Charlie Bird’s Farro Salad

by Hilary Gauntt on June 6, 2016

Charlie Bird is the name of a restaurant in Soho, and this wonderful dish was created by Chef Ryan Handy. The farro is cooked in apple cider and bay leaves and is flavorful enough to eat on it’s own. But when combined with Parmesan, nuts, herbs, tomatoes and arugula it becomes something quite special.

Speaking of special, this recipe was recommended to me by a friend of 40 years that I admire greatly, Yvonne Deggelman. One of those women that seem to do twice as much as everyone else, while making it all seem easy and enjoyable.She juggles numerous work, volunteer and family commitments while throwing weeknight themed dinner parties, and is a dedicated sports fan of all Northern California teams. And always makes her friends feel unique and appreciated. Maybe in my next life…?

Watching the Golden State Warriors the other night, Casey let out a whoop after some amazing play, and I looked up from my magazine and asked vaguely about what happened. Seeing his disappointed face at my lack of interest, I asked “You wish you were married to Yvonne, don’t you? ” He considered that for a minute and then decided ” No, she would make me go out at night too much…I’m too tired to be married to Yvonne.”

1 cup farro

1 cup apple cider

1 tsp. kosher salt, more as needed

2 bay leaves

8 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler

1/2 cup chopped roasted pistachio nuts

2 cups arugula leaves

1 cup parsley or basil leaves, torn

1 cup mint leaves (chop if large)

3/4 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes

1/3 cup thinly sliced radish

Maldon or other flaky sea salt, for finishing

In a medium saucepan, bring farro, apple cider, salt , bay leaves and two cups water to a simmer. Simmer until farro is tender and liquid evaporates, about 30 minutes. If all the liquid evaporates before the farro is done, add a little more water. Let farro cool, then discard bay leaves.

In a salad bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Add farro, cheese and pistachio nuts and mix well. This salad base will keep for up to 4 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. (Bring to room temperature before serving.) Just before serving, fold in arugula, herbs, tomatoes, radish and flaky salt to taste. Serves 6.

farro salad

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Deb June 7, 2016 at 8:42 am

Will try anything insured by Yvonne (provider of excellent chocolate chip cookie recipe!). Thanks for motivating us to use Farro!UA3F

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Melinda July 16, 2016 at 8:43 am

Making this, again, for a group wine tasting/picnic and laughed, again, at the “too tired to be married to Yvonne” comment!

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