Easy Summer Farro Salad uses fresh summer vegetables mixed with farro and a light lemon spiced dressing. This is a nice side dish to a picnic or BBQ or a great lunch option during the week.
I have a feeling some of you are wondering why I am sharing a summer recipe with all of the pumpkin, apples and squash circulating. While I love pumpkin as much as the next person I also love using late summer vegetables in fresh salads like today’s Easy Summer Farro Salad.
Fall doesn’t officially start until later this month so I feel like I am still in the clear. The nice thing with today’s salad is you can make it year round. Everything in this salad you can easily find in a grocery store, but I must admit this salad is even better using garden or farmers market vegetables.
If you haven’t tried farro in salads you are missing out. I love the texture of farro because it is a bit chewy but still tender and pairs really nicely with crunch vegetables and the soft dried cranberries. Farro also holds up really well in the fridge for the week, making this a nice meal prep salad to keep on hand.
I usually keep a container of this in my fridge all week and add extras to it as I want, like grilled chicken, a chopped avocado or a handful of chickpeas. One of my favorite things about this Easy Summer Farro Salad is the salad dressing. It is similar to the dressing I used in this Zucchini Chickpea Quinoa Salad a few years ago.
The base of the salad dressing is extra virgin olive oil and then the juice of a lemon. From there you are adding garlic and my favorite spice combination of paprika, cumin and turmeric.
What are the health benefits of eating farro?
It’s an excellent source of protein, fiber and nutrients like magnesium, zinc and some B vitamins. It actually contains more fiber than many of the other popular grains. Farro also contains healthy antioxidants, which I know we could all use more of. Another reason farro is healthy and a great addition to salads or your meals is that for a grain, farro is a great source of protein. One-fourth cup (47 grams) of whole grain emmer farro contains six grams of protein.
What else can I add to this farro salad?
I am the queen of customizing salads, adding a bunch of extra ingredients and I often look at salads as a way to clean out my fridge and pantry.
Here are some ideas of ingredients you can add to your salad:
- Beans such as black beans, chickpeas, white beans or kidney beans.
- Chopped avocado works great in this salad.
- I love adding grilled chicken or even steak.
- Cheese is a nice addition, especially goat, feta or fresh mozzarella.
- Any other vegetables you have on hand, like zucchini, tomatoes, celery, radishes.
- Dried fruit pair really nicely in a farro salad. I used dried cranberries but you could also try dried prunes, apricots or raisins.
For the salad
- 1 cup farro, cooked
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1 cup matchstick carrots
- 1 english cucumber, diced
- 1/2 of a red bell pepper, seeds removed, diced
- 5 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
For the salad dressing
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
In a large mixing bowl combine the farro, cranberries, onion, carrots, cucumber, bell pepper, green onion and parsley and toss.
In a mason jar or salad dressing container combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, cumin, turmeric, garlic, salt and pepper and whisk or shake to combine.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss again. Serve immediately or put it in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.
Beans: chickpeas, white beans, black beans, kidney beans
Cheese: feta or goat cheese
Vegetables: tomatoes, zucchini, radishes, mushrooms
Other dried fruits: prunes, raisins, apricots