This farro salad with radicchio and almonds is simplicity itself. Cooked farro and wedges of charred radicchio are tossed with ricotta salata cheese, almonds, and a tart lemony dressing. Great for lunch, as an appetizer, or a simple side dish.
Eating healthy can get tiresome if you’re not careful. Fortunately you have us to look out for you and your food ruts. This stunner of a summer salad jumbles together nutty farro, smoky grilled radicchio, tangy ricotta salata, and a just-tart-enough lemon vinaigrette in a way that’s gonna woo you and everyone at your table. You may even forget it’s good for you.–Renee Schettler Rossi
☞ Table of Contents
Farro Salad with Radicchio and Almonds
- 1 cup farro
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 cup raw whole almonds
- One (12-ounce) head radicchio
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for brushing
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup crumbled ricotta salata
- Freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 350°F (175°C).
- In a small saucepan, combine the farro and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the farro is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and shake out any excess water.
- Scatter the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate, let cool, and then coarsely chop.
- Quarter the radicchio lengthwise into wedges. Brush with olive oil and season with salt. Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Add the radicchio wedges, with 1 cut side facing down, and cook until charred, about 2 minutes. Turn the wedges so the other cut side is face down and cook until charred, another 2 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice the radicchio crosswise.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and ricotta salata. Add the farro, radicchio, and most of the almonds and toss to combine. Add salt and pepper and the remaining almonds. Serve immediately.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This farro salad with radicchio was delicious—easy to put together and very satisfying to eat. It’s a nice change from usual farro salads as the bitterness of the grilled radicchio combined with the tartness of the lemony dressing make a winning combination. The cheese adds a saltiness while the almonds add some crunch. I think it also could get other personal touches and would be a great starting point for lots of other versions. Charred romaine lettuce would work well and offer a bit less of the bitterness of the radicchio and I think any salty cheese would work, as would any nuts. Toasting the nuts certainly enhances their flavor and texture.
“I should cook with farro more often,” was my first thought after I enjoyed this salad—I had forgotten how good it is. It resembles brown rice, but I love that it takes less than half the time to cook.
Farro’s nice, dense chew makes this salad satisfying along with the textures and flavors of other ingredients: crunchy and sweet almonds, firm and slightly bitter radicchio, and crumbly salty ricotta salata.
Of course you can endlessly expand on this recipe. Pistachios or pecans would be great substitutes for almonds and sweet bell peppers can certainly join radicchio on the grill. Got some delicious olives or other herbs to add? Why not? It’s not a grill-friendly season where I am yet, so here’s what I did with the radicchio: quartered it lengthwise, then went ahead and sliced the quarters crosswise, and tossed with olive oil. After the almonds were toasted, I used the same pan to roast the radicchio for 5 minutes at the same temperature, then put it under a broiler for 2 minutes to char the edges.
I really love this farro salad with radicchio! There is nothing better than a salad in harmony, flavor and texture-wise, and I think this one is. I also have to say that radicchio is a bit of an acquired taste for me. I didn’t start life liking its bitterness all that much, but I loved it in this dish in combination with the dressing.
I think the dressing and grain ratio was perfect, and the crunch from the toasted almonds was a good touch. I sprinkled a little extra of the ricotta salata on the top when I was serving. The grilling seemed to mellow the radicchio out a bit. This is an easy recipe and a good side to go with lemon sole oreganata! Restaurant dinner combo for sure and nice with a Pinot Grigio!
This is a delightful salad with lots of brightness and interesting varied textures. I loved the bitterness of the radicchio combined with the slight sweet nuttiness of the farro and the almonds and the saltiness of the feta. It makes a substantial amount and held up well for lunches through the week.
This contemporary salad of farro and radicchio fires on all cylinders: easy, bright, and healthy but also unique, hearty, texturally interesting, and delicious. I’m thrilled to have a new use for that half bag of farro that sits in my pantry after my last grain bowl, and the same could be said for the radicchio element. Aside from a token few leaves in a bowl of mesclun or spring greens, I rarely see this beautiful chicory used in home recipes; moreover, to discover that grilling the bitter wedges mellows the flavor so much was a very pleasant surprise!
This recipe comes together very quickly and with next to no effort, and is definitely one of those salads that is more than the sum of its parts. Even my husband really enjoyed the symphony of the flavors, even though he would have normally dismissed farro altogether as one of those “healthy foods” that are too bland and boring. (He even helped cook this, throwing the radicchio on the grill for me and marveling at how it cooked up so easily.)
My only change would be to add a solid grating of lemon zest to the final mix in order to bump up the “zing” of the dressing and to give the salad a final visual flair. Definitely an enlightening recipe all around and one I’ll be making again soon!
I really loved this recipe for farro salad with radicchio. It delivers on great flavors (salty, bitter, lemony, nutty), contrasting textures (crunchy, chewy, tender) and is the perfect hybrid that can make a meal on its own or be a robust side next to a protein (we served it with grilled chicken). So, yes this is a recipe I will be making again frequently.
I’m always looking for ways to enjoy whole grains and greens and this one is very flexible. We made it twice—once as-is and another time I used pearled barley instead of farro. Both were great but the barley needed a slightly longer cooking time. This keeps well. Two days after I made it it was still delicious and had a good texture. A double batch made on a Sunday can be a good quick work lunch throughout the week.
Originally published May 30, 2018