In this simple recipe, farro is simmered with onion, garlic and carrot to impart flavor. Then, it's combined with a host of fresh ingredients: juicy tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs, all of which are tied together with red wine vinaigrette, pine nuts and crumbled blue cheese.
Note: Be careful not to overcook the farro: you want it to stand up to the vinaigrette. So, remove it from the heat just when it loses its bite. You can cook the farro ahead of time and refrigerate it. However, it's best to dress the salad shortly before serving it, ideally at room temperature.
- For the Vinaigrette:
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the Salad:
- 10 ounces farro (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 4 cups water
- 1 small white or yellow onion, quartered
- 1 medium clove garlic, smashed
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1 small seedless cucumber, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup minced, fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced, fresh lemon thyme or regular thyme
- 3 ounces crumbled blue cheese
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the Vinaigrette: Whisk together ingredients for the vinaigrette in a small bowl, seasoning generously with salt and pepper. Reserve.
For the Salad: Place farro and water in a medium saucepan with onion, garlic, carrot, and 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer until farro is just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, discard onion, garlic, and carrot and transfer to a bowl to cool.
Gently fold remaining salad ingredients into cooled farro. Add vinaigrette, starting with a few tablespoons at a time. Taste, season with salt and pepper, and add additional vinaigrette as needed. Serve immediately.