• 1 and 1/4 cups farro
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 c. water
  • Pesto
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Zest from that lemon…Wait; don’t throw that lemon out! J
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup or so olive oil
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1 c. fresh spinach leaves
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • 2-inch chunk of parmesan cheese wedge or ½ c. freshly grated parmesan
  • Salad:
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 1 basket cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 cups pre-washed baby arugula or spinach (I prefer arugula however because it adds a nice peppery flavor to the salad)
  • 2 ounces goat or feta cheese, crumbled

Isn’t this salad just beautiful? Wouldn’t your whole body be happy? From your taste buds to every cells, this salad is full of flavor and vitamins! I recently made this on the My Carolina Today show. Everyone thought it a bit odd, but after they tried it-they loved it!

Farro, the Italian name for emmer wheat, has been cropping up all over the place lately, so you’ve probably heard of it. If not, it is a beautiful wheat grain – a kernel, really – and it resembles barley. Whole grains are making a big comeback right now – quinoa, bulgur… but farro is the only one that I actually get excited about. It’s chewy and slightly sweet and has a big, nutty flavor, and it can be used in salads, soups, riffs on risotto, and about a million other things


In a medium saucepan, combine water with the farro. For added flavor you can boil in chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the farro is almost tender, about 20 minutes. Add 1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt and simmer until the farro is tender, about 10 minutes longer. Drain well. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.

To make pesto, place all ingredients in a food processor or blender.

Place pine nuts, olives, tomatoes and arugula in a large bowl with the farro. Add the pesto and toss to combine. Season generously with salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Top with goat cheese. Makes 6 servings.

Tip: Using only basil in pesto can be pretty pricey and if you’re like me and grow herbs in your garden or in pots around your house, you don’t want to take a whole bunch for just for one recipe, so using spinach and other herbs helps!