the lid on for about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves, drain the farro if there’s any water remaining, and place the farro in a bowl. Allow it to come to room temperature while you make the rest of the salad.
Toss the arugula and basil in a large bowl. Add the sliced tomatoes, almonds, radish, and chickpeas. Toss again and sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Squeeze the juice of one lemon on top and a couple drizzles of olive oil. Then drizzle on a capful of balsamic vinegar.
Serve with shaved parm and more salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!