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Greek Salad with Farro

This refreshing salad, with its bright, fresh herbs, crisp cucumber and sweet red bell pepper, its chewy farro, and bits of salty feta,  tastes like summer! It can be the central part of a vegetarian meal, or a side dish for roasted or grilled chicken, or grilled salmon.

Farro is one of those ancient grains making a “come-back,”  showing up on modern grocery shelves. It has a nutty flavor and a pleasingly chewy texture, similar to barley and whole wheat berries (which you could substitute in this recipe if you can’t find farro.) Like many other ancient grains, it’s nutrient-rich.

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 cup farro, rinsed
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced (see NOTE)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored & seeded, cut in medium dice
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh dill or parsley (I prefer the dill)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 cup crumbled or diced feta cheese
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes

NOTE: I prefer the long English cucumbers – if you use these, it’s unnecessary to remove the seeds

Red Wine Vinaigrette

  • 3 Tbl. red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Place rinsed farro in a large saucepan and cover with 2 quarts of salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 to 35 minutes. (Farro will have a similar texture to barley when cooked.) Drain it well and set aside to cool completely.

Whisk together the ingredients for the vinaigrette.

Place all the salad ingredients, including the cooled farro, in a bowl. Toss with vinaigrette. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

We enjoyed this the other night with fresh cracked crab. Alongside, we had ripe pineapple spears drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled lightly with coarse sea salt. This is how pineapple is often eaten south of the border and it’s unexpectedly and almost irresistibly delicious.

This recipe, slightly adapted, comes from that wonderful little salad book,  

Raising the Salad Bar by Catherine Walthers

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ashley #

    My tummy’s a-growlin’. This looks and sounds so good. I’ve gotta try farro.

    June 3, 2011
  2. Darlyn #

    This looks like a refreshing salad. I will be looking for farro on my next trip to the store.

    June 6, 2011
  3. Ashley #

    Readers of spree, this very salad was chosen by foodpress.com as one of “Today’s Specials.” There are so many food bloggers out there, but we know what spree brings is unique, and she’s beginning to be recognized. Go, Spree, go!! See also my comment under “Strawberry Sorbet,” featured as one of foodpress’ “Favorite Food Photos.” We’re proud of you, Spree. Keep ’em coming!

    June 9, 2011
  4. Ali #

    This really is a delicious salad! Fresh and healthy!!

    June 11, 2011
  5. carolyn #

    Yum! That photo makes me want to chew some farro!

    June 13, 2011
  6. #1spreek #

    A really perfect summer salad, I tried it and it was so fresh and satisfying. Who knew…faro!

    June 19, 2011
  7. This is an excellent summer salad! It has a fresh taste, and a substantial, satisfying texture. I had several helpings. And it’s sturdy, so it would hold up well sitting out at a sunny party or potluck. I served it with grilled cod – which was rubbed with the grilled salmon rub. Delicious and beautiful to look at! The salad leftovers were fresh and springy for lunch today. And there’s even some for tomorrow. The nutritional value of farro is impressive – and it’s the oldest cultivated grain in the world. This will be a mainstay for me this summer!

    June 21, 2011
  8. I have taken this on many picnics. It really hits the spot. Hungry eaters dive in with grunts and groans, then offer an empty plate for seconds.

    August 29, 2011

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