Farro Pistachio Grain Salad

This salad appeared in the 2015 December issue of Bon Appétit magazine and caught my eye because I am a farro fan.

Farro is the Italian term given to a group of wheat varieties -einkorn, emmer, and spelt.  Spelt is fairly easy to find in American markets, particularly those that have bins of grain for sale.  Barley is a good substitution for farro.  It takes about 20-25 minutes to cook, but can also be purchased in a quick-cook variety.

The recipe called for grape seed or olive oil in the vinaigrette, but I found a roasted pistachio oil at Trader Joe’s and used that instead.  I also used Trader Joe’s quick-cook farro, which had been parboiled and cooked in 10 minutes versus the usual 20-25.

When I read the recipe I wondered about the Serrano chile, but had no trouble finding it. I took a picture of it next to a jalapeño pepper to show the difference.

serrano versus jalapeño

I made the salad which was enough for several serving and enjoyed it very much.  I refrigerated what was left of the salad and a couple of days later it was just as good or even better because the flavors had a chance to blend.  I made it again and shared it with Julie who loved it and made it with Lucy, looking on admiringly as she is blending in all the ingredients.  Really a great grain salad which I would never have created on my own.  Thank Heavens for Bon Appétit, a close second to my beloved Gourmet Magazine!

farro ingredients


  1. 2 cups farro
  2. ½ teaspoon salt
  3. ½ cup pistachios
  4. 1 ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  5. 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  6. 1 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger
  7. ½ teaspoons sugar
  8. 1/3 cup pistachio or olive oil
  9. 1 Serrano chile, sliced into rings
  10. 1-cup cilantro, mint, and parsley, chopped
  11. 1/3 cup golden raisins


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the faro until tender 20-25 minutes.*
  2. Meanwhile, toast the pistachios, allow to cool, & then coarsely chop.
  3. Whisk the lemon zest, lemon juice, ginger, sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt in a bowl. Gradually add the oil until emulsified.
  4. Drain the farro, and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a large bowl.
  5. Add the chile, herbs, raisins, and pistachios. Toss to combine.
  6. Drizzle with the vinaigrette, correct the seasoning adding salt & pepper to taste.

*The faro can be cooked a day ahead, and refrigerated until you use it.

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