Apple Cider Farro Salad with Arugula, Shaved Apple & Parsnip, and Goat Cheese

I'm back!

I've been sort of absent here, what with the two recipe round-ups and the guest post, but I am so happy to be back. 

No more 30 page research papers, no more exams, no more eating cookies at midnight…

Well, maybe not that last one.

Early on in the semester, I realized that this was going to be a semester of survival. I had taken on too much, and I could see the nights and weekends of work and stress panning out in front of me like a line of dominoes. "Just make it to December. You can do anything for 3 months," I told myself. 

Then in my legal ethics class we had a speaker come talk to us about the high incidence of depression, anxiety and substance abuse in the legal profession. It turns out that before law school, students have similar rates of those issues compared to the rest of the population, but by the time those students graduate law school, their rates have increased to the level of the legal profession.

The problem, according to the speaker, was that, like practicing lawyers, law students get into the mindset of survival. If I can just make it through this semester, everything will be ok. 

If I can just make it onto a good journal, I can relax. 

If I can just make it to partner, I can spend more time with my family. 

If I can just make it through this case, I'll have time to exercise.

I felt my stomach sink as he spoke. This was totally me. I was going to push away most of the enjoyable and healthy things in my life to hunker down and just survive the semester. The problem of this survivor mindset, he said, is that it's hard to let go of. We just keep setting new goals that we have to reach, or more work is put on us, and we subjugate the things that really matter to us until we are overworked, miserable, and depressed. 

Uh, no thanks. While his talk didn't make all my work and responsibilities disappear, it did give me a better outlook on things. I have no interest in graduating law school a miserable shell of a person, even if that person is at the top of the class. It's just not worth it for me.

So, while I did spend lots of Friday and Saturday nights working, I also made time for friends and time for Adam, and I refused to allow myself to feel guilty about that.

But now, I'm DONE. And so in need of some salad.

I've been really excited to share this recipe for a while now. As I've shared before (here and here), I LOVE farro. When I ran across a recipe for apple cider-cooked-farro in Bon Appetit, I was immediately intrigued. I knew the farro would soak up the sweet apple cider flavor perfectly.

I'm continually going on and on about my texture preferences in salad, and this one checks all the boxes. Something crunchy? sunflower seeds. Something sweet? apple slices. Something chewy? farro. Something healthy? arugula & parsnip. Something creamy? goat cheese.  Win.

The whole grains and healthy fats also make this salad nice and filling. This is a lunch salad, not a side salad friends. 

Try it! Then take some time to do something completely unproductive and unresponsible that makes you totally happy. :)

Apple Cider Farro Salad with Arugula, Shaved Apple & Parsnip, and Goat Cheese

For the salad:
1 cup farro
2 cups apple cider
1 bay leaf
3 cups arugula (or spinach if you're not a fan of arugula)
1 parsnip
1/2 apple (I used honey crisp)
handful of roasted sunflower seeds or pepitas
2 ounces crumbled goat cheese
For the shallot vinaigrette:
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
1 tsp salt
black pepper
2/3 cup olive oil

For the salad: 
Cook the farro according to package directions, substituting the apple cider for the water. (Try to cook as long as possible to allow most of the apple cider to be absorbed, but you can still drain it at the end if necessary) Place aside to cool, or put in the fridge to cool while you assemble the other ingredients.

Use a mandolin, or a blade on a boxed cheese grater to thinly slice the apple and parsnip. (You'll want to peel the parsnip first.)

In a large bowl, combine the arugula, parsnip, and apples. Toss in the cooled farro and stir to combine. Sprinkle on some toasted sunflower seeds and the crumbled goat cheese.

For the shallot vinaigrette:
Whisk together the shallot, vinegar, salt and pepper. While still whisking, gradually stream in the olive oil. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for up to a week!

Apple Cider cooked Farro inspired by Bon Appetit


  1. Wow, what an amazing post! i literally have goose bumps reading it. What your professor said is so true...I still struggle with that mindset (and i'm done with grad school and am working) I always think 'If only xyz...everything will be ok" This post put some things into perspective. Again, fantastic post, and this salad looks so amazing, definitely am going to try it out and then take a step back to relax!

  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE this! I feel like doctors/medical students tend to do this also. And it is so not good. But good for you for being conscious of it and trying to break the cycle!

    this salad really has all the good things in it. Such a fabulous mix!

  3. I think you can make it through anything with this salad! This looks amazing!