Recipe Corner: Farro and Pine Nut Salad


Farro is an ancient wheat grain that originated in Mesopotamia. Farro is loved for its nutty flavor and unique, chewy texture. It’s a great alternative to other popular grains, such as rice, quinoa, buckwheat and barley, among others. Popular in Italy, this healthy grain is gaining favor in the US for its versatility and health benefits.

This versatile recipe is courtesy of Robyn Kalajian at, the popular Armenian cooking and cuisine website. While doing an inventory in her pantry recently, Robyn noticed a partial bag of farro and was inspired. “Farro is similar to barley,” Robyn says, “but it is harder to find in stores, and usually costlier.”

“While trying to figure out what to make with the remaining farro,” Robyn adds, “it occurred to me that a hearty salad with pine nuts I had in the freezer would do nicely. 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.”



1 cup uncooked farro*

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2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 cup seedless cucumber, peeled, coarsely chopped

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup sweet onion, coarsely chopped

1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed, drained

1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Topics: Faro

3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon za’taar, optional

Salt and black pepper, to taste

3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts


To cook farro:

In a large pot, stir in 1 cup farro, 2 1/2 cups water, and 1 teaspoon salt, and bring to a full boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 to 25 minutes or until tender. Drain off any excess liquid. Set farro aside to cool.

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

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

Just before serving, toast pine nuts in a dry non-stick skillet until slightly browned (about 3 to 4 minutes); stir occasionally and allow to cool. Sprinkle toasted pine nuts on the top of the salad at the last minute. (This recipe may be made one day in advance up to this point. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving. If serving immediately, allow salad to sit at room temperature 10-15 minutes before serving.)

*Farro is an excellent source of protein, fiber and nutrients like magnesium, zinc and some B vitamins. Farro can be found in most grocery stores, Italian markets or gourmet stores. For this recipe, go to:



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