I’m never one to instantly be on trend, in fashion, food, or otherwise. It usually takes me time to come around to new trends and kind of poke at them first before I decide I’m on board. It took me ages to come around to the notion of skinny jeans and pants but eventually I was, and still am, all in. And now overalls are a thing again, but I’m quite confident I’ll be sitting out their resurgence. I was far too enthusiastic during their wave in the ’90s.

Similarly, I’m always a little wary when a particular type of food is suddenly everywhere. I could be wrong but it seems to me that farro became the next “it” grain after quinoa. I first tried it on top of various salads at a favorite lunchtime spot of mine, and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It has a substantial and ever so slightly chewy texture that I find satisfying. Still, did I want to eat an entire bowl of it? Not especially. But then there came additions of crispy leeks and marinated chickpeas and I was all in.

Listen, I’m not naturally a grain bowl person. I might eat them or order them on occasion because I know they are good for me, but it just isn’t the type of food I’m drawn to most of the time. However, the particular combination of mix-ins in this recipe is stellar. The crispy leeks have this amazing savory quality reminiscent of bacon, and they balance beautifully with the subtle sweetness from the raisins. I found myself literally craving this multiple days in row which worked out well because this makes quite a lot of food. The whole family loved this dish for dinner with a jammy egg on top, but the leftovers were also great sans egg.

If you’re trying to keep some healthy balance in your diet or looking for more meatless meals, I highly recommend this one. Let me know how you like it!

  • Prep about 20 minutes
  • Cook 25 minutes
  • Yield 8 servings


  • ¾ cup olive oil, divided
  • 3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or finely mashed
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 15-oz cans, rinsed and drained)
  • 4 large leeks, halved lengthwise, cleaned, and sliced into ¼-inch thick slices
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups farro
  • 2/3 cup golden raisins
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped


  • 01

    In a large bowl, combine ½ cup of the olive oil with the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of the salt, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Whisk to combine. Stir in the chickpeas. Let marinate while the leeks roast and the farro cooks.

  • 02

    Heat the oven to 425˚ F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or a silicone baking mat. Combine the leeks with the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil, remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and the pepper. Roast, tossing frequently, until the leeks are golden brown and crisp at the edges, about 20-25 minutes.

  • 03

    Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the farro and simmer until tender, about 25-30 minutes. (Keep in mind that some varieties may take as long as an hour. Keep an eye on the pot and replenish the water if needed.) Drain well.

  • 04

    In a large bowl, combine the cooked farro with the leeks, chickpeas, raisins, and spinach. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.