April is a tricky month to be writing about seasonal food. It’s spring (nearly summer) here in Austin, so we’re dining al fresco, while some of you are likely still wearing winter coats. Spring veggies are starting to fill our farmers markets, but given the variation from region to region, I’m just not sure what’s growing near you.

So I bring to you the whatever-your-season grain salad. It’s more of a concept than a recipe and can be adjusted to use whatever veggies you might have on hand. The basic formula is this: a hearty grain, a handful of greens, a crunchy seasonal vegetable, chopped nuts, and possibly some cheese. I tossed mine with olive oil, squeezes of lemon and a few spoonfuls of kale pesto that I had made earlier in the week.

Farro Salad with Kale Pesto

*serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side . Scale accordingly.


  • 1 cup farro, cooked (about 1/2 cup uncooked, plus 1 cup water)
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • a big handful of arugula
  • 1-2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • a few good squeezes of lemon plus some lemon zest
  • a few heaping spoonfuls of kale pesto (or any pesto)
  • a small handful of chopped walnuts
  • 2 radishes, sliced
  • generous grating of parmesan cheese (a crumbly goat or feta cheese would have also been nice here)
  • pinches of red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Start by cooking the farro. Bring 1/2 cup farro and 1 cup (salted) water to a gentle boil. Reduce and simmer for about 25-35 minutes. (Check it at the 15-20 minute mark, give it a stir to make sure it’s not burning/sticking to the bottom of the pot. It’s done when it’s tender and chewy, not crunchy and not mushy).
  2. Drain farro, shaking out excess water. Toss it with olive oil, salt, pepper and the arugula.
  3. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, lemon, lemon zest, some of the pesto, some of the grated cheese and toss again. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  4. Finish the salad with radishes, a few more dollops of pesto, and another grating of cheese on top.

*photos & recipe by Love & Lemons

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Comments (10)
  1. 1
    Quinn Cooper April 4, 2013 at 7:02 am

    This salad looks to die for.
    Love Jeanine from Love and Lemons. Her photos are always so fresh and inspiring. They really make you want to eat everything she makes. This seems like a simple salad that is probably super tasty!
    xo Quinn
    Quinn Cooper Style

  2. 2
    Camille Styles April 4, 2013 at 7:21 am

    I basically had this exact salad for lunch yesterday without thinking (did carrots instead of radishes)… so thanks for putting it in recipe form! I hadn’t really thought about how incredibly adaptable it is for the seasons. On a side note, I am obsessed with farro right now!!

  3. 3
    Sarah | Sarah The Architect April 4, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Looks delicious! I haven’t made many salads with radish, but will have to try it out soon…. and yes I’m wearing my winter coat this morning 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio April 4, 2013 at 10:46 am

      well sadly just after I wrote that it became cold and rainy here too 🙂

  4. 4
    Katie O'Keefe April 4, 2013 at 10:41 am

    My husband and I do Paleo…this is a great addition to our salad recipes! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  5. 5
    Miro - Dose of Dash April 4, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Can’t wait to try this one out! Central Market has their own little packages of farro that I love.

  6. 6
    Lauren Craig (@PerpetuallyChic) April 5, 2013 at 7:51 am

    Camille & Jeanine, if you’re obsessed with farro right now, you have to try Heidi’s Kale Market Salad (http://bit.ly/17gSuEy). I made it all last summer and was completely obsessed. Can’t wait to try Jeanine’s version with the pesto!

  7. 7
    Uma Sanghvi // Studio Uma April 6, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    LOVE everything about this recipe. But we’re having a hard time finding farro.. it’s not at my local Whole Foods here in Austin (gateway). Where’s the next place to look?

    • Camille Styles April 6, 2013 at 9:25 pm

      I buy farro on the grains aisle of Central Market in Austin! And it is worth hunting down… my current favorite grain!