A healthy and vegetarian Farro salad with grilled vegetables, perfect for a summer lunch or picnic in the park, or as a side for a barbecue. It's rich in fibers and full of vegetables. You can also meal prep it and make it in advance. A delicious summer farro salad to be enjoyed with friends and family.
Salads are one of my favorite summer meals. But not sad salads, salads full of ingredients and deliciousness. From couscous salads to pasta salads, to rice salads, and sooooo many more.
There's nothing better than eating a cold meal on a hot summer day. Even though the days where I don't turn on my stove or oven are very rare. But still, at least the meal will be refreshing!
Is Farro healthy?
Let's start with: what is Farro? Farro, or Spelt, (Triticum dicoccum) is a wheat species very much used in Italian cuisine and very common throughout Europe, mostly used as flour.
The cultivation is very ancient and they found traces of it from 8000 years ago in the Near East and then in Europe sometime later, in Neolithic sites. It was introduced in the US only in the 1890s.
Farro is rich in fibers, proteins, B vitamins, iron, and magnesium (in total having more than 20% of the Daily Value). Due to its high nutritional values, it's considered a healthier alternative than white rice or other refined grains.
Farro is also a good source of antioxidants and polyphenols, which are thought to bring numerous health benefits long term.
Check this article if you want to know more about the health benefits of Farro.
How to make Farro Salad
It's very easy to make this Farro salad, but it requires some time if you want to grill all your veggies from scratch. If you want a shortcut, buy frozen grilled vegetables and reheat them quickly in a pan, this way you'll shorten the prep time and make this recipe much faster.
Cook the Farro in salted water, according to the package directions. Some types take 10 minutes, some take 2 hours. For the latter, you can also cook in a pressure cooker for 40 minutes.
Cut the bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant in slices about ¼ inch thick (½ cm), then lightly brush them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill them, then transfer them to a plate to cool down.
Chop the grilled vegetables into smaller chunks. In a large bowl, add the quartered cherry tomatoes and season them with olive oil, and salt. Add the cooked and drained Farro to the bowl, and the grilled vegetables. Season again to taste with olive oil and salt. Mix well with a spoon.
Add the mini mozzarella balls and fresh basil leaves. Give it another stir and serve room temperature or cold.
What's the best way to grill vegetables?
I use a stovetop cast iron grill pan to grill my vegetables. You simply heat it up on the stove at high heat, then add the seasoned veggies and turn after a few minutes. A similar alternative is to use a barbecue or indoor grill. These options will give the best results in terms of flavor and appearance.
An alternative solution, if you cannot use the above, is to simply sauté the vegetables in a large non-stick pan or cast-iron skillet without any liquid, to give them a nice char.
Otherwise, you can also roast the vegetables in the oven on a baking sheet at 400°F (200°C) for about 20 minutes.
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This recipe is very versatile and you can customize it the way you prefer, also according to the vegetable season.
- Farro: Farro is really the star of this dish, but you can also replace it with barley, quinoa, brown rice, or any other grains you prefer.
- Grilled Vegetables: Use any vegetables available in the season, or any vegetable you like that is delicious when grilled, such as corn, asparagus, mushrooms, onions, and so on. Or even use oven-roasted vegetables such as brussels sprouts, pumpkin, cauliflower, carrots, and more.
- Mozzarella: Cheese is totally optional. I love the little Bocconcini mozzarella in my summer salads, but you can also replace it with Feta cheese, goat cheese, or grilled halloumi.
- Basil: Basil is also optional, although it gives it the extra flavor that really makes this a summer salad. In Italy, basil can never miss in pasta or grain salads. If you feel the need for an extra kick of flavor, why not add a bunch of fresh herbs like thyme, chives, tarragon, or oregano.
You can find step-by-step photos, tips and a video in the post above.
If you like this recipe, try also these other summer recipes:
Grilled Vegetables Farro Salad
- 1 cup Farro
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 1 Yellow Bell Pepper
- ½ Zucchini
- ½ Eggplant
- 4-5 Cherry Tomatoes
- Basil leaves
- Mini Mozzarella balls
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- Black Pepper
- First, boil the Farro in salted water according to the packaging instructions. If the cooking time is 1.5/2 hours, you can opt to cook it in the pressure cooker with 3-4 cups of water at max pressure for 40 minutes (no pre-soaking required).
- Cut the bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant in slices about ¼ inch thick (½ cm), then lightly brush them with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Grill the vegetables on a cast iron grill or barbecue, then transfer them to a plate to cool down.
- Chop the grilled vegetables into smaller chunks and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the quartered cherry tomatoes and season them with olive oil, and salt.
- Add the cooked and drained Farro to the bowl, and the grilled vegetables. Season again to taste with olive oil and salt. Mix well with a spoon.
- Add the mini mozzarella balls and fresh basil leaves. Give it another stir and serve room temperature or cold.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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