Farro Salad with Winter Fruits, Pistachios, and Ginger (Food and Wine)

Farro with winter fruit and pistachios

Glamorous Desk Lunch

Hello, welcome to the first weeks of 2015. This is the time when we can barely park at the gym (“I WAS HERE ALL DECEMBER, PEOPLE!” I complain, imagining my “comes all year” parking space of honor), when our Facebook feeds are flooded with detoxes and cleanses and apple cider vinegar shots, when we take all our leftover candy to work and try to pawn it off on our coworkers.

We have eaten, drank, and been merry and we are now filled with cheese and regret.

I have always had no luck following a cleanse. I tried the Bon Appetit’s food lover’s cleanse last year. I made a delicious steak with chimichurri and sweet potato fries. I cleansed for two days and somehow gained two pounds.

I tried the now defunct Whole Living Magazine Cleanse the year prior, abandoning dairy, wheat, peanuts, corn and everything tasty, pretty much. I lasted a little longer, two weeks, but someone brought cheese to my house and I have no willpower when it comes to cheese. It was delicious and I’m not sorry.

THIS YEAR I am admiring cleanses from afar while sipping coffee and looking at smoothie and salad recipes. I am, however, trying to bring lunches to work from home instead of jaunting to the downstairs cafe every day and spending $7 on an only decent Chicken Caesar wrap I can make at home for not $7.

This Farro Salad is a really nice compromise recipe, cleanse friendly and take to work friendly. It’s a vegan salad, with fruits and farro and stuff. It has good for you things like ginger and mint and citrus.

You can make it on Sunday, before the week starts and take it to work for three days. You can try to make it on a Tuesday night for the rest of the week. I did both, and my Sunday salad turned out much better because I measured everything and didn’t lazily just squeeze oranges and lemons into a bowl then try to fish out the seeds.

This salad is delightfully not-bland. The citrus zest and juice gives it a bright flavor, having both mint and cilantro give it a much-needed zip, the ginger gives it a spice, and the farro is delightfully chewy and nutty. If you do make this to take this to work, I recommend adding all the ingredients together except the cilantro and pistachios. Take them in separate baggies and sprinkle them on top when you go to eat the salad.

I recommend making this exactly as written, maybe adding different dried fruits or nuts if you must. You could easily swap out farro for quinoa if you wanted to make it gluten-free. All the herbs and seasonings are essential and should be fresh.

Farro Salad with Winter Fruit, Pistachios and Ginger

(Recipe by Annie Somerville, Food and Wine, January 2012)


  • Trader Joe’s 10 minute farro is the perfect size for this recipe and saves you 15 minutes.
  • I’ve found that it keeps for three days, which is fine. You will not want to eat it for lunch any more than that, as good as it is.
  • I’ve left out the scallions each time, woops. I bet they’d be really tasty. You should add them.
  • I’ve ended up using 2 tablespoons of cilantro with each serving because I really love cilantro.


  •  Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups farro (10 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried sour cherries
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup salted roasted pistachios, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


  1. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the farro and simmer over moderate heat until al dente, about 35 minutes. Drain well, shaking off the excess water.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice, ginger and oil and whisk to blend. Season with salt.
  3. Add the warm farro to the dressing along with the raisins and cherries and toss well. Let stand until the farro is almost cool. Just before serving, fold in the scallions, pistachios, mint and cilantro and season with salt.

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