Warm Farro Salad with Fennel, Arugula, Prosciutto and Pecorino

August 17, 2018


It’s that time again, folks. You know what I’m talking about…The Back-to-School Freakshow Circus. The girls have been moaning mightily about returning, and the anxiety dreams have arrived in all of their midnight-sweaty, panicked glory. I feel so guilty when they tell me about those dreams, because at the age of 40-something, I still get them. Mine usually center around the college years (Hey! You wake up on the morning of final exams to realize that you have forgotten you had that class ALL semester long) but however you slice it, anxiety dreams suck. Big time.

How is it that I’m still such a nervous wreck this late in life? Apparently, the aging process does little to quiet all of the dogs barking in my head. And now my kids have inherited said dogs. Those lucky little girls.

I must say that this summer has been so travel-heavy and crazy that I’m hoping the adjustment won’t be as bracing for us. If we’ve had a relaxing, lazy summer, the transition is almost inhumanely brutal. This summer was frenzied, so I’m thinking that we’ll get our bearings a little quicker. Or am I just deluded? It’s always hard.

One thing I do know is that it’s still too steamy to want to spend lots of time preparing dinner. And the first week or two of the school year is too exhausting to really care much, if I’m honest. There will be plenty of burgers and chicken breasts thrown on the grill. Many BLT’s will be consumed in the name of laziness. Takeout pizza? Count me in.

Of course, there will be days when I try to do a little better. Days when maybe a whole grain, vegetable-forward meal is in the realm of possibility.

On those kind of days, this recipe is a good bet. It’s especially a good bet if you have a bunch of farro that’s already cooked and in your refrigerator (or if you have those pre-made pouches of farro in your pantry). If that’s the case, this thing is dead easy. Even if you have to make a fresh batch of farro, this meal can easily come together in the half hour it takes for the fennel to roast. It’s got a nice salty punch from the prosciutto and the pecorino cheese, brightness from the lemon, a peppery bite from the arugula. It’s got a bit of heft from the farro but it won’t weigh you down, and in this crazy season, that’s a good thing.

Happy back to school season, suckers. Wishing you resilience in these difficult times.



Warm Farro Salad with Fennel, Arugula, Prosciutto and Pecorino

serves 4

slightly adapted from Serious Eats


1 1/2 cups farro*

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into quarters

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

3 cups arugula or baby arugula

2 tablespoons pitted chopped olives or capers

2 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced

1 1/2 ounces percorino cheese, shaved

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

zest from one lemon

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

toasted pine nuts or sunflower seeds (optional)


Cook farro according to package directions. Strain and set aside.

While farro cooks, roast fennel. Preheat oven to 375. Toss fennel quarters with 1 tablespoon olive oil and roast on a rimmed baking sheet for 30 minutes. Remove core from fennel and slice thinly.

Toss cooked farro with fennel, baby arugula and the pitted olives/capers.

Mix remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and Dijon mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss farro/fennel mixture with dressing.

Top with the prosciutto slices and large shavings of pecorino. Scatter toasted nuts over top, if using.


*if using prepared farro, use 2 cups cooked farro or 2 ready-packages.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Annie Jones August 17, 2018 at 11:05 am

This looks perfect for right now! I adore farro. Our back-to-school circus got even wilder when we decided to change schools the week before school started. Omg hope to never do that again!


Dana Talusani August 17, 2018 at 2:03 pm


Yikes! I bet that made things uber nuts!


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