This farro salad is packed with summer veggies and is tossed in a simple but high-impact tomato-balsamic vinaigrette. This is the perfect side to serve with summer grilling because it takes just about 30 minutes to make!
This farro salad is a light and refreshing summer salad that's perfect as a dinner side with a grilled protein. Much like my go-to summer pasta salad, this farro salad features a rainbow of crisp and refreshing summer vegetables.
If you're a home gardener and growing tomatoes in your garden, this salad is a great way to use them up! The salad has both a chopped tomato and a tomato-based vinaigrette alongside other summer favorites like cucumber and corn straight from the cob.
- Vinaigrette: The farro is tossed in a tomato-balsamic vinaigrette, which features an entire tomato paired with acidic and refreshing balsamic vinegar and lemon juice.
- Quick & easy: The salad is ready in just about 30 minutes. While the farro cooks, all you have to do is whisk together the vinaigrette and chop the vegetables.
- Nutritious: This farro salad is a rainbow of colors! I love the salad as-is, but you can easily add additional fresh vegetables.
- Versatile: This salad can be prepped up to 24 hours in advance. As it refrigerates, the farro absorbs some of the balsamic vinaigrette. Enjoy it chilled or warm.
- Pearled farro is my choice for farro salad because it cooks more quickly than whole farro. Many grocery stores don't label farro as either pearled or unpearled, but you can tell the difference by checking cook time. Pearled farro cooks in 15 to 20 minutes, whereas the whole farro takes about 40 minutes to cook.
- Cucumber adds a pop of crispiness and crunch to the salad. I recommended seeding the cucumber with a spoon before chopping it. Removing the seeds helps the salad keep from becoming soggy.
- Tomatoes: Choose tomatoes-on-the-vine. One is diced and added to the salad, while the other is grated as a base for the vinaigrette. Note that fresh, in-season tomatoes work best here because they are much more flavorful than out-of-season tomatoes.
- Balsamic vinegar and lemon juice are combined with grated tomato to make the sweet and zesty vinaigrette. I recommend using high-quality balsamic vinegar for the best flavor.
- Shallot: I love using shallots because they pack a lot of flavor into one small package, but they have a less astringent/biting flavor than onions.
- Fresh corn adds a hint of sweetness and a burst of texture. Yes, you can eat raw corn straight from the cob! If fresh corn is not available, you can use thawed frozen corn as a substitute.
- Feta: Saltiness from feta rounds out the salad. To make this salad vegan, simply use a vegan feta alternative, such as Follow Your Heart brand.
Steps to make
Balsamic tomato vinaigrette
This is likely the only unintuitive part of this summer farro salad. If you've never made a tomato-based vinaigrette before, you're in for a treat! It adds a subtle tomato flavor that pairs well with sweet balsamic vinegar and acidic lemon juice.
I use the smallest side of a grater to finely grate the tomato into a pulp. Grate everything but the core of the tomato, rotating the tomato until all sides are grated.
The rest is simple: whisk together the grated tomato, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice olive oil, Dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt. Taste for seasonings and adjust to taste.
I recommend using pearled farro, which cooks in just 15 to 20 minutes. Cook according to package instructions, or 1 cup farro to 2 and ½ cups water and a ¼ teaspoon salt. The farro is ready when chewy but tender. Drain off excess water as needed.
In a large bowl, toss the warm farro with the vinaigrette. The farro will absorb some of the vinaigrette as it chills, resulting in a more flavorful salad.
Add in the remaining ingredients, tossing to combine. Enjoy immediately or cover and chill for at least an hour if you prefer a chilled farro salad.
- The farro can be cooked up to 24 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- The salad dressing can also be made 24 hours in advance. I like to make salad dressings in mason jars so that they are easy to shake up.
- Sweet corn does not need to be cooked prior to eating. In fact, raw sweet corn adds a delightful pop of sweetness and texture (I use it in this lentil salad, too!).
- Feel free to use cherry or grape tomatoes in the salad instead of a vine-tomato.
- If you don't want to go to the trouble of grating a tomato, you can omit it and stick to a simple balsamic-lemon vinaigrette instead.
- Serve with panko-breaded tofu or a grilled portobello burger for a well-rounded meal. Omnivores and pescatarians will enjoy this salad with a side of grilled shrimp or salmon.
- Make this a main dish by adding chickpeas or white beans for protein.
For a chilled salad: Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving, but ideally about 4 hours.
Leftovers are best within 3 to 4 days. Because farro is hearty and this salad uses mostly firm vegetables, the salad keeps well for up to 4 days. The farro will absorb some of the vinaigrette, but that just makes each bite more flavorful!
Freezing: I have not tried freezing this salad, but I do not recommend it because raw tomatoes and shallots tend to lose their structure upon thawing.
More summer salads
Did you try this recipe? You can leave a star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ in the recipe card or a review down in the comments section. I always appreciate your feedback! You can also follow along on my YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest or sign up for my newsletter!
Summer Farro Salad
- 1 cup dry pearled farro see note #1
- 2 and ½ cups water
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt divided
- 2 medium tomatoes-on-the-vine see note #2
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice from about 2 small lemons
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 ear corn kernels shucked off
- 1 medium cucumber seeded and diced
- 1 medium shallot chopped finely
- ¾ cup crumbled feta
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Combine farro, water, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Cover and simmer until the farro is tender but chewy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain off excess water if needed.Note: If the farro you're using has different preparation instructions on the package, follow those instead.
- Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Grate one entire tomato into pulp, except for the core, using the small holes on a box grater. Dice the other tomato into ½ inch pieces.
- Measure out 3 tablespoons of grated tomato. In a small bowl or mason jar, whisk together the grated tomato with the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, and remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- In a large bowl, toss the cooked farro with the vinaigrette. Add in the diced tomato, corn kernels, cucumber, diced shallot, feta, parsley, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Toss to combine.
- Serve the salad as-is, or cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to serve as a chilled salad. Enjoy!
- Pearled farro: This cooks more quickly than regular farro. Many packages do not denote pearled vs. regular farro, but you can confirm the type of farro by checking the cook time on the package. Pearled farro takes 15 to 20 minutes, whereas un-pearled takes up to 40 minutes. This salad does work with regular farro, it just takes a little longer to make.
- Tomatoes: Feel free to use any kind of slicing tomato for the vinaigrette. Cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes can be added to the salad instead of a vine tomato.
- Leftovers are best within 3 to 4 days. The farro and balsamic vinaigrette can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated until ready to use. The salad can also be prepared 24 hours in advance, but note that the farro absorbs some of the vinaigrette as it chills.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @cozypeachkitchen on Instagram and hashtag
Leave a Reply