May 16, 2022

Hearty Farro Salad

Farro salad is a combination of fresh vegetables and a tangy sauce made with whole grains. This makes a great side dish or lunch meal.

Are you looking for a great side salad or a delicious lunch salad? This Hearty Farro Salad is a great option! Farro is an ancient grain that has a chewy texture and nutty taste. It’s been gaining popularity in recent years. Farro is great for side dishes, especially when seasoned with garlic and other herbs. It also makes a wonderful addition to grain salads. This is our ultimate pairing, which combines the wholegrain with juicy tomatoes and earthy mushrooms, feathery Arugula, savoury pops o cheese, and a zingy vinaigrette.

This farro salad contains the following ingredients.

Farro salad is a fresh, veggie-packed side dish that can be used as a salad for lunch or dinner. It can be refrigerated for up to four days, so we use it both as a side dish and main course. It has a Mediterranean-style flavour with a rainbow of jumbled veggies. These are the ingredients that you will need to make a farro salad.

  • Farro – pearled or semi-pearled
  • Shallots and garlic
  • Cherry tomatoes. Rainbow if possible
  • Cremini mushrooms or button
  • Carrot
  • Fresh herbs: fresh mint, chives or basil
  • Baby Arugula: Use only baby arugula! Standard Arugula is too strong in flavour. You can substitute other baby greens.
  • Manchego Cheese or Parmesan or Fontina cheese (omit vegan).
  • Lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard
  • Olive oil


Farro is a whole grain. It’s plump, chewy and has a similar texture to barley. Farro has been a staple of Italian cuisine for centuries. It recently gained global popularity. Farro can be boiled on a stovetop or cooked in a rice cooker ( Instant pot). You can find a few varieties in American grocery shops:

  • Pearled farro is the whole grain that has had all the bran removed. This makes it faster to cook but also removes some fibre. The cooking time is 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Semi-pearled farro contains some bran but retains some fibre. The cooking time is 25-30 minutes.
  • Whole farro takes the longest time to prepare but is easier to find in grocery stores in the US. This farro salad can be made with semi-pearled or pearled rice!

Be aware that the grain labelling in grocery stores can be confusing. Many packages don’t include semi-pearled or pearled words (ex: Bob’s Red Mill). As a guide, check the cooking time on the package.

Tips for substitutions

Farro salad can be substituted or added to with different vegetables and cheeses. Here are some ideas:

  • Mushrooms You can omit them if you aren’t a mushroom lover, but the fresh mushrooms have a wonderful earthy flavour.
  • Baby Arugula: Don’t use standard Arugula in bulk; it’s too spicy! Other baby greens such as baby spinach and baby kale can be used.
  • Cheese: Manchego is a Spanish cheese with a sweet, fruity taste and a firm texture. It’s amazing! Parmesan shavings can be substituted if you don’t have them. Fontina cheese can be used in fun ways, such as this Farro with Roasted vegetables. For vegans, you can also leave out the cheese.
  • If you are out of season, consider buying hydroponic or greenhouse cherry tomatoes. You can also add fresh, local cherry tomatoes to your summer menu. Red pepper is another option for allergies.


  • 1 cup dry farro (pearled, semi-pearled)
  • One teaspoon Kosher salt, div.
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 minced small garlic clove
  • 1 cup cherry tomato, halved and quartered
  • 4 ounces button or cremini mushroom, thinly chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled. Thinly sliced.
  • 1/4 cup chopped herbs (such as fresh chives or mint)
  • 2 cups baby spinach (or other greens for babies)
  • Half a cup of Manchego cheese, cut into chunks (or Parmesan shavings and fontina cheese; leave out if you are vegan).
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Prepare farro. Drain the farro in cold water using a fine-mesh strainer. Place the farro in a large saucepan with 3 cups of water and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pan. Cook the grains until tender, approximately 15 to 20 min for pearled farro and 25 to 30 min for semi-pearled farro. To test the tenderness of a grain, taste it (if not marked on the package), and cook it until tender. Get rid of any extra water. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt to the mixture. Spread the farro on a baking tray in a single layer. Please place it in the freezer for three minutes to bring it to room temperature. This step can be done up to two days ahead; chill the farro until you are ready to make the salad.
  2. Prepare the vegetables: While the vegetables are being prepared, chop the shallots, garlic, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms. Add the vegetables to a large bowl. Next, add the farro, baby arugula and cheese.
  3. Prepare the dressing: Combine the lemon juice, Dijon mustard and oregano in a large bowl. Add 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. Slowly add the olive oil, one tablespoon at a., until it becomes creamy.
  4. Toss the salad with vegetables and farro in a bowl. Add salt to taste. You can store the mixture for up to four days in the refrigerator. However, you might need to salt it again after refrigeration as it can cause a dulling of the flavour.