Mediterranean Farro Salad

4.49 from 77 votes
50 minutes
Jump To Recipe

Mediterranean Farro Salad with a light, lemony dressing, crunchy vegetables and feta cheese is refreshing and perfect year-round!

Photo of Mediterranean Farro Salad on round white platter garnished with parsley.

Temperatures have been in the 90’s here until yesterday and will be in the low 80’s this week.  So, I thought I’d get one more great salad to you before sharing some fall recipes.

We just returned from a lovely weekend in Charleston, South Carolina where farmer’s markets with fresh summery vegetables were still in full swing.  There wasn’t a pumpkin in sight!

With the earthy color of the farro, Mediterranean Farro Salad is the perfect “transitional” salad into fall if you still have a few vegetables from your garden or you just can’t get into fall food yet with the high temperatures continuing in many parts of the country.

What is farro?

It’s an ancient grain with a nutty flavor that’s very good for you.  It has a satisfying chew similar to barley and it even looks like barley.  Farro has been cultivated in Italy for centuries.  It’s related to wheat so it’s not gluten-free.

You’ll generally find two types of farro:  Whole-grain and pearled.  Whole-grain farro can be tricky to cook and involves having to soak it overnight.  However, pearled farro, which has some of the bran removed, is very easy to cook.  Here’s more information on farro and how to cook it from Bob’s Red Mill.

Photo of uncooked farro in glass jar on marble background.

How to cook farro:

To cook pearled farro, simply get a large saucepan of water boiling then salt it generously and let it cook away until it’s tender.  When it’s cooked, let it drain in a sieve.  This is referred to as the “pasta method.”  I also cook brown rice this way and it produces beautiful, fluffy brown rice every time.

How to make Mediterranean Farro Salad:

  • After cooking, draining and cooling the farro, some knife skills are all you need!
  • Combine chopped scallion, red bell pepper, cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives and lots of fresh Italian parsley.

Photo of ingredients for in glass mixing bowls.

  • Add some garlic, lemon juice, good olive oil, salt and pepper….

Photo of salad in glass mixing bowl mixed together with white spoon.

  • Place the Mediterranean Farro Salad on a serving platter, top with feta cheese, garnish with fresh parsley sprigs….

Photo of Mediterranean Farro Salad with feta cheese and fresh parsley.

Voila!

Close-up photo of Mediterranean Farro Salad on white platter with serving utensils.

Photo of Mediterranean Farro Salad with some served on a smaller white plate.

Enjoy the rest of the warm weather while it’s still here and make this Mediterranean Farro Salad!

Farro lovers!  Be sure to try my Tomato Farro Risotto for another amazing farro recipe!

More Mediterranean-inspired salads:

Logo for From A Chef's Kitchen with gray oval border and green knife.
Greek Farro Salad - Overhead hero shot of salad on round platter garnished with parsley

Mediterranean Farro Salad

4.49 from 77 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef's Kitchen
Mediterranean Farro Salad with a light, lemony dressing, crunchy vegetables and feta cheese is light, refreshing and perfect year-round!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Side Dishes - Salads
Cuisine Greek, Mediterranean
Servings 8
Calories 261 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • Salt
  • 1 cup pearled farro
  • 1 small red bell pepper - seeded and diced
  • 1 English cucumber - peeled if desired, seeded and diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes - halved
  • 1 bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley - leaves and tender stems, finely chopped plus more parsley for garnish
  • 1 bunch scallions - white and light green parts only, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives - pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice - or to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • 8 ounces feta cheese - crumbled

Instructions
 

  • Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add salt and the farro. Boil for 15-20 minutes or until farro is tender but not mushy.
  • Drain the farro in a sieve and rinse with cold running tap water. Set aside to drain thoroughly.
  • Combine red bell pepper, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, parsley, scallion and Kalamata olives in a large mixing bowl.
  • Whisk together garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  • Add drained farro to vegetables and stir to combine.
  • Add dressing and stir.
  • Transfer to a serving platter and top with feta cheese and parsley sprigs.

Notes

If you don't like the salad so lemony, start with 1/4 cup lemon juice and add more to taste.
MAKE AHEAD:  Combine the salad but leave the dressing and feta cheese off.  When ready to serve, add the dressing and feta cheese.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 470mg | Potassium: 358mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1407IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 179mg | Iron: 2mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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Recipe Rating




23 Comments

  1. To make this a dinner salad, what are your thoughts on tossing in either Great Northern or black beans?

    1. Hi, Rita, Thanks much for your question. I don’t think black beans are right, but you could certainly do Great Northern or cannellini beans. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  2. I’m really surprised you rinse the farro zaps it’s a no no generally speaking. I’ve not used farro before, is there a reason specific to farro that you’d rinse it? You want the starchiness so thinken up your dressing a bit!

    I need to buy farro as I don’t have any, but sounds awesome. And that compliment from a Greek chef, congrats to you, I’m subscribing asap!

    1. Hi, Antonia, Thanks so much for your question and for subscribing. I don’t find where I instruct the reader to rinse the farro. If you can point it out, please show it to me. In this case, it isn’t necessary because of the way I cook the farro because I cook it in plenty of water like pasta. Rinsing after cooking cools it off quickly so it doesn’t continue cooking. It’s really always a good idea to rinse grains before cooking because they can be “dusty” with particles that come from the grain itself. Thanks again!

      1. You asked where it states to rinse farro….see step 2! You state to drain in sieve then rinse.

      2. Hi, Cheryl, Thanks for pointing that out to me. I thought that reader was talking about rinsing BEFORE cooking. Note where I say: “Rinsing after cooking cools it off quickly so it doesn’t continue cooking.” Why would you not run a grain or pasta under cold running tap water after boiling to cool it down quickly so you don’t get a pile of gum? To me that’s common sense. Also, the grain/pasta in the middle is going to keep cooking if you don’t cool it down quickly which can make it mushy. I’d much rather have nice, separate, fluffy grains. Thank you again.

  3. 5 stars
    Oh my gosh this was so yummy! I made the recipe exactly as given and wouldn’t change a thing. Bright fresh crunchy an explosion of flavors. A definite keeper! Thanks so much for sharing

  4. 5 stars
    I really enjoyed this salad. Bright, crunchy with a little chew from the farro and a little zing from the feta. I will definitely be making this regularly!

  5. 5 stars
    This salad is amazingly delicious! I made it with einkorn wheat berries prepared in an Instant Pot instead of the pearled farro because that’s what I had in the pantry. I have made it twice so it’s joining my repertoire of go-to recipes. The salad complemented the Greek-style lemon and olive oil marinated chicken breasts prepared in an air fryer I served with it.

    1. Hi, Dani, Thanks so very much and so glad you enjoyed! This salad can definitely be made with other grains including barley or gluten-free with quinoa. Love your pairing, too–sounds delicious! Thanks again!

  6. Wondering what the serving size is? I see it serves 8, but trying to figure out if I should double this.

    1. Hi, Karen, Thanks for your question. How many people do you need to feed? With the vegetables and all that are in it, it should feed 8 but it also depends on how big of eaters your guests are. Some people might just take 1/2 cup while others will take a cup or more. You could increase by half to be on the safe side. Thanks again and hope everyone enjoys!

  7. This sounds delicious. I don’t have farro, but I do have Israeli pearl couscous. Could I substitute that?

    1. Hi, Barb, Thanks so much for your question. Yes, you probably could but the nutty farro in this salad is really nice. Do you have barley? That would be a good substitute. The Fresh Market or Whole Foods will have farro. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  8. 5 stars
    Incredible. Farro is my new grain. You can’t get a better salad. Many great salads but this one doesn’t take second place. I owned three Mediterranean restaurants and was known for our Greek salad. As many people say “The greatest dressing ever!” SO TRUE. KUDOS to the creator of this salad.

    1. Wow. Fred! Thank you so very much!! That’s quite an endorsement and I’m a bit speechless. Thanks again and so glad you enjoyed!!

  9. It was so good!!! Love the combination of the vegetables with farro. I haven’t eaten farro before and we loved it!! Thank you!!!

    1. Hi, Pepa, Thanks so very much and so glad you enjoyed! Farro really is wonderful! I’ll be sure to put some more recipes with farro on my site very soon. Thanks again!

  10. 5 stars
    This is a great salad, so fresh tasting. I made it to eat for lunch throughout the week and it held up rather well. I was a little concerned with the cucumbers and cut tomatoes that it would get watered down, but not so. This is a keeper!