• Yield: Serves 6 to 8

I love a chewy grain salad (this one has lentils too) with a lot of contrasting flavors and textures. Sweet, sour, chewy, crunchy, salty. You can go crazy and add more ingredients here; just don’t add toasted nuts or seeds ahead of time, as they will get soggy—throw them on top just before serving.



  • 1 cup uncooked farro

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup French green lentils or beluga lentils, cooked

  • 1 seedless cucumber, peeled and diced

  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed

  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)

  •  1 cup golden raisins and/or currants

  • 3 large carrots, grated (about 1 cup)

  • 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, slivered lengthwise

  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley


  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 

  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot

  • 1 tablespoon red wine or sherry vinegar

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

Open Kitchen by Susan Spungen


1. To make the farro: In a large saucepan, combine the farro, salt, and an abundant amount of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, until the grain is tender but still firm. Drain well and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to a bowl.

2. Make the dressing: Combine the lemon juice, shallot, and vinegar in a small bowl. Slowly add the oil while whisking, then add the salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. To assemble the salad: Add the lentils, cucumber, capers, pomegranate seeds (if using), raisins, carrots, olives, and parsley to the farro and toss with the dressing. Adjust the seasonings. The salad will keep well for up to 3 days.


Up to 1 day ahead: Cook the farro and lentils.

Up to 6 hours ahead: Prep the rest of the ingredients and assemble the salad. Refrigerate until 1 hour before serving.

From OPEN KITCHEN by SUSAN SPUNGEN, published by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2019 by Susan Spungen