Farro and Broccoli Salad

published Aug 6, 2021
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Farro and Broccoli Salad

This hearty make-ahead salad has farro, broccoli, smoked almonds, aged cheddar, golden raisins, and dried cranberries, and is served with a quick pickled shallot viniagrette.

Serves6

Makesabout 3 quarts

Prep40 minutes

Cook25 minutes

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gran salad in a bowl
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

There’s a time and place for simply dressed greens, but most of the time I want a salad that’s got a lot going on — and this tasty farro and broccoli situation is just that. It’s packed with sweet and savory flavors and crunchy and chewy textures. It’s a vegetarian salad that feels substantial. It’s packed with nutrients, but is so delicious that you won’t want to stop eating it. And you can make a big batch on Sunday and enjoy it for lunch all week without ever getting bored.

Broccoli Stalks (Yes Stalks!) Are the Key to This Hearty Salad

I keep this salad low-waste by using all parts of the broccoli. I start by thinly slicing the florets into bite-sized pieces. Using a vegetable peeler, I remove the fibrous exterior of the stalk and cut the sweet, tender flesh into matchsticks. There’s no need to blanch or roast the broccoli: It’s sliced thinly enough to be tender, but still sturdy enough that it won’t lose its crunch after the salad is dressed.

The rest of the components come together quickly. I add chewy cooked farro, which gives the salad more staying power. Chopped smoked almonds add crunch and a savory hit of flavor. Sharp or aged cheddar cheese brings a creaminess that plays nicely with the crunchy and chewy textures. For a little sweetness, I throw in some golden raisins and dried cranberries. Everything gets tossed together with a quick pickled shallot vinaigrette that is made with Dijon and white wine vinegar. It’s tangy but not too tangy, and the shallots add just enough bite. I toss the salad with some of the vinaigrette so the flavors can meld and mingle in the fridge. Just before serving, I toss in a little more dressing for some bright freshness.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Easy Ways to Make This Salad Your Own

This recipe is infinitely customizable. Don’t eat farro? Try using quinoa or your favorite gluten-free grain. Instead of broccoli, use cauliflower or a mix of cauliflower and thinly sliced cabbage or maybe some shredded Brussels sprouts. If you’re dairy-free, skip the cheese and maybe add some nutritional yeast instead. If you don’t like cheddar, swap in your favorite cheese. You could also add herbs or baby spinach just before serving.

Farro and Broccoli Salad

This hearty make-ahead salad has farro, broccoli, smoked almonds, aged cheddar, golden raisins, and dried cranberries, and is served with a quick pickled shallot viniagrette.

Prep time 40 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes

Makes about 3 quarts

Serves 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 cup

    uncooked pearled farro

  • 1

    small shallot

  • 1/2 cup

    white wine vinegar

  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes

  • 2 pounds

    broccoli (2 large heads)

  • 3/4 cup

    smoked almonds

  • 4 ounces

    sharp, extra-sharp, or aged cheddar cheese

  • 3/4 cup

    golden raisins or dried cranberries, or a combination

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt, divided plus more as needed

  • 1/3 cup

    extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon

    Dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. Rinse 1 cup farro under cool running water. Cook in boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cool water, then set aside to cool completely. Meanwhile, make the dressing and prepare the remaining ingredients.

  2. Mince 1 small shallot (2 to 3 tablespoons) and place in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup white wine vinegar, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and a pinch of kosher salt. Stir to combine and let sit for least 15 minutes for the shallots to pickle.

  3. Trim the stalks from 2 pounds broccoli and set aside. Cut the head crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices, then chop any larger slices into bite-sized pieces. Transfer to a large bowl. Trim the dry end from the stalks, then peel the stalks until you reach the tender inner flesh. Cut the stalks crosswise into 2- to 3-inch-long pieces, then thinly slice the pieces lengthwise into planks. Stack the planks and cut into matchsticks. Add to the bowl with the broccoli florets.

  4. Coarsely chop 3/4 cup smoked almonds. Cut 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese into small dice. Add the almonds, cheese, and 3/4 cup golden raisins or dried cranberries to the bowl of broccoli.

  5. When the shallots are ready, add 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Whisk to combine.

  6. Add the cooled farro and remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to the broccoli and toss to combine. Reserve 1/2 cup of dressing for serving, and pour the rest into the salad and toss until everything is well-coated. Taste and season with more kosher salt as needed. Divide the salad into 6 pint-sized containers and refrigerate. When ready to serve, drizzle with a little of the reserved dressing.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.