Video: Citrus Parmesan Farro Salad Recipe

This is the farro salad I took to Jack's first birthday party. My favorite citrus Parmesan vinaigrette dressed a bowl of healthy salad greens, plump farro grains, crumbled goat cheese and almonds.

Video: Citrus Parmesan Farro Salad

This farro salad accompanied me to a special birthday party recently. Those of you who have either of my books might recognize some of the components. I used my favorite citrus Parmesan vinaigrette to dress a bowl of healthy salad greens and farro grains, crumbled goat cheese and almonds. I make variations of this throughout the year using whatever is in season to go along with the greens and grains. I thought I'd share some footage of the party along with a video show-and-tell of how the salad comes together. You can find the written recipe instructions at the end of this post. And my apologies in advance, I swear it didn't dawn on me until after exporting the final video that you might be more interested in how to make the beautiful cupcakes you'll see at the end. Whoops. Maybe there will be a cupcake post in our future. ;)



- Video: larger version on You Tube

Related Links:
- Video: Big Sur Power Bars
- The cupcakes in the video were from Kara's Cupcakes
- Bluebird Grain Farms

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Citrus Parmesan Farro Salad Recipe

If you are short on time, choose a lightly or semi-pearled farro (actually easier to find in some places), which will cut the cooking time for the grains down to about 20 minutes. You lose some of the nutrients as the the bran is pearled away, but you still get more than if you were using a completely refined grain, for example white rice. ON a separate note, hot farro grains will cause the salad greens to wilt, so give yourself enough time for the farro to cool to room temperature before tossing the salad. If you want to do a warm/hot version of this salad use spinach (3 handfuls) and toss with hot farro and dressing just before serving - this will wilt the spinach in a good way.

4 to 6 big handfuls of mixed salad greens, washed and dried
2 cups farro, rinsed and drained
5 cups water (or stock)
2 teaspoons fine-grain sea salt
1 medium orange, zest and juice
1 shallot, chopped
1/3 cup Parmesan, freshly shredded
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 cup good quality olive oil
a couple big pinches of salt
1/2 cup Spanish almonds, or toasted regular almonds
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled

Combine the farro, salt, and water in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the farro is tender, 45 minutes to an hour, or about half the time if you are using semi-pearled farro. Taste often as it is cooking, you want it to be toothsome and retain structure. Remove from heat, drain any excess water, and set aside.

While the grains are simmering make the dressing. Whisk together the orange juice, orange zest, shallot, Parmesan cheese, white wine vinegar, and olive oil. Salt to taste and set aside.

Just before serving, in a large bowl, toss the salad greens with a bit of the dressing. Add the farro and another generous splash of the dressing - gently toss again. Taste and add more dressing and/or salt. Finish by sprinkling the goat cheese and almonds across the top. Be careful not to over mix.

Serves 12 as a side.

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Thanks everyone! I'm going to add the link to Bluebird Grain Farms in the related links up above. Great suggestion. For those of you interesting in learning more about them I did a post about them on MightyFoods a while back. For some reason my byline is being stripped out of the post right now, but here's the link: Sam, I'm absolutely up for a Ferry Building coffee excursion :) For those of you curious about substitutions in this recipe. It is very adaptable. In place of the farro you might try any other chubby grain you come across. Feel free to experiment. This recipe is hard to break. My neighbor did a version with cracked bulger the other night and said it turned out wonderfully as well. Millet might make a fun variation as far as smaller grains go.....Play around.


wow! i love this video! love how it doesnt just take place in your kitchen...

charlotte s

Great video-when can we expect your show?! I've never had farro, but I love the idea of a citrus salad!


i love watching cooking shows, wish you had one we could watch daily, maybe in your future?? this was very well done and the recipe sounds fantastic. i have your book and check your blog regularly. more videos please!!!


I have actually never had farro before! Regardless of what it tastes like, the other ingredients have me sold. Will have to put this on my to cook list! Thanks.


Suzanne - Thanks for the link to Bluebird farms. I live 100 miles from any large city or Whole foods store. Do a lot of shopping online. Am also an organic gardener, so these folks look very interesting. Heidi - you've done it again. Creative, great food and a neat video of you plying your art. It ws fun watching you do your thing in the kitchen. Thanks for all this wonderfulness!

elizabeth h

Love the recipe. Made it last night and an almost repeat tonight. Didn't have any goat cheese but subbed some other I had and it was great! The vinaigrette has now joined my list of standards. I've found Farro at the local health food store.


Our Whole foods does not have Farro. I looked several other places as well. Where on the internet do you suggest getting it.


I love grains in salads warm or cold and I make similar recipes often, but I'm pretty boring with the dressing--always olive oil and lemon juice, s&p. This parmesan vinaigrette sounds amazing! Will definitely try this weekend. The almonds are a nice touch too. Cheers Heidi :-)


My german father-in-law gave me a 20 lb bag of farro but it was not until I learned the name on this post that I actually figured out the english name of this great little seed. Plus we all just ate the salad and it was delish. Thanks


i'm a big farro fan, and an equally big fan or your adorable kitchen.

michelle @ TNS

Life looks good in California! And so does your salad. A Happy Birthday to Jack. What a cute video!


Great video and great recipe! I can't wait to try the citrus Parmesan vinaigrette!


Thanks for sharing!


I love your video~ ths~

YOYO Cooking

I love your video~ ths~

YOYO Cooking

this is so weird. Last night I made what i was thinking of as a "Heidi inspired dish" for dinner with farro and goat cheese and in my case mushrooms garlic and parsley. Oh - and I went for pine nuts in mine. I was thinking of you as I made it. And today you publish this! We should try and do a market redux again soon. I still feel so bad about oversleeping the last one. xxx


Looks great, good work on the video. I think you need to supply that cupcake recipe now, they look pretty ridiculous (in a good way). Foodies don't like being teased =)! - The Peanut Butter Boy


wow this is so good


just like to put in my 2¢, i'd much rather have that salad than cupcakes. i'm a savory rather than sweet girl.


I just had a broccoli rabe farro salad with currants and pine nuts at Pizetta 211. It was amazing, simple and delicious. I was looking for a great recipe. So thank you!


I've been following 101 Cookbooks for a couple of months and just want to say thanks to Heidi for putting together and sharing such yummy and lovely recipes and photos. I wanted to recommend a US source of farro (most of the farro I see in stores is from Italy). It's from a farm family selling direct to consumers via the internet. They have some yummy recipes as well and in my experience have very good customer service. Although I can't buy farro from a local grower (my preference), I like knowing I'm supporting good folks -


Another beautiful video.. and a tasty looking salad! I love your blog :)


good weblog...hope be successful always.


Heidi - are spelt and farro totally interchangeable? I know they're similar (if not the same depending on who is talking), but just wanted to hear something definitive. Spelt is MUCH easier for me to find (and much cheaper when found).


Love your video recipe series Heidi! (you look/sound so cute) I think I'm gonna try this fabulous looking salad this weekend, thank you! kx


I love the chopping block! I collect them the way some people collect Precious Moments. The hardier and more rustic, the better. I can't wait to try the salad dressing.

Becky And The Beanstock

I served your farro and butternut squash recipe last week to a luncheon for 20 women. It was the hit of the day. I added some dried cranberries and a T. of sugar to each batch. I later served more to our family and, amazingly, they all gave it a big thumbs up! Jill Christian

Jill Christian

Another Great video!! This salad looks great! I'll have to see if I can find some farro never heard of it. Those cupcakes sure do look yummy!

Christina Todd

...and i like the video too because i've been to that farmer's market ...and sometime maybe i will run into you so that i can give you a big hug in thanks for all the wonderful food!


loved the video and the cheerful accompanying music. salad looks great too!


I'm excited to make this! The butternut squash/farro recipe is a favorite of mine. This one looks just as exciting.


Happy birthday to your little friend :-) Very nice and refreshing salad.


Oh...that salad looks so good! I can't wait to try the dressing even if I can't find the farro!


YUM----farro is one of my absolute favorites---and then combined with citrus and parm? OH MY! It never occurred to me to put cooked grains in a salad like that----will have to give it a shot. Looks like a particularly yummy, healthy salad. Thx!

The Secret Ingredient

Great video--editing, music, everything! I love the slice of life alongside the actual recipe. Will look for Farro at Whole Foods since bitchincamero says it's there... :-)


i'm really loving farro - big time i discovered it only about 6 months ago and i use it often i'm a fan of heidi TV too!!!!

Claudia (cook eat FRET)

I enjoy watching "Heidi TV" -- keep the videos coming! I have not yet tried farro but will put it on my shopping list.


this looks seriously delicious! I love recipes that use everyday ingredients but produce remarkable tastes. Seeing the Ferry Building farmer's market made me nostalgic for the time I lived in SF... that and the Alemany Farmer's market are two of the best, most diverse farmer's markets I've ever come across

Jen (Modern Beet)

Love your increasing foray into video blogging. I think you live in my sister's old neighborhood! That Muni stop looks awfully familiar...


Hi Heidi, just wanted to say love the videos, but I really appreciate that you still put down the recipes in type too. Our wifi doesn't reach properly into our kitchen, plus it's hard to print out a video :-)


Lately, I love farro! I was finally able to find it when Whole Foods opened down here last year, and have been using it in soups and risottos ever since. In fact, I haven't made risotto with anything else since I found farro. My mother in law is coming to town this week, and I think she'd absolutely love this farro salad!


Cupcakes....salad...cupcakes...salad. Hmmm...


Yay! I love videos! They make me feel like I am in California with you : )

S. from The Student Stomach

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