Easy Farro Summer Salad – Salads for Lunch

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What is Farro?

Farro is a type of grain with a nutty flavor that I love and ancient roots. A grain of farro looks somewhat like a lighter brown rice. It has a complex, nutty taste with undertones of oats and barley.

Why I love this recipe

I love this salad because it easily pulls double duty as either a side or a main course for any vegetarians hoping to take part in the potluck. Studded with tiny bits of fresh basil, chopped cucumbers, red onions and fresh grape tomatoes, it’s now my new favorite summer salad. The dressing is also a very versatile vinaigrette you can toss with any mixed greens for a homemade option to bottled dressings.

RELATED: Easy Greek Quinoa Salad Recipe

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Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy Farro Salad

For the salad you’ll need

  • Chicken or vegetable broth
  • Farro
  • Grape tomatoes
  • English cucumber
  • Red onion
  • Fresh basil

For the dressing you’ll need

  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Minced garlic
  • Italian seasoning
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

For the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions, please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

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How to make this salad

Making this salad recipe is truly as simple as boiling water and tossing in a few key summer salad ingredients. Here’s the one quick and easy farro salad recipe you need right now.

  1. Cook the Farro: In a medium saucepan, add the broth and farro. Over medium-high heat, bring the broth to a boil. Cover and reduce heat, cooking the farro for 10 to 12 minutes or until the broth is absorbed. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  2. Toss: In a very large bowl, toss together the ingredients for the salad.
  3. Make the dressing: In a jar, add the ingredients for the dressing. Close the lid and shake well to combine. Pour the dressing over the farro salad and toss to evenly distribute.
  4. Refrigerate: Cover and refrigerate the salad until ready to serve or serve immediately. Toss the salad once more prior to serving.

Make this Easy Summer Farro Salad, then check out my Summer Corn Salad, Summer Peach Salad with Fresh Mint Dressing, and Classic Waldorf Salad and more of my easy salad dressing recipes.  

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Read on for tips on how to cook farro, substitution ideas, and how to store leftovers

Tips for cooking farro

  • If you’re cooking whole farro, you may want to take the precaution of soaking it overnight. Semi-pearled and pearled varieties don’t require this step. 
  • Because farro is typically coated in a dry, powdery coating, it needs to be rinsed off before cooking.
  • You can cook farro in an instant pot! Cooking time will vary depending on which type of farro (pearled, semi-pearled or whole) that you use. But for pearled farro, just combine 1 cup (rinsed) pearled farro, 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt in the bowl of your Instant Pot. Cover and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes, followed a quick release. Drain off any extra liquid, then fluff and serve!
  • The best way to tell if farro is done is to taste it. The texture should be chewy yet tender.

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How to make this salad gluten-free

Unfortunately farro is a type of wheat so it contains gluten. To make this salad gluten-free replace the farro with a different grain such as quinoa or brown rice.

How to store farro salad

While farro can be pre-cooked ahead of time then kept frozen, this salad doesn’t keep well if you freeze it. Instead, store leftovers in an air-tight container like snapware in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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Other summer salad recipes to try

  • Summer Corn Salad – made with sweet, buttery corn, sweet tomatoes, vibrant red onions, crisp cucumbers, flavorful feta cheese, fresh basil and a tasty dressing this is the perfect side dish salad for a summer BBQ!
  • Summer Peach Salad with Fresh Mint Dressing – Featuring seasonal peaches, blueberries, avocado, red onions and blue cheese, this summer salad is perfect for a weeknight meal.
  • Summer Vegetable Pasta Salad – packed with fresh summer vegetables like fresh seasonal corn, radishes, zucchini, heirloom tomatoes straight from the Farmer’s Market or even from your garden – it’s coated with a simple dressing, making a tasty side dish.

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