Farro Salad With Chanterelles, Fennel and Apples

Farro salad with chanterelle mushrooms, fennel, apples and parmesan, and an apple vinaigrette
Farro salad with chanterelles, fennel, apples and parmesan

This is my second take on chanterelles and farro. The first one was a hot entree, with sauteed apples. Today’s variation is a salad, with shaved apples, fennel, and parmesan. The first dish used an apple “balsamic” vinegar to make an emulsified butter sauce. For the salad, I used the same vinegar to make a vinaigrette.

It was kind of fun to spin the same ingredients in two ways that were closely related, but that would fill different roles in a meal. This salad could either lead off a dinner, or just as easily be a light lunch by itself.

Also, it has been on my mind to use more whole grains. I think they work best when you don’t just try to use them as a substitute for refined starches. Whole grains tend to have a nuttier, heartier and chewier aspect than their white counterparts. If you take that character into account when pairing them with other ingredients, they can be stars on their own, not apologetic replacements when on a health kick. These two dishes are a good example: they would be unappealing with, say, white rice instead of the farro.

Farro Salad With Chanterelles, Fennel and Apples
Serves 4
Vegetarian; vegan if you omit the parmesan; not gluten-free

  • 1 cups farro (whole or semi-pearled)
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 generous handfuls chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned, dried, and quartered if large
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 apple (Kings are nice), peeled and shaved on mandoline or sliced as thin as possible, tossed immediately with the lemon juice to prevent browning
  • 1 bulb fennel, trimmed and shaved on mandoline or sliced as thin as possible (round bulbs are tastier than flat ones)
  • 16 thinly shaved slices of parmesan (parmigiano reggiano)
  • 2 tablespoons Acetoria apple vinegar (or 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and 2 teaspoons sugar)
  • fresh parsley leaves
  • sea salt (Maldon (aka the world’s greatest salt)!)
  1. Rinse and boil the farro according to package directions. If no directions, bring to a simmer in a covered pot with the water and Kosher salt, then reduce to a simmer and cook about 45 minutes until tender. If the farro is semi-pearled, it may cook a lot faster than that. Don’t let it get mushy, we want a bit of a bite left. Cool to room temperature
  2. Heat a skillet on medium high flame. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Saute the mushrooms, turning occasionally until nicely browned and tender. Season with sea salt and remove from the pan.
  3. Season the apple vinegar with salt and pepper. Drizzle in the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil, whisking continuously to emulsify. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  4. To serve, mound 1/2 cup of farro on each plate. Top with a handful of the sliced apples and fennel. Drizzle on some of the dressing. Top with 4 slices of parmesan, 1/4 of the chanterelles, and some parsley. Drizzle remaining dressing around the plate, and hit with a few grains of a finishing salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Farro on Foodista

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Posted by Michael Natkin on Thursday, October 30th, 2008 in Recipes, Salads.

5 Responses to “Farro Salad With Chanterelles, Fennel and Apples”

  1. Reply
    October 30, 2008 at 2:26 pm #

    This looks beautiful and delicious. Whole grains are definitely stars on their own!

  2. Reply
    October 31, 2008 at 1:02 pm #

    That looks great. Farro is one of the only whole grains I’ve never cooked with. I will have to start now.

  3. Reply
    November 1, 2008 at 8:27 pm #

    Sounds amazing. I can’t wait to make it. Just beautiful presentation. I just found your blog and I love it. THANKS!!!

  4. Reply
    Bruce Bowman
    October 2, 2010 at 8:20 pm #

    We made this last night and enjoyed it. Hearty and satisfying. I love chantrelles and farro, and we’ll definitely make it again.

    I’m not sure I found the right kind of vinegar. Is Acetoria a brand name? I settled on an apple vinegar (Aceto di Mele, L’Arentino), and it was very light colored. Your sauce/dressing looks darker in the picture above.

  5. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    October 4, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    Hey Bruce – glad you liked that combination! Yes, Acetoria is a brand name; I used to get it from ChefShop.com but they don't seem to have it anymore, which is a shame – the stuff is brilliant. I think you might be able to make a substitute by reducing apple cider vin, apple juice, and some sugar together until it is syrupy.

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