October 23, 2021

Mediterranean Farro Salad

A healthy vegetarian grain-based salad.
Serves 6-8

Mediterranean Farro Salad. A healthy vegetarian grain-based salad. Easily vegan. The perfect side dish or light lunch.

I know that it’s the end of October and you probably expect something a little more pumpkin or Holiday-ready for a recipe right now. However, this Mediterranean Farro Salad has been on constant rotation as a make-ahead lunch salad that I knew I had to share it with you now.

This one is jam-packed with both fresh and jarred vegetables, making it a great winter meal in my mind that tastes like a salad but hearty enough to eat on cooler days. Tossed with a bright Greek-inspired dressing, this farro salad will quickly become a staple in your house as well.

Uncooked Farro in Glass Jar

What is farro?

Considered to be an ancient grain, farro is similar in size to barley, with a nuttier taste and chewy texture. Nutritionally, it’s higher protein and higher fiber than other grains; a 1/4 cup of raw farro contains 5g of fiber and 6g of protein. 

Types of Farro

There’s a lot of confusion about farro, especially if you are sourcing it it in your local grocery store. While farro is often referred to as one grain, it’s really three. Farro Piccolo (einkorn), farro medio (emmer) and farro grande (spelt). The emmer variety is what you typically find in the grocery store, though it’s often confused with spelt which is different. 

Technically, there are three different types of this farro: whole farro, which retains all of the hard outer bran layer and therefore all of the whole grain’s nutrients- and fiber; semipearled, which part of the bran are removed; or pearled, which takes much less time to cook but has most of the bran removed. 

Confusing matters even more, is that most farro sold in the US is semi pearled or pearled farro, though the front label usually reads just farro instead of pearled.

 Farro Salad with a spoon in a glass bowl

How to cook farro

Because of possible label confusion on which type you are getting, I recommend going by the package directions for cook times or by taste– when farro is done, it’s done. The farro that I buy from Bob’s Red Mill takes 30 minutes to cook, but the one from Trader Joe’s takes 10. 

If you are lucky enough to find actual whole farro, you’ll have better success if you soak it overnight first, like beans, before cooking. To cook, rinse farro then place in a medium sized pot along with cooking liquid of choice, like water or broth. 

For this recipe, you’ll use 1 cup of dry farro and 3 cups of water or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat , cover and simmer until tender and chewy. The cooking time depends on what type of farro you are using: pearled typically takes 15 minutes while semi pearled takes 25-30. 

Can you overcook farro?

Farro keeps its texture, even if cooked on the stove for too long. However, you’ll want to make sure that you have enough liquid so that the bottom doesn’t burn. If your farro still isn’t done after 25 minutes, check the liquid levels and add more as needed. 

You can also cook farro like pasta; bring a larger amount of water to a boil then add farro, cook until al dente, drain and let cool.

bowl of farro salad

Ingredients you’ll need for this recipe: 

In addition to the cooked farro, you’ll need:

  • Bell peppers, of any colored though I love orange and red
  • Jarred or canned artichoke hearts
  • Black or Kalamata olives
  • A cucumber,seeded and peeled as desired 
  • Jarred roasted red peppers
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Feta cheese, either regular or dairy-free. I’m partial to Violife’s Just like Feta for this salad
  • Minced Shallot or red onion 
  • Fresh parsley 
  • 1 batch of my Greek Vinaigrette Dressing, directions below

close up of mediterranean farro salad

To Make The Greek Vinaigrette:

I’m convinced that one you try homemade dressing, it’s very hard to go back. This Greek Vinaigrette is so flavorful and really brings this farro salad together. 

To make, whisk together 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 1 minced garlic clove, a teaspoon of dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon each of maple syrup, salt and thyme. 

Stir until garlic is dissolved, then slowly drizzle in 1/3 cup of extra-virgin olive oil. Season to taste, adding more salt and pepper as needed. This dressing is almost drinkable and versatile for so many other salad recipes.

Farro Salad in a glass bowl

How to make this Mediterranean Farro Salad:

Once the farro is cooked, add it alongside the rest of the ingredients and toss with the Greek Vinaigrette. 

Season to taste as needed, adding in more lemon juice for a brighter flavor, or salt and pepper as desired. 

If you can’t find or don’t want to use farro, brown rice or quinoa work in its place. For an extra hit of greens, I also love fresh arugula tossed into this one right before serving.

More Mediterranean-inspired salads:

If you like this Mediterranean Farro Salad, you’ll love these other inspired salad recipes

Farro with Tomatoes and Cucumbers in a black bowl

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking! 

Print
Bowl of Farro with a Silver Spoon

Mediterranean Farro Salad

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: side dish, salad, healthy, vegetarian
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Italian Inspired, Mediterranean Inspired
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Mediterranean Farro Salad. A healthy vegetarian grain-based salad. Easily vegan. The perfect side dish or light lunch.


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: side dish, salad, healthy, vegetarian
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Italian Inspired, Mediterranean Inspired
  • Diet: Vegetarian
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Category: side dish, salad, healthy, vegetarian
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Italian Inspired, Mediterranean Inspired
  • Diet: Vegetarian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry farro
  • 2 bell peppers, of any color, chopped
  • 1/2 cup jarred artichoke hearts
  • 1/3 cup halved black or kalamata olives
  • 1 large cucumber, seeded and finely diced
  • 2/3 cup finely diced roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 cup diced sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (regular or dairy-free)
  • 1 shallot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

Greek Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add the farro. Simmer until the farro is tender and chewy — approximately 15-20 minutes for pearled farro, 25-30 minutes for semi-pearled farro, or 35-40 minutes for whole farro. Drain and rinse, then let cool.
  2. In a large bowl, add the cooked and cooled farro, bell pepper, artichoke hearts, olives, cucumber, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, shallot and parsley. Toss to combine.
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, dijon mustard, maple syrup, salt and thyme. Stir until garlic is dissolved, then slowly drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil. Season to taste, adding more salt and pepper as needed.
  4. Add the dressing to the farro salad and toss to combine.

Notes

For vegan version, use a dairy-free feta like Violife’s Feta Cheese

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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