Farro is a hearty whole grain that can become a staple in your kitchen, appearing in everything from soups to casseroles to warm sides to room temperature salads like this one. Like most whole grains, though it is super duper on tend now, it’s been around for a long time, once a mainstay of the ancient Roman diet.
Do you think the Romans were sitting around envisioning SweetGreens and Just Salad and Panera and thinking, “Damn, our farro is surely going to be a popular 21st century food! Good thing we are cultivating it now., because that Sweetgreens Earth Bowl is not going to make itself!”
Farro has a substantial chewy texture, and it’s high in fiber and a good source of iron and protein, which also makes it a great anchor for a lot of vegetarian dishes.
Try using it in recipes that you might ordinarily reach for barley or brown rice. I’m a big fan of making a nice big batch of this at the beginning of the week and tossing it into soups and salads and side dishes as the days unfold.
If you want to make this salad ahead of time you can. The dressed farro and tomatoes can sit, covered, at room temperature for up to two hours, and then you just need to mix in the greens before serving. It’s nice to use different colored tomatoes in this salad, which really ramps up the pretty factor.
You can use any kind of tomatoes in this recipe, if you don’t find the small ones. Just dice them if you are using larger tomatoes.
Farro and Tomato Salad
- 2 cups cooked farro at room temperature
- 2 cups halved or quartered cherry or grape tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 cups baby arugula
- ½ cup roughly chopped fresh basil
- Combine the farro and tomatoes in a serving bowl.
- Whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the farro and tomatoes and gently toss. Add the arugula and basil and gently toss again until well combined. Serve at room temperature.
More about farro:Farro is called emmer in some parts of the world. It’s popular today (and really for a long time!) in Mediterranean, Ethiopian or Middle Eastern cuisine. Again, farro is rich in fiber and protein, which not only makes it great for vegetarians, but also people cooking on a budget. It is not gluten free, but some people who are gluten free can eat unprocessed wheat grains (like farro and barley) without issue, but it’s up to each individual to determine that.
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