Make this delicious Ina Garten Farro Salad and rely on it to boost your fresh veggie intake more and more!
It’s light, suitable for vegetarians, and makes a great lunch or dinner, or can even be served alongside meat or fish for a special occasion.
You’ll find farro sold dry in packets in your local store. It’s actually the grains from 3 wheat species and lots of people use them to bulk out salads and soups.
Charlie Bird is a popular restaurant in New York City that has Italian influences and meals. And their farro salad is sumptuously delicious! Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, known for her great recipes, has helpfully provided her take on this well-liked dish.
But unlike other farro-based salads, Ina uses apple cider and bay leaves to cook the grains. This gives it a fuller depth of flavor.
This farro salad is super easy to make. It’ll take about one hour to prepare and cook, so give it a go when you next fancy something fresh and tasty.
Tips and Tricks For Making Ina Garten Farro Salad
- Use a jar to make your dressing. It’s a really easy way to mix all of the ingredients together, plus there’s no mess to clean up!And you can store the extra dressing in the jar in your refrigerator to use another day.
- Toast your pistachios. This will only take 5 to 10 minutes in a frying pan or in the oven. The toasting process removes any bitterness and brings out the earthy, rich taste of the nuts.
- Don’t add your vinaigrette until just before serving this Charlie Bird’s farro salad. Cooked, warm farro will absorb the dressing so it’s best to wait until it’s cooled a little.
- Cook your grains in apple cider along with bay leaves and some salt to give your salad a really punchy taste. If you only use plain water, you won’t get the same flavor and your farro will be lacking in appeal.
- Choose an olive oil is of good quality. As the dressing is so simple, how good your oil is will make a difference, so invest wisely.
- Be creative and change up the vegetables used in this recipe. The mix normally used – radishes, cherry or grape tomatoes, herbs, and arugula – is already a good one, but you can adapt this depending on your preferences and what’s in season.
For example, Charlie Bird’s farro salad at the moment includes butternut squash, which is an ideal addition for the winter. You too can add different veggies and fresh herbs and put different spins on this salad depending on the time of year.
Ina Garten Farro Salad Recipe
- Prep Time15 min
- Cook Time30 min
- Total Time60 min
Chilling: 15 minutes
- Cook the Farro
Set your stove to a medium heat. In your saucepan, put the pearled farro, bay leaves, fresh apple cider, 2 teaspoons of the kosher salt, plus 2 cups of water.
Bring this mixture to a boil before lowering the heat. You then need to leave it to simmer uncovered until the grains have gone tender.
This should take about 30 minutes. Keep checking to make sure that there’s enough liquid – add a bit more water if the farro isn’t yet cooked but has absorbed all the liquid.
Next, drain your farro and spoon it into the serving bowl. Remember to remove the bay leaves!
- Make the Dressing
Take your Mason jar and add in the olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Season with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (about ½ teaspoon should be enough).
Put the lid on the jar. Give it a really good shake until the dressing ingredients are mixed thoroughly.
- Prepare the Nuts and Veggies
Use a medium heat on your stove again to toast the salted pistachios in your skillet. Gently stir them every couple of minutes until they’ve turned a light brown color.
Then, use a sharp knife to roughly chop the fresh mint and the parsley. You can use the same knife to chop the radishes into thin slices.
Cut the cherry or grape tomatoes in half. You’re now ready to create the salad!
- Assemble the Farro Salad
Stir your dressing into the farro just before serving. And you can also now lightly fold in the toasted salted pistachios, fresh mint and parsley, tomatoes, and thinly sliced radishes.
Carefully mix in the arugula and shaved Italian parmesan cheese, trying to make sure you don’t break it up too much.
Finally, sprinkle a little sea salt over the farro salad. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Ina Garten Farro Salad Variations
- This Charlie Bird’s farro salad recipe can easily be adapted to suit your own tastes! For example, if you want to create a dish with a sweeter vibe, try adding some raisins or dried cranberries or cherries.
- You can also substitute the pistachios for another nut of your choice. Think pecans, almonds or walnuts – just remember to toast them first to get a less bitter and richer taste.
- For those of you who are meat-eaters, add some extra protein. You can mix in some shredded cooked chicken or perhaps even some prawns.
- Making this salad can also be an opportunity to get rid of vegetables that are lurking in your fridge and need eating up! For instance, add some diced bell peppers or zucchini, corn, or roasted chickpeas – you’ll get extra flavor and more textures too in your warm farro salad.
- The roughly chopped fresh mint leaves and parsley can also be swapped out for other herbs. Look at what’s in season or available at your grocery store – dill, oregano, or thyme are all good substitutes.
- Finally, for a Greek or Mediterranean feel to your Charlie Bird’s farro salad, add some tangy olives, and/or change the parmesan for some salty feta.
What To Serve With Ina Garten Farro Salad
You’ll probably find that you don’t need to serve anything alongside Ina Garten’s take on Charlie Bird’s farro salad. It’s really filling all on its own, especially if you’re trying to cut back on post holiday excess!
However, for a tastier lunch or a special dinner party, there are a few accompaniments that work well with the farro salad.
For example, try serving it with meat such as steak, lamb chops, chicken, or some grilled fish. Or why not eat it with a vegan or veggie lasagna, or for a really simple but scrumptious meal, some crusty, toasted bread.
The great thing about this Charlie Bird’s farro salad recipe is that it can be stored in your fridge for up to 4 days. Just make sure that you keep it in an airtight container.
You can also keep the jar of your olive oil lemon juice vinaigrette in your refrigerator for up to 1 week. Before you serve it again, just give it a really good shake.
I wouldn’t recommend that you freeze your farro salad in its entirety. However, you can freeze just the farro on its own after cooking it in the fresh apple cider.
Allow the grains to cool and then you can store them in a freezer bag in your freezer for about 3 months. Make sure that you let the farro thaw overnight in your refrigerator before you plan to serve it.
- 22.1 g Fat
- 15.8 g Carbs
- 7.2 gProtein