Farro is a grain that I first discovered when we visited Umbria many years ago. Farro is an ancient grain that has recently become quite popular again and has a slightly nutty taste and chewy texture. I love this grain as it cooks quickly (about 20 minutes) and retains it’s texture well in both soups and salads. I use faro at least once a week, and during the warmer months I use it as a base for a delicious salad. I can buy a pound of faro for less than $2 here in Umbria, and one bag of faro can make a salad to feed at least eight with the addition of some vegetables.
My salads change as my garden progresses throughout the summer, but the salad shown is probably my favorite combination. I simply add chopped radicchio and arugula, diced cucumber and onions, chopped capers, and halved cherry tomatoes to my cooked farro. I dress it with a basic wine vinegar and olive oil dressing and season it with salt and pepper. I always make a big bowl of this salad and we enjoy it for lunch for a few days. Farro isn’t always that easy to find in North America, but barley, spelt or wheat berries are all similar and could be used in place of faro. I know I can find faro at Whole Foods back in Florida, and I’ve heard from some family members that they were able to find it in some Italian specialty stores.
You can vary this salad by adding some cooked cannelloni beans which would add additional protein, or by adding shredded carrots, diced zucchini, or even chopped olives. Fresh herbs such as basil and parsley are a wonderful addition as well. Simply tear them up and toss them into the salad. I do not give exact measurements for the dressing as I think it depends on your own personal taste. I like to add a little of both the vinegar and olive oil, toss them into the salad and then taste. I then add more of one or the other as needed and toss once more. This salad is also a perfect addition to an outdoor barbeque or a picnic in the countryside as it can be prepared ahead of time and packs well.
While The Farro Is Cooking, Assemble & Chop Your Vegetables
The Assembled Salad Ready To Enjoy!
Deborah Mele 2011
Summer Farro Salad
Farro is an ancient grain that has recently become quite popular again and has a slightly nutty taste and chewy texture.
- 1 Pound Farro (Whole Farro Grain)
- 1 Small Head Radicchio Lettuce
- 3 Cups Fresh Arugula
- 1 Large Cucumber, Peeled And Diced
- 1 Small Sweet Onion, Peeled And Diced
- 2 Cups Ripe Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
- 3 Tablespoons Capers, Chopped
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Cook the farro in a heavy saucepan covered with plenty of water until tender to the bite, about 20 minutes.
- While the farro is cooking, chop and assemble your vegetables.
- Drain the farro well and let cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl toss the farro with the vegetables, then add a little vinegar and olive oil and toss.
- Taste and add more as needed.
- Season well with salt and pepper and toss again.
- Serve at room temperature.