THIS POST IS SPONSORED BY
Bob’s Red Mill, who I’m so excited to partner & share with you throughout 2022. Bob’s Red Mill is my longtime go-to for natural & whole grain foods, & Bob’s Organic Farro is a PWWB pantry staple. All thoughts & opinions are my own.
*Low-Effort Summer Dinners!
This recipe is part of PWWB’s brand new summer series: Low-Effort Summer Dinners, a collection of no-fuss dishes for hot & busy summer evenings. 🥵 Whether you can’t bear to stand in a warm kitchen or your summer calendar is a little crazy, these recipes are super quick, low- to no-cook, & inspired by seasonal summer produce, making dinnertime easy, fun, & incredibly delicious. Simple summertime cooking at its finest! 😎
The BEST Farro Salad Recipe for a Warm Summer Day!
I’ve said it before & I’m sure I’ll say it again…my ideal warm-weather meal is a hearty & wholesome seasonal salad. I often enjoy them on their own as a light, feel-good lunch or dinner, but also love that they’re an easy add-on for any of our grilled meals during the summer months. This Summer Farro Salad with Grilled Vegetables & Burst Tomatoes is my newest warm weather salad obsession – it’s seriously good!
There are 3 elements that make this summer farro salad especially good: nutty, hearty farro, loads of char-grilled veggies, & the simplest zingy white balsamic vinaigrette. I always keep a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Organic Farro in my pantry. With a dedication to producing high-quality, nutritious natural foods, Bob’s is my longtime go-to for pantry staples like farro. When combined, the 3 components create a bite that bursts with irresistible summer flavor & has loads of different textures.
& the very best part is that you can eat this farro salad with grilled vegetables pretty much any time of day. It’s the type of simple, meal prep-friendly recipe that’s perfect as a light lunch or as an easy side dish at dinnertime. Make a big batch at the start of the week & enjoy as you please – I’m pretty sure you’re going to be obsessed too!
Summer Farro Salad Recipe Highlights
You’ll LOVE this farro salad with grilled vegetables because it’s…
- SIMPLE SUMMERY GOODNESS. In-season summer veggies like bell peppers, zucchini, & cherry tomatoes take on crave-worthy char from the grill, bringing out their natural summer sweetness. A beautiful, simple dish to cook with the season!
- FRESH & LIGHT. A feel-good recipe for whenever you crave a light-yet-hearty salad. Plus, it’s built for summertime – it’s perfect to prep when it’s too hot out to cook (or eat! 🥵).
- MEAL-PREP FRIENDLY. I love making a big batch of this farro salad with grilled vegetables to enjoy as a light lunch or easy add-on at dinnertime all week long. Gotta love that versatility!
Obsession-worthy, indeed! ♡ Read on to learn more about how to make Summer Farro Salad with Charred Veggies & Burst Tomatoes, or jump straight to the recipe & get cooking!
Summer Farro Salad Key Ingredients
Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
One of the reasons I love this farro salad so much is that it packs a huge punch of fresh flavor thanks to its line-up of seasonal ingredients. You need just a handful of ingredients to make it, & they’re all staples that you likely always have on hand during the warm months…
- Farro – One of my favorite whole grains, thanks to its hearty texture & slightly nutty flavor! If farro is new to you, you’re in for a treat! Learn more below.
- Summer veggies – Produce is always best while in-season, so this farro salad recipe calls for a simple summer-inspired combination of cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, & zucchini. These specific summer veggies grill up beautifully & they pair with the other components in this salad really well, though you can feel free to use whatever you love most or already have on hand!
- Chickpeas – My fave simple plant-powered protein! Straight out of the can works great here.
- Fresh basil – I love to pick fresh basil from my herb garden this time of year. 😍 Use whatever fragrant, leafy herbs you happen to have on hand!
What is Farro?
Farro is an ancient whole grain. It’s a relative of modern-day wheat & is similar in texture, appearance & flavor to barley. While it was a staple in Ancient Roman times, farro continues to be popular in Italian & Mediterranean cuisines to this day. I love it because it’s naturally high in plant-based protein & fiber. Plus, farro has the best hearty & chewy texture. 😍
Other Farro FAQs:
- What does farro taste like? ⇢ I like to think of farro as brown rice 2.0. It has an amazing, rich nutty & earthy flavor similar to brown rice or barley. What really makes farro special, though, is its hearty, chewy texture, which makes it super satisfying, especially when you use it as an add-in for a light & bright salad.
- How long does farro take to cook? ⇢ It depends! Farro is available semi-pearled & pearled (i.e. “quick cook” farro). The different varieties can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour to cook, so it’s important to check your farro’s package directions for specific cook times.
- What foods go well with farro? ⇢ Like any whole grains, farro pairs well with lots of different ingredients. Use farro as a base for a grain bowl, mix it with roasted veggies & hearty greens, or toss it into a summer farro salad like this one. Pretty much anything works with such a versatile grain!
How to Cook Farro Perfectly (Every Single Time!)
While grains can be a little temperamental to prepare, in my opinion, farro errs on the simpler end of the spectrum. Some recipes direct you to prepare farro like rice (i.e. gently simmering in a certain ratio of water until absorbed), I always always boil farro (much like the way you boil pasta). It couldn’t be simpler & yields perfect results every time.
How to boil farro:
First, rinse the farro well. Pop uncooked farro in a fine mesh sieve & rinse with warm water for a good 30 seconds. Why? ⇢ Raw farro has a powdery coating, which, in my experience, makes the cooking liquid pretty starchy. If you don’t rinse this coating off, it gives the cooked farro an unpleasant gluey texture. A quick rinse washes the coating away altogether!
Boil in well-salted water. Bring a large pot of water to a roaring boil, then season it generously with a few tablespoons of salt. Add the rinsed farro to the pot & cook until tender with a lovely chewy al dente bite. Pearled farro cooks up in about 30 minutes. Tip! ⇢ Because of farro’s lengthy cook time, you need to use quite a bit of water to prevent it all from boiling off before the farro finishes cooking. I typically cook up to 1 cup of pearled farro in a 4-quart Dutch oven.
Drain & use. Once the farro is cooked, simply drain off the starchy cooking liquid through the same fine mesh sieve you used to rinse the farro & it’s ready to use in farro salad. Easy!
Other Quick Farro Tips & Tricks!
Remember, farro triples in volume as it cooks. For example, 1 cup dry farro yields 3 cups cooked farro. Something to keep in mind as you decide how much farro you need to make!
Season while it’s warm. Warm farro soaks up whatever dressing or seasoning you’re using, making for an even more flavorful final dish. My #1 tip for preparing a killer farro salad – toss the farro in the dressing or vinaigrette just after cooking, while it’s still nice & warm.
Storage guidance. Cooked farro keeps for up to 1 week, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also freeze cooked farro in a freezer container for up to 1 month, which is ideal for batch cooking & meal prepping!
Grilling Veggies for a Summer Farro Salad
Aside from the farro, the star of this farro salad with grilled vegetables is, of course, the grilled veggies! Grilled vegetables are my favorite thing to make & eat during the summer months. The grill brings out the natural sweetness of veggies at the peak of their season & adds a smoky char that’s pretty hard to beat.
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Which vegetables are best for grilling? ⇢ Bell peppers & zucchini are great on the grill, but I especially love how the tomatoes in this summer farro salad burst a bit as they char. 😍 Feel free to use whatever veggies you love most or already have on hand!
How to grill vegetables? ⇢ Learn everything about how to grill summer veggies in our A-Z Grilled Veggie Guide. A few tips to get you started…
- Prep different types of veggies accordingly. Thread whole cherry tomatoes onto grill skewers for ease & slice the peppers & zucchini into large, flat planks that sit nicely on the grill grates. This helps prevent them from falling through the grates & also maximizes the surface area that comes into contact with the grill, making them even more charred & flavorful.
- Keep the seasoning simple! A bit of avocado oil, salt, & ground black pepper does wonders here since we’re tossing the veggies into a flavorful white balsamic vinaigrette.
- Grill on medium-high heat until charred. A temperature of about 400-500 degrees F is ideal for grilling the veggies in this summer farro salad. Start with the hearty bell pepper & zucchini first, then add the tomatoes a bit later so everything finishes at the same time.
- Chop into bite-sized pieces once cool enough to handle. You can leave the tomatoes whole to get that beautiful burst as you bite into them! 😍
Summer Farro Salad Assembly
Once the farro is cooked & the veggies are grilled, all that’s left is whisking together a quick salad dressing & tossing it all together. Pretty simple!
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Quick & Simple White Balsamic Vinaigrette.
The bright & zippy flavor of this white balsamic vinaigrette makes this summer farro salad shine! It’s made with a simple blend of extra-virgin olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, lemon, garlic, & Dijon mustard. I like to use white balsamic because it keeps the vibrant colors of the salad nice & bright. If you don’t keep white balsamic on hand, feel free to swap it out with regular balsamic. It makes the salad a little darker in color, but the flavors are the same!
To make the white balsamic vinaigrette, simply mix the ingredients together in a small bowl or jar. It takes less time than it takes to cook the farro! Feel free to also prep the vinaigrette in advance & keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to use.
Pro Tip! ⇢ For extra-flavorful results, pour the vinaigrette over the cooked farro while it’s still warm so it soaks up the seasoning even more.
Summer Farro Salad Assembly.
Once all the summer farro salad components are ready, it’s time to assemble. Add the chopped grilled veggies, whole tomatoes, chickpeas, & fresh basil into a bowl with the farro & vinaigrette. If you’re ready to dig in then feel free to eat this summer farro salad while it’s still warm. Cold farro salad might just be my favorite though…especially on a blazing hot summer day. I enjoy the leftovers right out of the fridge – no need to reheat!
Meal Prep Tips
This farro salad with grilled vegetables uses several components, all of which you can prepare ahead of time for easy assembly. Cook the farro, make the vinaigrette, &/or chop the veggies so they can easily be tossed on the grill at dinnertime. From there, assembly is a breeze! Refer to the Recipe Notes, below, for more meal prep guidance.
Make-Ahead & Storage
Since this summer farro salad is super hearty & holds really well, it’s a great recipe to assemble ahead of time. Prep it the night before a summer gathering or at the beginning of the week for handy lunches. Leftovers will last for up to 4 days – so treat your future self with a big batch! Refer to the Recipe Notes, below, for full storage instructions.
Serving Tips & Easy Summer Farro Salad Variations
This farro salad with grilled vegetables is already packed with plenty of plant-based protein & natural fiber, but feel free to make a few additions or substitutions as your heart desires. A few ideas to get you started…
- Add some cheese like crumbled feta or goat cheese for a bit of creaminess.
- Grill up other veggies like onions, asparagus, mushrooms, or broccolini. You can use these instead of the suggested veggies in this summer farro salad recipe or in addition for an extra veggie-loaded salad. Whatever you love most!
- Mix in fresh greens like spinach or arugula. If you toss them in while the farro is still warm, they wilt beautifully!
- Use other beans or legumes. I love chickpeas but white or red beans also work great. Feel free to mix it up!
- Easy grilled proteins like grilled lemon chicken or grilled sausage are great to cook alongside the grilled veggies & toss into the summer farro salad.
I can’t wait for you to try this Summer Farro Salad with Burst Tomatoes & Charred Veggies! It’s easy to make, & even easier to eat since each bite bursts with summery flavor. I think you’re going to love it just as much as we do! If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations!
Are summer salads your go-to? Prep one of these PWWB faves for lunch or dinner next! Grilled Peach & Burrata Salad with Prosciutto, Chopped Grilled Vegetable Salad with Basil Vinaigrette, Tomato Burrata Salad, & Pesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Chicken & Veggies. ♡ Happy cooking!Print
A veggie-loaded summer salad with light + bright flavor & hearty texture is probably one of my all-time favorite meals, & this Summer Farro Salad with Burst Tomatoes & Charred Veggies completely fits the bill. It’s wholesome, filling, & its flavors are so summery!
If farro is a new-to-you ingredient, you’re in for such a treat. Farro is an ancient whole grain – a distant relative to modern-day wheat – with a nice rich & nutty flavor. What makes farro really special, though, is its bouncy texture – it is pleasantly chewy & so hearty. I love tossing it into salads to easily bulk them up & make them more satisfying. If you cannot find farro, wheat berries are the closest substitute, though I’d happily swap it for quinoa, pearl couscous, or pasta in this particular salad recipe.
Once the farro is cooked, simply toss it with chickpeas, burst cherry tomatoes, & char-grilled bell peppers & zucchini, then drench it all in a zingy white balsamic vinaigrette. This summer farro salad is great enjoyed warm, at room temperature, or cold, & leftovers keep beautifully so it’s a great summer meal prep recipe.
Be sure to check the Recipe Notes, below, for meal prep tips & the blog post, above, for serving suggestions & quick variations!
- 3/4 cup dry Bob’s Red Mill Organic Farro, rinsed well
- one 14-ounce can chickpeas or white beans, drained & rinsed well
- 1/2 ounce fresh basil leaves & tender stems (about 1/2 cup loosely packed), finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or high smoke point oil of choice
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes
- 2 medium bell peppers, sliced into 3–4 flat planks
- 1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise
- 1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1 tablespoon juice)
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
for the simple white balsamic vinaigrette:
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1 tablespoon juice)
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- Prep: Prepare the grill for medium-high direct heat grilling, about 450-500 degrees F. Once preheated, clean the cooking surface by firmly brushing a wire brush over the grates. (If you do not have access to an outdoor grill, you can also preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat.)
- Cook the farro: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Add the farro and boil 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until your desired al dente texture is reached. Drain & immediately rinse with warm water. Drain well, then transfer to a large bowl.
- Make the simple white balsamic vinaigrette: Meanwhile, as the farro cooks, prep the vinaigrette. Combine all listed ingredients in a small bowl or jar. Season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Whisk or shake to combine. Taste and season with additional kosher salt or ground black pepper as desired. Pour the vinaigrette over the warm farro & toss to combine. Set aside. Alternatively, you can also cover the vinaigrette & store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Grill the vegetables: Thread the cherry tomatoes on skewers, then place them on a small baking sheet or large plate with the sliced bell peppers & zucchini. Drizzle the oil over top, season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired, then use your hands to ensure the veggies are coated well. Place the seasoned vegetables directly on the grill grates, ensuring the tomato skewers & zucchini are positioned perpendicular to the grill grates to help prevent them from falling through the grates as they cook. Grill vegetables until as softened & charred as desired – tomatoes will grill in about 2 minutes per side, while bell pepper & zucchini need 3-4 minutes per side. (Be sure to check out this A-Z Grilled Veggie Guide for veggie-specific grilling tips!) Remove from the grill, transfer back to the small baking sheet or large plate, & squeeze the lemon juice over top.
- Summer farro salad assembly: Once the veggies are cool enough to handle, chop the bell pepper & zucchini into bite sized pieces. Drop the tomatoes into the mixing bowl with the farro, along with the chopped vegetables, chickpeas or white beans, & fresh basil. Toss to combine. Taste & season with additional kosher salt & ground black pepper as needed. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold. Enjoy!
- Make-Ahead & Storage: This summer farro salad is best will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make it ahead of time for meal prep or summer party prep or enjoy leftovers as an easy lunch or dinner.
- 15-Minute Meal Prep: Nearly all the active prep work for this summer farro salad recipe comes from prepping the farro & the veggies. Prep either or both in advance for a great start on your farro salad – it takes 15 minutes active, tops:
- Cook the farro according to Step 1 of Recipe Directions above. While the farro boils, prep the vinaigrette according to Step 2 of Recipe Directions. Drain & season the farro according to Step 1 of Recipe Directions. Transfer to an airtight container & store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. (10 minutes active prep)
- Prep the zucchini & bell pepper for grilling as noted in the Ingredients List, above. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. (<5 minutes active prep)
Keywords: farro salad recipe, entree salads & bowls, side dish, summer, spring, vegetarian, easily dairy-free & vegan, meal prep friendly, healthy
Recipe & Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.