Easy Farro Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumber, Red Onion and Basil
Hellooooo peeps! Marin mama here, posting a new recipe. Are you in shock? Did you think I fell off the face of the earth? I mean it’s been 6 months since I posted a recipe. It’s crazy how time flies. Don’t fret, life is GREAT and AWESOME in my world. I have an amazing job that I’m utterly obsessed with, my kids are in an amazing place, my boyfriend is the bomb.com, and I’m more in love with life than ever. I’m one ultra-happy and grateful gal for all the abundance in my life.
It’s funny because I run into people and tell them all about my blog and how I’m a natural chef and then I laugh, because when they visit my site for the first time the recipe they see is the chicken enchilada bake. Don’t get me wrong that dish is awesome, but not necessarily an eating for health natural chef type of recipe. Like I’ve always said, food and life are all about balance.
I just had to post this farro salad because I’m literally making it ALL the time, (obsessed) and the kids and I are devouring it. It’s SO simple to make and pairs with just about anything, chicken, steak, fish, you name it. It’s even awesome on its own, and makes the perfect salad to bring to your next picnic or potluck. Pressed for time? Make the farro up the night before, store it in the fridge and add the rest of the ingredients the next day. It will truly be a 10 minute dinner, and if you want some protein, add a rotisserie chicken to the mix. I’m all about simplifying weeknight meals.
Some of you may be curious as to what farro is. Farro is basically a firmer and nuttier version of barley and is high in fiber and rich in magnesium and B vitamins. You can find it at most grocery stores next to the rice and quinoa. If you can’t find farro, then you could substitute wheat berries, barley, or for a gluten-free option you could use oat groats, (make sure they’re labeled GF) buckwheat or quinoa in this dish.
I usually make a batch on a Sunday to serve with dinner that night and then I pack leftovers all week for lunch. I just top the leftovers with half of an avocado topped with some coarse sea salt. I also love having a healthy treat on occasion, so sometimes I pack up one of my no-bake cacao superfood energy bites.
This salad is chock-full of flavor and texture. You have the chewy texture of farro and the crunch of the cucumber and red onion. The salad even tastes better the next day! Oh, and you have to top it with some sliced avocado and coarse sea salt, as it truly adds another dimension of flavor. Make this today and you will be one happy camper!
easy farro salad with tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and basil:
recipe adapted from Food & Wine
- 1 ¾ cups farro, well-rinsed – you can use oat groats, quinoa or buckwheat for a GF option
- 5 cups chicken stock, veggie stock, or water – I used 4 cups chicken stock and 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- coarse celtic sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 english cucumber, diced – you can also use a regular cucumber and scrape out the seeds
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¼ – 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 avocado, sliced – for topping
Put farro into a medium sauce pan and cover with the stock or water. Bring to a boil, (uncovered) reduce the heat to low or simmer, and cook uncovered until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. I would test the farro at 15 minutes to see where it’s at. You want it to be al dente, firm, chewy and a bit tender, but not mushy.
Drain the farro. Spread the farro on baking sheet to cool. I always put the baking sheet in the fridge to cool faster.
In a large serving bowl, whisk the olive oil and vinegar and season with a hefty pinch of coarse sea salt and pinch of pepper. Fold in the cooled farro, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes and basil. Stir to combine and season to taste with salt. I always add a touch more coarse sea salt, as salt enhances the flavor.
Top each bowl/serving with some sliced avocado topped with some coarse sea salt. It’s the bomb.com!
You could also add some feta, and or mozzarella balls, olives, you name it, make it your own.
Like farro salad, then try my roasted sweet potato and farro salad. It’s perfect for the fall and winter.