warm farro citrus salad


Have you ever been at a restaurant and everything you ordered was really good? I mean, memorable and satisfying and maybe a little weird/something you wouldn't normally pair together but it works, like really works?

That's how I felt at Federal Pizza in Phoenix, Arizona. When was I in Phoenix, you ask? Just a few weeks ago, my older sister Christine and I escaped the East Coast winter for a few days in the desert sun. We visited with our younger sister Grace, saw the Grand Canyon, wore shorts (well, I did anyway) and it was awesome. If you need more proof, there's a quick video recap below. Try not to get too jealous, guys. The snow will melt soon-ish, I think.

So pizza is pizza, right? Some is better than others, sure, but you kind of know what to expect. And even though the pizza there was slammin' (exactly) because they were crazy-smart enough to combine roasted sweet potatoes, fresh ricotta and sage onto a pizza (life-changing, I swear), that's not the part of the meal I wanted to replicate. Well, I take that back: I did, and I probably will, eventually (though hold the cheese for this cutie). But what I was really intrigued by was their Clockwork Orange Salad. Snappy name, sure, but it was also just full of all the best, fresh flavors. Citrus always wins in my book, but there was cauliflower, shaved Parmesan, pistachios, arugula, etc.

Of course I didn't think to scan their menu when I went shopping for ingredients to replicate. One of those moments. I knew I needed to find arugula, but I couldn't. And the rest of the ingredients were a little bit hazy to me. I just remembered it being good.

Despite this, here's what I came up with. For this recipe, you'll need:

1 cup farro, cooked
2 cups salad greens of choice (I used a mixed herb blend)
1 medium orange, segmented
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1 small cucumber, sliced
1/2 cup green peas
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 medium avocado, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper

Start by getting your farro cooked according to the package instructions. You can do this far in advance if you don't mind it being chilled or room temperature, but I preferred it to still be a little warm. 

In the meantime, toss together your greens, bell pepper, carrots, cucumber, and green peas. In a small bowl, whisk together your orange juice, olive oil, salt and pepper until well combined. Toss over your salad until evenly coated.

Serve over a bed of your prepared farro and top with orange segments, avocado slices, green onion and a sprinkling of chopped hazelnuts.

So, if you look at the Federal menu, the answer is: not even close. But that's okay, because this actually did the trick. It quelled my craving, as well as my craving to find a way to work quell into a blog post. The avocado replaced the cheese and the hazelnuts subbed in for the pistachios. There were a few extra vegetables and a few of the originals (asparagus, cauliflower) missing, but it all worked out in the end. I guess I'll just have to get it again when I go back in April to see these guys (that's Death Cab, not Panic at the Disco, by the way).