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Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
The Best Summer Farro Salad! A healthy vegan farro salad with red cabbage, carrots, broccoli, fresh herbs and a spicy peanut sauce.
I know it’s only March, but I’ve got summer on the brain with this healthy farro salad recipe. It’s packed with all of the fresh flavors I want to eat right now– plenty of crunchy vegetables, chewy farro, fresh herbs, peanuts and a crave-able spicy peanut sauce.
If you haven’t tried farro before, I’ve got several farro salad recipes like my Mediterranean Farro Salad, Blueberry Farro Salad, Sweet Cherry Farro Salad and more. (View my complete list of farro recipes here)
This Summer Farro Salad is a must make any time of the year, but especially right now as Farmers Markets start to open and most of our diets gradually start including more fresh produce.
Crushed peanuts, plus more for topping!
As with most salads, this one is customizable based on what you have in the house or what looks good at the market. I try as much as I can to create recipes that let you take control, I know that’s why I gravitate towards cooking over baking. Sub another vegetable that you’d prefer, play around with ratios, add more cilantro or scallions to taste. It all works.
Substitution ideas: Fresh corn kernels, cherry tomatoes, finely chopped red onion for the scallions, or basil or parsley for the cilantro. For extra protein, feel free to add in cooked chickpeas or white beans.
Once your farro is cooked, this salad couldn’t be easier to throw together in one bowl, which makes for easy cleanup. Start by whisking together all of the ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl until very smooth and creamy. If the sauce is too thick, thin with a tablespoon or two of water.
Add in the rest of the ingredients for the salad– all of the vegetables, cooked farro, cilantro and scallions. Toss well, taking care to ensure that all of the grains and vegetables are well-coated. Mix in chopped peanuts and serve, garnishing with more cilantro, scallions and chopped peanuts as desired.
I have a whole tutorial on my Mediterranean Farro Salad post on choosing the right type of farro and how to cook it, but the cliff notes are below.
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 roughly 1 cup of uncooked 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.
This farro salad is packed with so much texture and vibrant colors! I almost called this a rainbow farro salad because it’s so beautiful to look at, but this side dish screams summer to me so I went with that. I hope you love it as much as we do!
The Best Summer Farro Salad! A rainbow vegan farro salad with red cabbage, carrots, broccoli, fresh herbs and a spicy peanut sauce.
Farro Salad Ingredients
Spicy Peanut Sauce
*To cook the farro, rinse the farro first then fill a pot with water (I don’t measure it, just like pasta water.) Bring to a boil, then add the farro and cook until softened. Pearled farro will take 15-20 minutes and regular farro will take close to 40 minutes. Drain and rinse, then cool. You can cook the farro a few days ahead of time for easy prep.
**The sambal oelek is what makes the sauce spicy, you can omit if you’d like.