I suppose this could go to my “work in progress” folder.  But, Phil liked it exactly this way, so I decided to share the recipe adding possible tweaks in the comments.  One important thing to mention: although this is a salad, it’s equally good served warm. Those of you still in sub-zero temperatures and avoiding even to glance at a salad plate don’t need to shy away from it. In fact, we enjoyed it hot on the first day piled up next to a  juicy flank steak, grilled medium-rare. Comme il faut...  😉


(adapted from The New York Times

2 large leeks, halved lengthwise, cleaned and sliced crosswise 1/4-inch thick
1 Tablespoon olive oil + 1/8 cup, divided
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 can of chickpeas, drained (15 oz)
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes
1 cup dry farro
1/3 cup dried currants
2 celery stalks, diced

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Using a large rimmed baking sheet, toss leeks with 1 tablespoon of oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread leeks out in a single layer  and roast, tossing frequently, until golden brown and crisp at the edges, about 20 minutes.

Drain the chickpeas and add them to a pot with boiling water for a couple of seconds. Drain again, dry well.  In a large bowl, toss leeks with chickpeas, lemon juice and zest,  chile flakes and salt to taste. Stir in 1/8 cup olive oil.  Let marinate while you prepare the farro.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook farro until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain well. Toss with chickpeas mixture. Stir in currants and diced celery. Taste and add more salt or lemon if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.


to print the recipe, click here


Comments: The original recipe was written for 2 cups of farro, definitely too much for the two of us.  I halved the recipe, keeping all ingredients in the same proportion, but considerably reducing the olive oil. I was shocked to see the amount called for in the recipe. For two cups of dried farro, they used 2/3 cup of olive oil in the dressing.  Keep in mind that 1/4 cup had already been poured just to roast the leeks. It amounts to 1,700 calories (> 800 for half the recipe) just in the oil component!   Thanks, but no thanks.  I used a tiny amount of oil to roast the leeks, and only 1/8 cup for the whole dressing.   If you like your salad heavier on the oil, I suggest drizzling some more at the very end, before serving.

Now my possible modifications for a future version.  I think raisins would have been better than currants.  And, for my personal taste, the roasted leeks overpowered the dish.  When I make it again, I will use raisins, increase the amount of celery, and reduce the amount of leeks.  That will be a real winner for me.


ONE YEAR AGO: Watercress Salad

TWO YEARS AGO: Carrot and Sweet Potato Puree’

THREE YEARS AGO: Croissants: Paris at home on a special day


  1. Something or someone is trying to send me a message. This is the 3rd reference to farro since yesterday. That’s already more times than farro was mentioned in all of last year! I guess it’s time I make some farro. If only these messages included directions to where I can find some. 🙂
    Thanks, Oh Messenger, for doing your part to get me to try farro. Your recipe sounds delicious and I think I’ll follow your recommendations, too.


  2. It’s interesting that the farro we get from Bluebird (www.bluebirdgrainfarms.com) is tender in 25 minutes. The package directions call for much longer cooking. When I make Minestra di Faro Lucchese, a Mariio Batali recipe, the farro cooks for almost an hour before the soup is finished. The grains are more tender in that recipe than with my usual preparation, in my rice cooker, but I think that’s appropriate in the soup. I made some in the rice cooker the the other day and served it with the boeuf bourguignon from your earlier post. I also added some to a simple tomato soup. Both combos were very good.


  3. I love farro – warm and cold. And the kids love chickpeas. I know this will be a winner. This reminds me that I need to get a new bag of farro. When I make this, I’ll use your suggestion for the raisins. I have such a hard time finding currants and I know the raisins will go over with the kids (as long as I use golden ones!). 🙂 Hope you’re doing well Sally. Have a great day!


  4. No farro here because a wheat allergy but all kinds of grains could be substituted. This recipe looks wonderful, Sally. I have six leeks in the crisper and leek and potato soup in the fridge. This salad will be on our table soon, thanks for posting. I have chickpeas and currants, too, believe it or not. ;).


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