There are admittedly a lot of components to this salad, but you all asked me for the recipe, so I am giving it to you as I made it!

Obviously, this salad is infinitely riffable and I hope it inspires you to make your ideal grain salad. Don't like farro? Sub quinoa or barley. If you don't want to cook your farro in apple cider (which is a fun trick I learned from Charlie Bird), then don't. But you will miss out on a delightfully subtle sweetness. You can sub in any winter squash (delicata, acorn, butternut, or honeynut) for the sweet potato. Don't feel like pickling golden raisins? Lame! But fine. You could add in some chopped apple, grapes, pomegranate seeds. craisins, or just straight up golden raisins. If you don't love goat cheese then sub in feta, blue cheese, or shaved Parmesan. If you don't have pepitas, sub any nut or seed, like walnuts, pistachios, pecans, or almonds. Top it all off with any fresh herb of your choosing. See what I'm saying? Salads are made to be riffed on.

Do your thing!

Fig Balsamic Farro Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Goat Cheese, and Pepitas

Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Total Time



For the sweet potatoes:

1 medium sweet potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

salt and pepper, to taste

For the dressing:

1 small shallot, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon Dijon

1 lemon, juiced

2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette

2 tablespoons fig preserves (or 4-5 fresh figs)

1/3 cup olive oil

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the pickled golden raisins (optional):

1/3 cup golden raisins

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar, honey, or maple syrup

For the pepitas and farro:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1/2 cup pepitas

1 cup farro

1 cup apple cider

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

To assemble:

Fresh arugula or greens of your choosing

Goat cheese, crumbled

Fresh dill, basil, or parsley


Roast the sweet potatoes. Heat oven to 425F and line a sheet pan with foil or parchment. Toss sweet potatoes in oil, parika, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Roast until golden brown, tossing half way through, 30 minutes.

Make the dressing. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Season to taste. It should be highly acidic and sweet.

Make the pickled golden raisins. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and let sit until ready to serve salad. Drain before serving.

Make the pepitas and farro. In a small saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium low heat. Add pepitas and cook until golden brown and toasted, 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in saucepan and add farro. Cook until toasted, 3 minutes. Add apple cider, 2 cups water, and a big pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until farro is tender. Add more water if necessary, or if there is excess water, you can drain it off.

Assemble the salad. Toss farro with dressing, arugula, sweet potatoes, drained pickled golden raisins, pepitas, goat cheese, and fresh dill. Season to taste and serve immediately or keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.