This Mediterranean farro salad is hearty, colourful and easy to prepare. It features a combination of fresh and roasted Mediterranean vegetables, nutritious Italian farro, parsley and a simple vinaigrette. This summer farro salad is great as a side dish or potluck contribution or as a filling vegan main dish.
What is farro
Farro is an ancient variety of whole grain wheat most commonly grown in Italy. It has gained in popularity over the last few years and it’s now relatively easy to find in bulk food stores or the packaged Bob’s Red Mill brand in Whole Foods or other large supermarkets.
Farro has a firm chewy texture that’s similar to barley but a flavour that’s more similar to brown rice (in my opinion). Its firm texture makes it a great addition to hearty soups, stews and salads like this vegetable farro soup and this mushroom farro with beans and herbs.
How to cook farro
Farro is amazingly versatile and can be cooked a number of different ways. For this Mediterranean farro salad recipe I went for, what I consider, to be the simplest farro cooking method (and also the one which was indicated on the package).
Simply boil one cup of rinsed farro in three cups of water for about 20 minutes, or until done to your liking, then drain. You can shorten the cooking time if you’re good at planning ahead (I’m not) and soak your farro for a few hours beforehand.
If you really want to go all out you can toast the farro in a dry pan to bring about a bit more of its nuttiness and/or boil it in vegetable stock for a bit of extra flavour (I didn’t do either of these things this time).
How to make farro salad
While your farro is boiling you can get on with preparing the remaining Mediterranean farro salad ingredients.
Cube up a zucchini and an eggplant and toss them with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and into the oven they go to roast for about 20 minutes.
Chop up a variety of other colourful and summery vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, red onion, and black olives. Choose an herb, I chose parsley.
Feel free to swap out or add in any veggies and herbs that you like: artichoke hearts, basil, bell pepper, summer squash, arugula, etc.
Finally, mix together a simple vinaigrette with olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and a small clove of garlic. Toss everything together and season to taste with salt and pepper. Easy peasy!
What to serve with farro salad
Because farro is such a hearty grain, I usually load it up with veggies and use it as a main dish served with a side of crusty bread. This Mediterranean farro salad makes a great summertime lunch or dinner.
This farro salad also makes a great addition to a barbecue, picnic or potluck.
For the salad
- 1 cup (200 grams) farro
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes, about 20 tomatoes
- ¼ red onion, diced
- ½ cup pitted and roughly chopped black olives, kalamata or other Mediterranean variety
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
For the vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 small clove of garlic, minced
- Preheat the oven to 220°C / 430°F and bring a pot of water to the boil.
- Rinse the farro and add it to the pot. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until it’s tender but still has bite, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, cut the zucchini and eggplant into 1/2-inch (1.5 cm) cubes. Place them on a baking pan and drizzle over about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Toss with your hands until well coated then spread them out over the pan. Roast, stirring once, until tender and browning – about 20 minutes.
- Combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette.
- When the veggies and farro are done you can either toss all the salad ingredients together and serve while it’s still warm or you can let the farro and veggies cool before tossing together.
- Drizzle over the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper to taste.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 424 Total Fat: 20g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 15g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 363mg Carbohydrates: 60g Fiber: 16g Sugar: 25g Protein: 12g
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