It is -15°F in Chicago right now. That is the air temperature. With the wind they are telling us it feels like -45°F. In case you’re not sure, that is very cold. It is so cold that much of the city has shut down. When we went grocery shopping on Saturday our local Whole Foods was out of potatoes (?!) and many shelves were empty throughout the store. Everyone was stocking up with the hope of not leaving home for a few days.
The intense cold does have its perks—Bryan and I are home from work. Snow days (cold days?) are so fun because it is bonus time. You’re under no obligation to do anything. We sure aren’t. I’m not even cooking.
But a few days ago I made this farro salad, though at the time I had no intention of writing about it. The internet needs another recipe for farro salad like it needs more pop-up ads. But then this little salad turned out to be the best version of a farro salad I have ever eaten and I couldn’t keep it to myself. Cooking the farro with some apple cider was a real revelation to me, and I will definitely be repeating this in the future. It’s the type of food many of us are craving right now. I sure am.
Enjoy this farro salad and stay warm, my fellow Chicagoans. And for all of my friends and family in Los Angeles, think of us when you complain that it is chilly this evening. ; )
Charlie Bird’s Farro Salad (via the NY Times)
- 1 cup farro
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 70 grams Parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler (1/2 cup)
- 70 grams chopped pistachio nuts (1/2 cup)
- 2 cups arugula leaves
- 1 cup basil leaves, torn
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 3/4 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced radish
- Maldon or other flaky sea salt, for finishing
In a medium saucepan, bring farro, apple cider, salt, bay leaves and 2 cups water to a simmer. Simmer until farro is tender and liquid evaporates, about 30 minutes. If all the liquid evaporates before the farro is done, add a little more water. Let farro cool, then discard bay leaves.
In a salad bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Add farro, cheese and pistachio nuts and mix well. This salad base will keep for up to 4 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator (bring to room temperature before serving). Just before serving, fold in arugula, herbs, tomatoes, radish and flaky salt to taste.