Chicken Salad With Farro And Olives

This salad, with its olive oil and lemon juice dressing, lends itself to endless variations. You can substitute one cup of grapes for the olives, basmati rice or barley for the farro and blanched almonds for the hazelnuts. Chickpeas or chopped pickles would make good additions to this basic salad, but don't pile on too many ingredients; you want the flavors to stay in balance.

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  • Servings: 6

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  • 1 cup farro (see Note)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts (1 1/2 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup fresh baby peas or thawed frozen peas (1/4 pound)
  • 3/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 pound roasted chicken breast, skinned and cut into 1/2-inch dice (2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 3 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chervil leaves or coarsely chopped chives
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup green olives, pitted and halved lengthwise
  • Radicchio leaves, for serving (optional)

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small saucepan, cover the farro with the water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Drain the farro and transfer it to a large bowl to cool slightly.

  2. Meanwhile, spread the hazelnuts in a pie plate and toast in the oven for about 14 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool, then transfer the nuts to a kitchen towel and rub off the skins. Coarsely chop the nuts.

  3. If using fresh peas, cook them in a medium saucepan of boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes; drain.

  4. In a small skillet, toast the coriander seeds over moderate heat until fragrant and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a mortar and coarsely grind. Add the garlic, lemon zest, sea salt and curry powder to the mortar and pound to a paste. Add the olive oil and lemon juice and stir until combined.

  5. Stir half of the dressing into the farro and let stand until cooled to room temperature. Add the chicken, peas, celery, radishes, parsley, chervil and the remaining dressing. Season the salad with pepper and toss to mix. Just before serving, add the olives and hazelnuts. Mound the chicken salad on the radicchio leaves and serve.


Farro is a wheatlike ancient Italian grain that has started reappearing on menus in Italy and is a recent arrival to America.

One Serving Calories 352 kcal, Total Fat 17.5 gm, Saturated Fat 2.3 gm, Protein 25 gm, Carbohydrates 27 gm.

Contributed By Photo © John Kernick Published June 2001

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