Italian Farro Salad
Today’s Italian Farro Salad is here to prepare us for one of the most important seasons of the year: POTLUCK SEASON. Easy to prep in advance, packed with colorful veggies and creamy feta, and topped with a light, zippy vinaigrette, this big bowl of mealtime sunshine is ready for evening cookouts and afternoon barbecues.…or, in my current case, busy weeknights huddled beneath a blanket.
This recipe is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill.
SUMMER WHERE ART THOU?
Since warm outdoor barbecue weather has been heartbreakingly slow to arrive this year (and we have 12 inches of unwelcome April snow on the ground as this post goes to press), when the sun does finally grace us with her presence, we best be ready.
Do you know where your flip flops are? Who has the sunscreen? Can someone hose out the cooler?
And, most importantly of all, what are we going to EAT at our first outdoor feast???
My vote: Italian Farro Salad!
This Italian Farro Salad with feta is the kind of recipe that was tailor made for gatherings with friends and outdoor barbecues. It can be prepped ahead and tastes great at room temperature, it pairs perfectly alongside anything you’ll pull off the grill, and it yields enough for a crowd.
In the event of leftovers, this farro salad can also last in the refrigerator for several days, making it an excellent candidate for meal prep lunches and dinners. I had the first round of it for lunch, and the next two nights, Ben and I ate it as a healthy side dish with our dinner.
About This Italian Farro Salad Recipe
If you’ve never had farro, you are in for a delight. Farro is a type of ancient wheat that’s still very popular in Italian cuisine. It’s hearty and pleasantly chewy, and it has a rich, nutty flavor.
Farro’s flavor and texture makes it perfect for recipes that range from casseroles and pilafs (try swapping it for rice for a change of pace) to soups and stew to my favorite of all, satisfying grain-based salads like today’s recipe.
I choose to get my farro from Bob’s Red Mill, because I trust the quality of their sourcing and processing, and because it always cooks perfectly and tastes fantastic. No mushy, bland farro here!
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of visiting the Bob’s Red Mill headquarters (and to meet Bob—see HERE), and I was so impressed by the company. Everything about Bob’s production focuses on maintaining the maximum possible nutritional value of its products, even if that comes at the expense of profit. Faster production can mean more goods to sell, but it often overworks the grains and detracts from their nutritional content. With Bob’s farro, and many of their other products, I feel confident that I’m really getting the best, both in terms of taste and overall health benefits.
If you are looking for more tasty ways to use that bag of farro, I have a farro salad for every season for you!
Be sure to try this Strawberry Farro Salad while berries are in their prime. Once summer hits, it’s time for this Super Summer Farro and Kale Salad and this Southwest Farro Salad. Looking for a fall farro salad or winter farro salad? This Butternut Squash Farro Salad with Cranberries has my eye!
For today and for the next few months, however, I am all about this Italian Farro Salad.
Since this farro salad recipe uses a blend of tangy sundried tomatoes (which are always available), fresh cucumbers and cherry tomatoes (which taste quite good year round), and frozen peas (a freezer staple—you can swap fresh if you like, but I find frozen to be just as tasty and so much more convenient), you don’t need to wait for summer produce to hit the stands to enjoy this recipe.
Try Italian Farro Salad for your next party, a healthy lunch this week, or for a simple dinner side. As always, if you do make the recipe, I’d love to hear how it turns out!
What to Serve with Italian Farro Salad
- On its own, this farro salad works well for a filling, healthy lunch. If you’d like to up the protein factor while keeping the salad vegetarian, you can mix in drained, rinsed low-sodium chickpeas.
- A grilled burger like these protein-packed Black Bean Vegan Burgers or these on-theme Italian Turkey Burgers would be perfect.
- Top the farro salad with cooked shredded chicken (I recommend this easy method for how to cook shredded chicken), grilled chicken, or shrimp.
- Serve alongside simply baked fish (how we had ours!).
- 1 cup uncooked Bob's Red Mill Farro
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup dry packaged sundried tomatoes not oil packed, cut into julienne slices, rehydrated if dry*
- 1 large cucumber seeded and finely diced
- 3/4 cup jarred roasted red peppers drained and finely diced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 cup frozen petite peas thawed
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Rinse and drain farro, then cook according to package instructions. Transfer to a large mixing or serving bowl.
While the farro cooks, prepare the dressing: In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon, honey, oregano, salt, and pepper until evenly blended. Pour half of the dressing over the warm farro and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss to coat.
Add all of the remaining ingredients to the bowl except for the feta: sundried tomatoes, cucumber, roasted red pepper, cherry tomatoes, peas, and parsley. Toss to coat. Taste and add as much of the remaining dressing as you like. Sprinkle with feta, lightly toss again, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.
- *I liked to use dried packaged sundried tomatoes instead of oil packed, as I find the salad has enough oil with the dressing. If you prefer sundried tomatoes in olive oil, you can swap them here. To rehydrate (you may or may not need to do this; if the sundried tomatoes seem moist and plump, you can skip this step): Place in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let rest a few minutes, then drain and use as directed.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you won't be eating all the salad right away, I recommend reserving some of the dressing to moisten and revive the leftovers. If you do use all of it, you can also brighten the leftovers up with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
- To make vegan: Omit the feta cheese; replace the honey in the dressing with light agave or simple syrup.
- To make gluten free: Replace the farro (which is not gluten free) with a different grain such as quinoa or brown rice.
- Nutritional information was calculated with three-quarters of the dressing. (I found I didn't need it all, so feel free to adjust to your liking.)
I am sharing this post in partnership with Bob’s Red Mill. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to continue to create quality content for you! For more healthy recipe inspiration, coupons, or to find a store that carries Bob’s Red Mill products near you, visit bobsredmill.com.
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