Farro salad entered our lives through a fairy tale wedding in a 12th century church in Pisa, or more precisely through the ensuing reception in the hills of Tuscany out in the surrounding countryside. We'd already been doing farro pasta hoping that it might be more healthful than white flour pasta, but using the whole farro kernel took longer to learn about. However, it is very similar to barley, and in turn to big bulgur, both of which can be used to extend the idea of risotto by substituting the arborio (or similar risotto rices), while the latter in smaller processed form is already familiar as the grain complementing the veggies in the Lebanese salad tabbouleh, a frequent component of our mother-in-law's dinners, with diligent chopping contributions by her husband. In fact the Italian version of this grained-based Mediterranean salad is done with rice: insalata di riso, but it stretches a bit the American notion of salad, perhaps in the same way our potato salad is a bit far removed from the typical greens- and tomato-based salad that the unaccompanied word "salad" first brings to our mind. Insalata di farro is apparently a traditional recipe from Tuscany.
We googled "farro salad" and came up with many variations. Since we like arugula and had been lucky to frequently acquire the real jagged arugula leaves like Italians use rather than the rounded variety that is too often found in US supermarkets, we leaned towards the arugula versions. And with some faith in balsamic vinegar and parmigiano cheese, this simple recipe from Mary Ann Esposito seemed like a good place to start. One can use imagination here in combining different greens and veggies and seasoning solids and fluids. For example, Giada de Laurentis suggests tomatoes, sweet onion, chives, parsley, garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and olive oil. Others suggest tomatoes, arugula and (cooked shelled) fava beans as the add-ins. Or tomatoes and cucumbers with basil and lemon. Salt and pepper and olive oil of course.