Lemon Farro Orzo Salad With Goat Cheese and Mint

For the pasta salad:

Kosher salt
1/2 cup farro
1/4 pound orzo
1/2 cup diced dried apricots
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
3/4 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese
1/3 cup torn mint leaves
1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley leaves
Freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing:

1 large lemon for zest and 1+ more for juice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add farro and cook to al dente. Cook orzo to al dente. Drain both and combine.

While farro and orzo are cooking prepare the dressing: Finely grate zest from one lemon, and place zest in a large bowl. Squeeze juice from 1 1/2 – 2 lemons and add to zest along with salt, pepper and red-pepper flakes, whisking to combine. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice if needed.

In a small bowl, combine onions, celery, 3 tablespoons lemon juice and a large pinch of salt. Let sit while the pasta cools, at least 20 minutes.

Add farro and orzo to bowl with dressing and toss well. Stir in apricots and onion, celery mix. Let farro and pasta cool, soaking up the dressing. Add mint and parsley. This can be done up to 1 day in advance. Store in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before proceeding.

Just before serving, add almonds to the bowl with the farro and pasta and toss well. Gently fold in spinach and goat cheese. Taste and add more lemon, red-pepper flakes or salt if needed.

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