This salad has so many olives that there’s a piece in every single bite. When food bloggers hit the scene, a whole new slew of talent became part of the pages of F&W. Among the first of those was Heidi Swanson, who started writing her wonderful vegetarian food blog, 101 Cookbooks, in 2003. Swanson was also at the forefront of the wholegrain craze, and her incredible farro and green olive salad was featured in our “Salad of the Month” column. The secret is in the balance: Each bite holds a bit of chewy farro, toasty walnut, fresh scallion, and briny green olive. Swanson’s dressing is a little sweet and a little spicy, and, put together, it’s an explosion of flavor and texture that’s unbeatable.
- 1 1/4 cups farro (1/2 pound)
- Fine sea salt
- 1 cup walnuts (3 1/2 ounces)
- 2 1/2 cups pitted green olives, preferably Castelvetrano, chopped (11 ounces)
- 4 scallions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup snipped chives
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Shaved Pecorino cheese, for serving
- Step 1
Preheat the oven to 375°. In a medium saucepan, combine the farro with 4 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer, partially covered, until the farro is tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the farro and spread it on a baking sheet to cool.
- Step 2
Meanwhile, place the walnuts in a pie plate and toast for 5 to 7 minutes, until lightly golden and fragrant. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
- Step 3
In a large bowl, combine the farro, walnuts, olives, scallions, chives, raisins, crushed red pepper, olive oil, lemon juice and honey and season with salt. Toss well. Transfer the salad to a platter, garnish with the cheese and serve.
The salad can be refrigerated overnight. Bring the salad to room temperature before serving.
Ripe, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc.