Farro and Chickpea Salad

From inthekitchenwithkath.com

(Inspired by the Organic Grain Salad at Portage Bay Café)

Makes about 10 cups, generously serving 10 - 12 as a side dish, 6 as a main dish salad

Allow about 3 hours, start to finish


1 cup farro (or wheat berries)

2 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), or 1 can, rinsed and drained

8 ounces small potatoes, scrubbed but unpeeled

4 carrots (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 1½ inch chunks

About 1 cup sweet onion, cut in 1-inch square pieces

6 ounces grape tomatoes, sliced in half

1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced

½ cup red onion, cut in small pieces

15 sage leaves, washed and thoroughly dried

Olive oil for the carrots and for frying sage leaves

Lemon/Rosemary Vinaigrette (recipe follows)


1. If you’re cooking the chickpeas, start them first. Put 1 cup chickpeas in a large pot. Cover with water so there is at least 2 inches of water over the chickpeas. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let them sit, covered, for 1 hour.

2. Drain the beans and cover with plenty of water again. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Lower the heat and simmer for 40 minutes. Add 1½ teaspoons salt and simmer until tender, 10–15 minutes more. Drain.

(Or omit steps 1 & 2 and rinse a drain a can of chickpeas.)

3. Start the farro (or wheat berries) after you get the chickpeas going for their second boil. Put the farro in a large pot with lots of water. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until tender but chewy, about 60 minutes. Drain when done.

4. Steam the potatoes until just tender. Let them cool; cut into small pieces.

5. Heat the oven to 425˚. Put the carrots on a small rimmed baking pan and toss with about a tablespoon of oil. Roast for 15 minutes. Stir in the sweet onion pieces and roast for about another 10 minutes.

6. Cut the cooked carrots into small pieces.

7. Heat about ¼ inch of olive oil in a small saucepan. Make sure the sage is thoroughly dry so it doesn’t splatter. Add the sage leaves (in 2 batches if it’s too crowded) and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove the leaves and drain on a paper towel. After they have cooled off, they’ll be a bit crunchy.

8. Put the chickpeas, potatoes, farro, roasted carrots and sweet onions, tomatoes, olives, and red onions in the bowl. Crumble the sage over the salad.

9. Gently toss the salad with about ¾ of the Lemon/Rosemary Vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt.

10. Just before serving, taste, and toss with a bit of the extra vinaigrette if it needs more.


Lemon/Rosemary Vinaigrette

(Adapted from Mark Bittman’s vinaigrette recipe in How to Cook Everything)

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon minced rosemary

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (I needed 2 lemons)

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1. Mix the zest, salt, rosemary and juice. While whisking constantly, slowly add the oil in a stream until emulsion forms.

2. Taste to adjust salt.