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This triple pea salad recipe gets extra crunch from fried farro

This triple pea salad recipe gets extra crunch from fried farro

Triple Pea Salad With Crispy Farro

Total time:45 minutes

Servings:4 to 6 (makes 7 1/2 cups)

Total time:45 minutes

Servings:4 to 6 (makes 7 1/2 cups)

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I’m an equal-opportunity vegetable lover, but most people I know struggle to appreciate at least one, if not more. For my husband it’s okra. For one of my colleagues, cauliflower. Another colleague can’t stand zucchini. I have known beet haters and mushroom foes – and have advised both.

Eitan Bernath understands. The TikTok Star, cookbook author and now culinary director on “The Drew Barrymore Show” recalls growing up as a picky eater. “I just ate some bread,” he tells me via a Zoom call from New York City. “I mean, let’s be clear, I still love bread, but now I eat a lot more than bread.”

Vegetables are the last category of food, Bernath, 20, learned to embrace. Honestly, he’s still learning.

What helped him make the jump? To cook. He became obsessed with it as a child, studying videos to help him understand the regional cuisine of India, collecting equipment and spices like other kids collecting Nintendo DS game cartridges. Pretty quickly, as he puts it: “I almost stopped cooking the things I like to eat. There are only so many things you can make from carbohydrates.”

These potato recipes are audibly crunchy – without frying

So potatoes — that irresistible gateway vegetable — led to cauliflower, which led to Brussels sprouts, and so on. Today, Bernath has strong opinions about the best ways to cook vegetables — after all, that’s part of the key to appreciating them — but also another tried-and-true strategy for expanding your taste buds. “My number one piece of advice for people just getting started in the kitchen is to start cooking food you know you already enjoy eating,” he says. “And frankly, the same advice applies to vegetables.”

Take broccoli, something Bernath has only recently embraced. When he ate it dressed with some of his favorite flavors — chili oil, mushroom-soy sauce, mirin, and rice vinegar — “it was pretty easy to love.”

The same strategy applies to the recipe I share here from his first book, Eitan Eats the World. It’s a triple pea salad, full of crunchy textures from the succulent raw snow and snow peas, a bit of starch from (barely) cooked English peas, richness and fat from Parmesan to slice through a spicy dressing, and the crowning glory: baked farro . “Anyone who follows me on Snapchat knows I love, love frying. So that’s what I thought the salad needed.”

It’s a really brilliant technique: you cook the farro until it’s soft, make it good and dry, then fry it in hot oil for a few minutes. Its addition makes the salad the crispest in memory. I didn’t need the farro to introduce me to the wonders of this trio of peas, but it helped turn the salad from something that may have seemed fairly simple to something I couldn’t stop eating.

Every vegetable deserves such a craving, don’t you think?

Triple Pea Salad With Crispy Farro

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.

ahead: The dressing can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days before combining with the other ingredients before serving.

Storage Notes: Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The farro will soften as it absorbs the dressing, so if you want to keep it crunchy and you know you have leftovers, keep it separately.

Where to buy: Farro can be found in many well-stocked supermarkets, Italian markets or online.

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  • 1/2 cup uncooked farro (can 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 (can substitute burrata, dairy, or vegan feta, ricotta, or ricotta salata)

Place 3 clean tea towels on your counter.

Cook the farro according to package directions, drain well and spread on one of the tea towels. Fold the towel over and pat the farro dry, then unfold it and let the farro air dry while you prepare 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 if necessary.

Add the English peas to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes, or until just warmed through. Place the peas on the second clean kitchen towel on the counter, fold the towel over and gently pat and roll around until most of the moisture is absorbed. Unfold the towel and let the peas air dry while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Cut and remove the snow peas and, if necessary, the sugar snap peas. (Some peas are stringless, so you can skip this step if you have one.) Use your fingers to trim the stem end of the pea toward the top seam, leaving the stringy part attached. Pull the disconnected end of the stem to remove the string. Cut the snow peas and sugar snap peas diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until it registers 400 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, or until it shimmers but doesn’t begin to smoke. Add the air-dried farro and stir gently to make sure it doesn’t clump together. Bake until farro is a deeper golden brown and crisp, 6 to 7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the farro in batches, hold it over the pan to drain as much oil as possible, then transfer to the third clean kitchen 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. Throw to combine. Sprinkle with the shaved cheese and serve.

Per serving (1 1/4 cups), based on 6

Calories: 303; Total fat: 18 g; Saturated fat: 4 g; Cholesterol: 6mg; Sodium: 357mg; Carbohydrates: 26 g; Dietary fiber: 6 g; sugar: 6 g; Protein: 11 grams

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not replace the advice of a dietician or nutritionist.

Adapted from “Eitan eats the world” by Eitan Bernath (Clarkson Potter, 2022).

Tested by Joe Yonan; e-mail questions to [email protected]

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