Charlie Bird Farro Salad with Raw Beets | Alexandra's Kitchen
Melissa Clark popularized this recipe when she wrote about it in The Times in 2013. Ina Garten included an adaptation of the recipe in her latest book, Cook Like a Pro, and when I saw it in there, I had to make it immediately. It is as delicious as promised and endlessly adaptable. Here are a few changes I've made: Omitted the tomatoes, though I would certainly include them if it were summer. Used raw, peeled Chioggia (candy cane) beets in place of the radishes. Used scallions in place of parsley and mint, though the herbs would be lovely additions/substitutions. Added 1/4 cup Zante currants soaked in 2 tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar — the first time I made this, I found myself missing the sweetness of something like a currant or golden raisin. Totally optional. A few other notes: Farro: Pearled farro will cook in 25-30 minutes; if you are using un-pearled farro, the cooking time may be much, much longer. So, be sure to look at the package and adjust cooking time and liquid amounts as needed. If you don't have apple cider, you can simply cook the farro in water, but the cider does lend a subtle and nice sweetness to the cooked farro. If you are sensitive to salt, consider reducing the amounts suggested both when cooking the farro and making the dressing. I am a salt fiend and did not find this too salty, but a handful of commenters on The Times recipe noted that they found the salad too salty. If you like video guidance, you can watch the whole process in Instagram Stories.