Farro Salad with Apples and Arugula

This farro salad is a hearty side dish or meal all unto itself. The farro is easy to make and the apples, arugula, chopped dates, radicchio, sunflower seeds and Parmesan cheese bring lots of lively flavors to the plate.

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A shallow white bowl with farro salad in it and a pink napkin with utensils next to it.What is farro?

Farro is an ancient whole-wheat grain that refers to three species of wheat – spelt, emmer and einkorn. It is sold dried and when cooked it had a delicious nutty taste and chewy texture. Farro is very nutritious too, being a great source of plant-based protein and fiber. As such, it’s a perfect base for a salad like this Farro Salad with Apples and Arugula (and some other really great flavors!).

Ingredients for farro salad on a cutting board - radicchio, a saucepan of farro, arugula, apples, radishes, parmesan cheese and dates.

How to Cook Farro

Farro is very easy to cook. You simply boil it in liquid until it is tender and chewy with a little bite left – about 20 – 30 minutes. In this Farro Salad recipe, you can cook the farro in vegetable stock, chicken stock or water. Cooking in stock will add flavor to the farro, but it’s not essential. Sometimes I like just the unadulterated flavor of the farro. Once it is tender/chewy, strain the farro and transfer it to a bowl to cool.

Ingredients for the dressing for farro salad in a bowl with jars and tablespoon measures near by.

Dressing for Farro Salad

The dressing for this farro salad is based on apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Add maple syrup and Dijon mustard to the vinegar first and whisk to dissolve any lumps. Then add the shallot and thyme before whisking in the olive oil. You may not use all the vinaigrette on the farro salad, so save any extra for another occasion. It’s a great dressing for salad greens or roasted vegetables.

A bottle of vinaigrette with a bottle of apple cider vinegar, shallot and a can of maple syrup behind it. A farro salad with apples and arugula in a large serving bowl, arranged in sections, with a few other ingredients around the side.

Making Farro Salad ahead

With the farro cooked and the dressing made, the rest of this farro salad is very easy. Just toss all the interesting ingredients (radicchio, arugula, dates, apple) together, dress with the vinaigrette and then top with the pumpkin seeds and Parmesan cheese. All together, this makes such a nice fall salad for dinner or lunch. 

Hands adding peelings of Parmesan cheese to the top of a farro salad.

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Farro Salad with Arugula and Apples

  • Prep Time: 10 m
  • Cook Time: 30 m
  • Total Time: 40 m
  • Servings:


  • 1 cup pearled farro
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock or water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 to 3 cups arugula
  • ¼ head radicchio chopped
  • 1 Pink Lady or Honey Crisp apple diced
  • cup thinly sliced radishes
  • ¼ cup chopped dates
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • ½ cup shaved Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
  • ¼ cup roasted pepita seeds
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon to taste, optional
Maple Syrup Vinaigrette:
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ shallot minced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Rinse the farro by placing it in a fine mesh strainer and running it under cold water. Drain off the excess water and place it in a medium saucepan with the stock, bay leaves and salt. Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the farro is tender yet still chewy. Strain the farro and transfer it to a bowl to cool.
  2. Make the vinaigrette by combining the maple syrup, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, shallots, thyme leaves and salt in a bowl or food processor. While whisking or processing, slowly pour in the olive oil until the dressing has emulsified. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Place the arugula and radicchio in a large salad bowl. Add the cooked farro, apples, radishes, dates, parsley and half of the Parmesan cheese. When you are ready to serve, drizzle the dressing over everything and toss to coat. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and top with the remaining Parmesan cheese and pepita seeds. If desired, squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the salad to add a little tang and brightness.

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Comments (3)Post a Reply

  1. in the list of ingredients you have 1 lemon but it is not listed in the directions. is this JUICE? Is it zest? How is it used? Should it be added to the dressing? Or is is not supposed to be listed?

    1. Sorry for the error in the directions. The salad can be finished by squeezing a little fresh lemon juice over top before serving. It is optional and just adds a little tang and brightness to the salad. The recipe has been updated. Thanks!!

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