Farro Salad with Smoked Cheddar & Chive Vinaigrette

This summer, Chef Jim McCarthy and our smoked cheddar were featured in Hannaford’s Fresh Magazine as part of a recipe collection for picnic foods! His pick: a grain salad with cheddar and an herb vinaigrette.

“We do a lot of grain salads at our farm cart, where we serve lunch seven days a week. [During harvest season], the restaurant gets new stuff in from the garden every day, so our ingredients are always changing. The on-site creamery also produces about 160,000 pounds of cheddar cheese a year — and we use 120 pounds of it a week in peak season — so it goes in everything. You can make this salad the day before serving, and it’s still going to be good when you eat it. If anything, it gets even better as the vinaigrette soaks in with all the grains and the flavors meld together.” -Chef Jim McCarthy

You can make and refrigerate this salad up to two days in advance. You can substitute brown rice or wheat berries for the faro (cooking times may vary, so follow package instructions). Soaking the grains overnight helps them cook faster, saving both time and energy.

Photo courtesy of Hannaford's Fresh Magazine.

Farro Salad with Smoked Cheddar & Chive Vinaigrette

Serves 10-12 people


  • 2 cups farro
  • 2 bunches scallions
  • 1 T plus ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium carrot, scrubbed
  • 3 T white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 T whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 bunch chives, sliced very thin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 oz. smoked cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
  • ½ cup dried cherries


  1. Rinse farro, place in a quart-sized jar or medium bowl, and cover with water; let sit overnight at room temperature.
  2. Drain farro, transfer to a large saucepan, and fill with enough water to cover by 2”. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until farro is tender but still chewy, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain farro, spread out on a baking sheet, and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
  3. Thinly slice green parts of the scallions and place in a large bowl. Trim roots off white parts and cut them into 1”-long pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over high heat until simmering. Add scallion whites and cook, without moving, for about 30 seconds. Stir once and continue to cook until well browned, about 2 more minutes. Transfer to baking sheet with farro.
  4. Shred carrot on the large holes of a box grater and place in bowl with sliced scallion greens. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, and mustard. While whisking, add remaining ¼ cup oil in a slow stream; stir in chives and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add chilled farro-scallion mixture, cheddar, and cherries to bowl with carrot mixture. Add vinaigrette, toss to combine, and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

This recipe and article were originally printed in the July - August 2017 issue of Hannaford’s Fresh Magazine.

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