This might be the crunchiest salad you’ve ever eaten. It’s a true riot of textures from three kinds of peas (English, snap and snow), plus fried farro, in a simple, tart, herbaceous dressing. Shaved parmesan cheese provides another counterpoint, but this salad would also be great with a creamier cheese, such as burrata or feta, or with salty ricotta salata. You can also substitute a vegan cheese of your choice; consider dollops of creamy vegan ricotta, feta or homemade Herb-Marinated Tofu Feta (see related recipe).
Total time: 45 mins
Make Ahead: The dressing can be refrigerated for up to 3 days before you combine it with the other ingredients before serving.
Storage Notes: Refrigerate for up to 5 days. The farro softens as it soaks up the dressing, so if you’d like to keep it crunchy and you know you’ll have leftovers, store it separately from the rest of the salad.
Where to Buy: Farro can be found in many well-stocked supermarkets, Italian markets or online.
4 – 6
Tested size: 4-6 servings; about 7 1/2 cups
1/2 cup uncooked farro (may substitute barley or brown rice)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, finely grated or pressed
1/2 teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
8 ounces fresh or frozen English peas
8 ounces snow peas
8 ounces sugar snap peas
1 cup neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola, for frying
2 ounces shaved Parmesan cheese (may substitute burrata, dairy or vegan feta, ricotta or ricotta salata)
Lay out 3 clean dish towels on your counter.
Cook the farro according to the package instructions, drain well, and spread out onto one of the dish towels. Fold the towel over and pat the farro dry, then unfold and let the farro air-dry while you prep the rest of the salad.
In a large serving bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, parsley, oregano, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Taste, and season with more salt and pepper as needed.
Add the English peas to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes, or until just heated through. Transfer the peas to the second clean dish towel on the counter, fold over the towel, and gently pat and roll them around until most of the moisture has been soaked up. Unfold the towel and let the peas air-dry while you prep the rest of the salad.
Trim and de-string the snow peas and, if needed, the sugar snap peas. (Some snap pea varieties are stringless, so you can skip this step if you have those.) Use your fingers to snap off the stem end of the pea toward the top seam, leaving the stringy part attached. Pull the disconnected stem end to remove the string. Cut the snow peas and sugar snap peas on the bias into 1/2-inch pieces.
In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until it registers 400 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, or until it shimmers but does not start to smoke. Add the air-dried farro and gently stir it to make sure it does not clump together. Fry until the farro turns a deeper golden brown and is crunchy, 6 to 7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to scoop up the farro in batches, holding it over the pan to let as much oil drain away as possible, then transfer it to the third clean dish towel on your counter to cool.
Transfer the farro to the serving bowl with the vinaigrette, along with the English peas, snow peas and sugar snap peas. Toss to combine. Top with the shaved cheese and serve.
Adapted from “Eitan Eats the World” by Eitan Bernath (Clarkson Potter, 2022).
Tested by Tested by: Joe Yonan.
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