Cook the Book: Winter Farro Salad Recipe

Cook the Book: Winter Farro Salad Recipe

Today's recipe, reprinted from Simple Italian Snacks by Jason Denton and Kathryn Kellinger, is a gorgeous, jewel-toned salad just bursting with flavor and texture. I'm getting hungry just reading the ingredients list: pomegranate seeds, toasted almonds, chopped apples, smoked mozzarella, and roasted garlic?

The bountiful salad is built around farro, a chewy grain grown only in Italy. (If you have trouble finding it, substitute barley, quinoa or Israeli couscous.) Since it's a salad without greens, it can be dressed and refrigerated well in advance, making it an ideal dish for a party.

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  • Yield:4 to 8


  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup farro
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds, roughly chopped
  • Wine-roasted garlic (recipe follows)
  • Seeds of 1 pomegranate (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 apples, unpeeled, cored and diced (submerge in a bowl of water containing the juice of 1 lemon to prevent discoloration)
  • 6 ounces smoked mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. 1.

    In a medium saucepan, combine the water, farro, and salt. Bring to a boil over a high flame, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes, or until tender.

  2. 2.

    Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 250°F.

  3. 3.

    Spread the almonds out on a small baking sheet and toast them in the oven until they are fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.

  4. 4.

    Drain the farro and spread it on a paper-towel-lined tray to dry, 10 minutes.

  5. 5.

    In a medium mixing bowl, combine the farro, toasted almonds, wine-roasted garlic, pomegranate seeds, parsley, drained apples, and mozzarella. Toss to combine.

  6. 6.

    Whisk the olive oil and the vinegar together in a large bowl. Add the farro mixture, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and toss well to combine. The salad can be made hours in advance and chilled.

  7. 7.

    Wine-Roasted Garlic

  8. 8.

    - makes 1 cup -

  9. 9.


  10. 10.

    20 cloves garlic (2 heads), unpeeled

  11. 11.

    1 tablespoon honey

  12. 12.

    Splash of rosé or white wine

  13. 13.


  14. 14.

    Preheat the oven to 200°F.

  15. 15.

    Place the garlic cloves on a square of aluminum foil. Drizzle the honey over the garlic, and then add the splash of wine.

  16. 16.

    Wrap the garlic loosely in the foil and bake for 1 hour, or until the cloves are soft and buttery. Squeeze the garlic out of the peels before serving. If making the garlic in advance, keep the skins on until ready to use.