Bellanico’s Farro Salad

From Gnocchi Is Just Another Noodle, Raising kids to be fearless eaters, by Haley Pollock


Young diners relish their lunch at Bellanico in Oakland’s Glenview neighborhood. Photos by Kayleigh Shawn McCollum.

Serves 4–6 as a side dish

1 cup farro
3 cups water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups hen-of-the-woods mushrooms (a.k.a. maitake), coarsely chopped
½ cup dried cranberries, chopped or whole
1 cup shaved Brussels sprouts
½ cup hazelnuts, lightly chopped, then toasted
Salt and pepper

Add the farro to 5 cups water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 20 to 30 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet and sauté the mushrooms until tender. Set aside.

When the farro has reached an al dente consistency, drain any remaining water and place the cooked grain in a large bowl with the dried cranberries, shaved Brussels sprouts, and toasted hazelnuts, plus salt and pepper to taste. Prepare the vinaigrette and add to the farro, as much or as little as desired.

Moscato Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup chopped shallots
5 tablespoons white wine vinegar (moscato is best)
5 tablespoons water
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Place all ingredients except olive oil in a blender. Start blending and slowly drizzle in the olive oil to create a smooth consistency.