Chopped Mediterranean Farro Salad

Light with bright colors and big fresh flavor, Mediterranean farro salad is the perfect transitional salad recipe to take you from cool weather to sunny days. Given an Italian flavor thanks to lupini beans, the farro elevates it to main course salad status and makes a simple and quick weeknight meal so you can get outside and enjoy the warm weather!

white bowl with cucumbers, lupini beans, tomatoes, farro and fresh basil leaves being tossed with wooden salad servers.
Farro adds a nutty flavor and chewy texture to this easy summer salad recipe.

When the vegetable crisper in the fridge is pretty full, that’s the signal that it’s time to make a big salad. And this Mediterranean farro salad will fill you up in the best way with lots of texture and crunch.

If you want something more than a Meatless Monday meal, top this vegetable farro salad with some perfectly cooked chicken breasts and you’ll have a really quick weeknight meal for the whole family.

Before we launch into making this farro salad recipe, we need to address one thing.

What is farro?

mini metal stock pot of uncooked farro.
Farro can cook in as little as 10 minutes or as much as 45 depending on the type.

Farro is a whole grain with a nutty chewy texture that is great when hot like oatmeal in breakfast cereal and equally good at room temperature as in this popular citrus farro salad.

The farro grain has 3 parts to it: the einkorn (farro piccolo), emmer (farro medio), and spelt (farro grande). You probably guessed that those three Italian adjectives refer to small, medium and large farro.

Here in the U.S., we usually see the grain in the emmer or farro medio form.


Did you know that spelt is actually a farro?


Three ways farro is processed

Depending on where you live, you might have access to different kinds of farro. Most people think there are two types of farro actually it isn’t a kind but what remains after it’s processed.

  • Whole farro. Includes the bran surrounding the grain.
  • Semi-pearled farro. Part of the bran is removed, which is why it’s called semi-pearled.
  • Pearled farro. The whole bran is removed such as this farro from Bob’s Red Mill.

Check the ingredient label of your farro to see which kind of farro you have.

For more on farro, The Whole Grain Council has an extensive article all about this chewy whole grain.


INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Lupini Beans

Loaded with veggies, this salad also features an emerging bean known as lupini beans. Lupini beans look like yellow lima beans and have a briny flavor and nutty texture.


Ingredient list for Mediterranean farro salad

wooden board with persian cucumbers, halved grape tomatoes, red onion, piquillo peppers,. farro and lupini beans.
Use whatever vegetables you have on hand to pair with chewy farro for a great salad.

If this is your first time making farro, this quick salad is a good introduction to the grain. Another easy farro recipe is this burrata farro side dish.

Here’s are the unique ingredients you’ll need:

  • Farro. Any kind of farro you have or is available to you.
  • Lupini beans. A large bean that is gold in color and adds a nutty, briny flavor. You can find lupini beans in a jar usually in the Mediterranean section of your grocer.
  • Persian Cucumbers. The small, pixie-like cucumbers usually sold in multiples. I love keeping these on hand for snacking too.
  • Calabrian chiles. A bite of sweet heat and a big pop of color. You also could use cherry peppers too. I like to think that adding Calabrian chiles makes this an Italian farro salad 😊
  • Fresh herbs. Two key Mediterranean herbs when combined bring the freshest of flavor.

An oh-so good zesty vinaigrette dressing recipe

Making a homemade salad dressing is key to this recipe and also so darn easy. Why buy jars of bottled dressings that are just going to fill up your fridge door? Learn how easy it is to make your own salad dressing and whisk up these pantry-ready ingredients.

Classic Mediterranean Vinaigrette


  • olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
  • lemon
  • salt and pepper

How to make Mediterranean farro salad: step by step

white bowl with sections of farro, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, lupini beans, Calabrian chiles, fresh herbs.
Chop veggies and all with cooled, cooked farro.
white bowl with vinaigrette salad dressing being whisked.
Whisk up dressing ingredients until smooth.
large white bowl with wooden salad servers stirring up a Mediterranean fresh farro salad.
Drizzle dressing over salad and toss.

Ready to make the best farro salad? Here we go!

  • Cook the farro according to the package directions. Drain and set aside to cool completely. Add to bowl with veggies.
  • Chop up all your veggies consistent with the size of the lupini beans so not super tiny but not big chunks either. Add to a large, shallow salad bowl – I love this Apilco wide salad bowl from Williams-Sonoma!
  • Whisk up the salad dressing and drizzle a little over the salad. Toss and taste. Add more as needed.

Tips for cooking farro


PRO TIP

Cook farro in chicken broth or vegetable to add amazing subtle flavor boost to your recipe.

-Josie + Nina

Whole grain farro. Usually will require soaking overnight. Certainly not a deal-breaker but you can’t be spontaneous with it like you can the semi-pearled or pearled farro. Cooking time: about 35-45 minutes.

Semi-grain or pearled farro. Cooking time is closer to 20 minutes since part of the tough bran is removed.

p.s. Trader Joe’s farro label doesn’t specify which kind of farro it is; only the fact that it’s pre-cooked to reduce the typically long cooking time giving the impression it’s either semi- or pearled farro.

Recipe for success

Here’s some tips to make this farro salad recipe a success:

black bowl with farro,tomatoes, cucumbers, lupini beans and fresh herbs with a fork.
Farro salad makes a great main course recipe!

Make ahead

  • Make the farro and chop the veggies ahead and mix with 1/2 of the dressing.
  • Add the other half of dressing right before serving.

Storage tips

Store farro salad in an airtight, sealed container for up to three days.



before you go…

If you make this recipe, be sure to give it a star rating and share your reviews in the comments below! Or pin the recipe by clicking on one of the images above and save it for later.



white bowl with cucumbers, lupini beans, tomatoes, farro and fresh basil leaves being tossed with wooden salad servers.
5 from 1 vote

Mediterranean Farro Salad

Light with bright colors and big fresh flavor, Mediterranean farro salad is the perfect transitional salad recipe to take you from cool weather to sunny days. Given an Italian flavor thanks to lupini beans, the farro elevates it to main course salad status and makes a simple and quick weeknight meal so you can get outside and enjoy the warm weather!
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:10 minutes
Total Time:20 minutes
Servings 8
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Ingredients
 

For the salad

For the dressing

Instructions

  • Cook the farro according to package directions. I cook mine in chicken broth for a boost of flavor.
    1 cup farro
  • Chop up all the veggies into bite sized pieces.
    1 cup cherry tomatoes, ½ cup red onion, ½ English or hothouse cucumber, 1 cup lupini beans, 2 T each fresh basil and mint leaves, ½ cup diced Calabrian chiles or roasted red pepper
  • Mix up the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
    ⅓ cup red wine vinegar, ½ cup olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, squirt of Dijon mustard, Finish with a squeeze of lemon
  • Toss salad ingredients in a large shallow salad bowl. Toss with dressing and garnish with fresh mint and basil for a pretty presentation.
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Author: Lori Murphy
Did you make this recipe? Tag @josieandnina or tag #josieandnina!

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