Farro Salad with Radicchio, Root Vegetables & Pomegranate – Cook-the-Book-Fridays

Wheat berry (or farro) salad with radicchio, root vegetables and pomegranate is a long name and a mouthful. The recipe comes from David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen. The good part is that you can take one bite in the salad and taste every ingredient in it: the chewy wheat berries, the mild bitterness of radicchio, the crunchy carrots, crunchier parsnips, the sweet butternut squash and the surprising pop of pomegranate seeds – all the flavors in one scoop. You’d also notice the tangy fresh lemon flavor of the dressing. To me, it was a delicious and well balanced bite. It has such a diverse and complex flavor, you want to eat more of it. I had more than two bowls of this salad for dinner the night before. In fact, it was a filling and hearty salad; it was the only thing I ate. There were no leftovers.

The prep work took quite some time to complete, more than I’ve expected. So it pays to plan ahead.

  • First the wheat berries have to be cooked. I used farro, not the pearled variety. It took a good 45 minutes until they softened and splayed. I have a good supply of spelt, kamut and rye berries on hand (I use them to bake breads); I couldn’t wait to make a similar salad with them. Cooking the grains can be done ahead of time.

  • I used two carrots, one parsnip and more than half of a small butternut squash for the salad. Peeled and cut the root vegetables into 3/4-inch cubes, which filled up an entire half-size sheet pan. Tossed them with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. Then they were ready to be roasted in a 375°F oven for 30 minutes. Torn radicchio was added to the root vegetables at the end of the roasting cycle, for three to five minutes until it wilted. None of these steps could be rushed.
  • I got some pomegranates in the fridge. I proceeded to seed them. Start by rolling the fruit on the counter to loosen its interior. Cut it in halves, horizontally. The best way I’ve found is to beat the pomegranate half, held cut side down against your palm, over a bowl with the back of a sturdy wooden spoon. Gently knock on the pomegranate skin. Continue beating until the seeds start coming out naturally and falling through your fingers into the bowl. This method is effective as compared to that of seeding a pomegranate in a bowl of water. Since I like fresh pomegranate seeds in my salads and yogurt, I buy whole pomegranates when they are in season. Seed them and freeze the seeds. They freeze well.

 

  • The dressing is a simple one to make. Combine Dijon mustard, a dash of kosher salt, freshly squeezed lemon juice, a spoonful of pomegranate molasses and some olive oil. Toss everything together, farro, root vegetables, pomegranate seeds, chopped fresh parsley and all, with the dressing in a big salad bowl. I added a few drops of lemon juice to liven the salad, as David suggested.

 

Please visit Cook-the-book-fridays to see the comments and discussions on this salad from the online group, a community of engaging home cooks, who are working through each and every recipe in David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen. You are welcome to join the group and cook along with us.

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Emily
    March 3, 2017 at 8:13 am

    A lovely bowl of chewy goodness you have there! I do agree that the salad is very filling! Good to know about freezing the pomegranate seeds. Do we need to thaw the pomegranate seeds before using? Have you tried drying the pomegranate fruit, seems that they impart a wonderful flavor when dried, for braising etc.

  • Reply
    Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)
    March 3, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Good to know about freezing the seeds! I loved this salad – been eating wheat berries since I didn't know what they were called!

  • Reply
    Nicole
    March 3, 2017 at 11:44 am

    I was able to get pearled farro so they cooked up quickly. Yours looks so lovely!

  • Reply
    flour.ish.en
    March 3, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    It's best to bring frozen pomegranate seeds to room temperature before using. No, I haven' tried drying them since I have a shortage of supply of the seeds relative how fast my family is eating them.

  • Reply
    Mary Hirsch
    March 4, 2017 at 2:54 am

    My salad looks like and was very much like yours. I did not add the radicchio because they had none in the 3 grocery stores I use. Go figure. Still I thought this salad was delicious and can see all kinds of variations (as David suggested in a blog post I read). Your description of the salad in your first paragraph was perfect. In fact I wish I could have written that but I just don't have the knack to bring those words forward. I always look forward to reading your blog and, again this week, I wasn't disappointed.

  • Reply
    Nana
    March 6, 2017 at 12:36 am

    Beautiful salad, the colors are gorgeous. We enjoyed this even though I used the pearled farro in mine also.

  • Reply
    flour.ish.en
    March 6, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Thanks Mary for my your kind words. I have to get tips from you for six years of continued blogging while making a lot of friends and memories along the way.

  • Reply
    Teresa
    March 7, 2017 at 3:07 am

    I really enjoyed this salad, too. It's exactly the sort of thing that brightens up eating at this time of year.

  • Reply
    Karen @ From Scratch
    March 8, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    Your salad looks beautiful!

  • Reply
    lisa brown
    March 11, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    Thank you for the tips on seeding pomegranate, I love it too. Your salad looks great, I am looking forward to making it soon

  • Reply
    Betsy
    April 10, 2017 at 1:58 am

    I really enjoyed how flexible recipe is. In the fall and winter, I'm always looking for salads that use root vegetables and squash. I wish we'd made this in October instead of March! On to warm-weather recipes…

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