A salad for all seasons


On the subject of transitional salads (which I was, last time) this one’s a goodie. It’s packed full of layers of contrasting textures and flavours – nubbly grains, crunchy radishes and pistachios, chewy cranberries – and the dressing, made from orange and lemon juice and warming spices, gives a subtle suggestion of …ahem, sorry, I can’t quite bring myself to mention the C word just yet. Let’s just say this salad would be as happy sitting alongside a plateful of cold turkey as it would a barbecued lamb chop and leave it at that shall we?

Farro salad with a spiced citrus dressing


Farro is deliciously nutty, chewy Italian spelt, but if you can’t get hold of it substitute with pearl barley, pearled spelt or brown rice for a gluten-free version. The measurements below are only a guide – you can throw as much as you like at it and it will still be yummy.

This is good with a crumbling of feta cheese, but I have left it out here because otherwise all my photos of salad would look the same (you may have noticed, I do love a bit of crumbled feta).

Serves 6 as a side

  • 250g quick cook farro (I used Waitrose)
  • 4-5 spring onions, sliced
  • 150g-200g radish, cut into quarters
  • 50g-75g dried cranberries
  • 50g-75g shelled pistachios
  • seeds from 1/4 pomegranate, juice from the other 1/4
  • 20g chopped fresh mint
  • 20g chopped flat leaf parsley
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
  • 2 tsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tsp runny honey
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Turkish chilli flakes, or a pinch of normal chilli flakes
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • big pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper
  1. Cook the farro for 8-10 minutes in plenty of boiling salted water, then drain.
  2. Put the zest and juice of the lemon and orange into a large mixing bowl then squeeze a quarter of pomegranate in your hands over the bowl to release the juice. Add the honey, pomegranate molasses, spices, and salt and pepper and stir. Taste to check the balance of sweet, sour and salty, then adjust if necessary. Add the oil and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the farro to the dressing while it is still warm, then once it has cooled a bit add the rest of the ingredients and toss to combine. img_3005




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