Farro and Pine Nut Salad

While doing a spring inventory of my pantry, I noticed a partial bag of farro still hanging around. Remember when I posted the Farro-Vegetable soup? Farro is similar to barley, but is harder to find in stores, and is costlier.  

While I was trying to figure out what to make with the remaining farro, it occurred to me that a hearty salad with some of the pine nuts I had in the freezer would do nicely. (That’s right, I keep pine nuts – and other varieties  of nuts– in the freezer to keep them fresher longer.) 

Rummaging through the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator, I found a little of this and a little of that, and finally put together a farro and pine nut salad worthy of company fare.

Farro and Pine Nut Salad

Farro and Pine Nut Salad 


Farro-Pine Nut Salad ingredients

1 cup uncooked farro**  

2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 cup seedless cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped  

1 clove garlic, minced

 ¼ cup sweet onion, coarsely chopped 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1/2 cup flat-leaf  parsley, chopped 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil  

Juice from 1 lemon

1 tsp. za’taar, optional 

Salt and pepper, to taste

 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted 



1. To cook faro:

 In a large pot, stir in 1 cup farro, 2 ½ cups water, 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 to 30 minutes or until tender. Drain off any excess liquid. Set farro aside to cool. 

2. Place the chopped tomatoes, cucumber, garlic, onion, chickpeas, parsley, and cooled farro in a large bowl. Gently toss together.

 3. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, za’taar (if using); salt and pepper. Pour dressing over the salad ingredients and toss to coat. 

NOTE: This recipe can be made one day in advance up to this point. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.

 4. If serving immediately, allow the salad to sit at room temperature about 15 minutes before serving. 

5. Just before serving, toast pine nuts in a dry non-stick skillet until slightly browned (about 3 to 4 minutes); stir occasionally; allow to cool. Sprinkle toasted pine nuts on the top of the salad at the last minute. Serve.


**NOTE: Farro can be found in Italian markets or at gourmet stores.



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  1. Ara May 9, 2012 at 4:37 am

    The addition of zaa'tar is interesting. I can't quite figure out mentally what it would taste like. Maybe I just need to make it and see (probably with bulgur instead of farro).

    Also, have you thought of omitting the garlic and zaa'tar and using cumin (and maybe coriander) instead? I'm thinking it would give it a Moroccan flavor.

    1. Robyn May 9, 2012 at 11:25 am

      The za'atar isn't very pronounced with the amount suggested in the recipe, and the garlic can certainly be eliminated altogether. The seasonings can be altered to suit your taste; there are no strict rules here!


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