Farro and Vegetable Salad

5 from 1 vote

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

You'll love the way the addition of a couple of handfuls of cooked whole grains adds so much heft and interest to a salad.

Farro and Vegetable Salad on white plate.

This farro and vegetable salad recipe offers a whole lot in terms of color, texture, and nutrition. It’s perfect any time of year, and you can keep changing up the vegetables and the dressing so that it never feels the same old, same old. It’s very portable, so you’ll want to think of it when you’re planning for potlucks, on-the-go lunches, picnics, and so on. As is, this is a vegan recipe, though you might decide to add in some non-vegan proteins at different times.

This recipe instructs you on how to make the farro for the salad, but if you have leftover cooked farro, you are halfway to this delicious salad already! Farro is a denser grain than other grains like quinoa or rice, so the ratio of vegetables to farro in this salad is high to keep the salad from becoming too heavy.

I love using lots of fresh herbs and other leafy greens in whole-grain salads, which balance out the heft of the grains and also provide a lovely pop of color and freshness. I make these kinds of salads continuously during the warmer months since they keep well and travel well. Having a whole grain salad in the fridge means you never have to wonder what to make for lunch on those days when you’re feeling unimaginative.

Farro and Vegetable Salad in a serving bowl on a white table with a spoon.

Farro and Vegetable Salad / You’ll love the way the addition of a couple of handfuls of cooked whole grains adds so much heft and interest to a salad.

Tweet This

FAQs

What is farro?

Farro is a hearty whole grain that may well become a staple in your kitchen, appearing in everything from soups to casseroles to warm sides to room-temperature salads. It’s been around for a long time and was once a mainstay of the ancient Roman diet.

Farro has a substantial chewy texture. The Mayo Clinic says it’s high in fiber and a good source of iron and protein, which makes it a great anchor for a lot of vegetarian dishes. Make sure you buy the semi-pearled variety of farro, which cooks much faster and allows you to skip the overnight soaking step. Not all packaging is very clear about this, so make sure to read the cooking instructions on the farro you buy to see if this step is necessary.

Try using it in recipes that you might ordinarily reach for barley or brown rice. And give Farrotto with Golden Beets, Mixed Herbs, and Crispy Shallots a shot; it’s a very nutritious and fun twist on risotto.

And think about making a batch of farro at the beginning of the week, and keeping it in a container in the fridge to dig into all week long. Use it cold or room temp, or heat it up and toss it with things like roughly chopped roasted vegetables. (This idea works for whatever grain or grains you are pulling towards at any given moment.)

What is farro salad made of?

This farro salad is made of a substantial amount of vegetables (in this case, radishes, tomatoes, and asparagus) with a generous amount of herbs and leafy greens (here, arugula and parsley). A light dressing made with lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and shallots pulls the whole thing together. And then, of course, there is the cooked farro, which adds a chewy substance to the salad.

Farro Salad Ingredients

  • Vegetable broth – Stick to vegetable broth to keep this salad vegan, and use less-sodium broth to control the amount of salt in the dish.
  • Farro – If you have cooked farro on hand, you can skip the cooking for the farro.
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Shallots – You can definitely use onions instead of shallots.
  • Lemon
  • Parsley – I prefer flat-leaf to curly.
  • Grape or cherry tomatoes – Any color or mix of colors.
  • Watercress
  • Asparagus – Using raw asparagus may seem surprising, but if the asparagus is very fresh, it adds a wonderful delicate asparagus flavor and a nice crunch. If the outer peel is thick, which more often is the case with thicker asparagus, then definitely peel the bottom half of the stalks before thinly slicing them, or the texture will be too tough.
  • RadishesWatermelon radishes are a lot of fun, as you can see in the photos.
Farro and Vegetable Salad in a serving bowl on a white table with a spoon.

How to Make Farro and Vegetable Salad

  1. Make the farro: Combine the broth, farro, and salt in a saucepan over high heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until tender. Drain the farro; if there is excess broth remaining, rinse with cool water and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Make the dressing: Meanwhile, whisk together the oil, vinegar, shallots, lemon juice, and parsley in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Combine and serve: Pour the dressing over the farro and toss to combine. Add the vegetables and toss to combine, and serve.

Tips and Variations

  • Think about adding something crunchy like pepitas or toasted almond slices.
  • In cold weather, skip the tomatoes and asparagus and use a couple of cups of sautéed mushrooms.
  • Add some fresh-squeezed orange juice to the dressing instead of half of the balsamic. Also, think about adding some orange or lemon zest.
  • Don’t be shy with the salt and pepper — the seasonings really lift the flavor.

Kitchen Smarts

It’s nice if you can let the dressed farro sit for a couple of hours before adding the rest of the ingredients and serving, but not necessary. The whole salad can sit happily at cool room temp for a few hours before serving.

Farro and Vegetable Salad in a white serving bowl on a white table with a spoon on a napkin with red trim.

What to Serve With Farro and Vegetable Salad

Also read: How to Cook Perfect Farro on the Stove and explore this collection of vegan Thanksgiving recipes!

More Grain Salad Recipes

Pin this now to find it later

Pin It
5 from 1 vote

Farro and Vegetable Salad

You'll love the way the addition of a couple of handfuls of cooked whole grains adds so much heft and interest to a salad.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings
Save this recipe!
We’ll send it to your email, plus you’ll get new recipes every week!

Ingredients 

  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 ½ cups farro
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (plus more to taste)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar (see Note)
  • ¼ cup minced shallots
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Coarse or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups roughly chopped watercress
  • 2 cups thinly sliced raw asparagus (peeled if necessary)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radishes

Instructions 

  • Combine the broth, farro, and salt in a saucepan over high heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until tender but al dente. Drain the farro, if there is excess liquid remaining, rinse with cool water, and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together the oil, vinegar, shallots, lemon juice, and parsley in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the farro, and toss to combine (see Note).
  • Add the tomatoes, watercress, asparagus, and radishes to the farro. Toss to combine well and serve at room temperature.

Notes

  • It’s nice if you can let the dressed farro sit for a couple of hours before adding the rest of the ingredients and serving, but not necessary. The whole salad can sit happily at cool room temp for a few hours before serving.
  • Think about adding something crunchy like pepitas or toasted almond slices. In cold weather, skip the tomatoes and asparagus and use a couple of cups of sauteed mushrooms.
  • Add some fresh squeezed orange juice to the dressing instead of half of the balsamic.
  • Don’t be shy with the salt and pepper — the seasonings really lift the flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 221kcal, Carbohydrates: 34g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 597mg, Potassium: 420mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1256IU, Vitamin C: 30mg, Calcium: 54mg, Iron: 3mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

You May Also Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating