This Mediterranean farro salad recipe is unbelievably tasty and fulfilling. We make it with chewy Farro, roasted veggies, crumbled feta, and an irresistible cumin and paprika dressing.
This farro recipe is excellent to make ahead, and you can have it for lunch, dinner, and potlucks.
Check out our Best Salad Recipes
Farro is our favorite grain to add to salads because it has a satisfyingly chewy texture to satiate our cravings and because it makes us feel awesome everytime we eat it.
It also cooks relatively fast and has a slightly nutty yet neutral taste that goes well with most veggies.
This Mediterranean farro salad is one of our three favorite recipes with this wholesome and delicious grain.
In contrast with our crunchy farro salad, where we use raw vegetables, we take advantage of the flavor and juices of roasted vegetables in this Mediterranean-inspired recipe.
We chop zucchini, eggplant, and onions, into dice, toss them in olive oil and salt, and roast them in the oven for about 20 minutes while the Farro cooks.
Next, we mix the roasted veggies with the Farro, toss everything with our delicious cumin dressing, and serve it on a platter with pistachio nuts and feta cheese crumbled on top (we used dairy-free feta).
In just over 30 minutes, you can have a delicious, healthy, and satisfying Mediterranean farro salad. And if you prefer, you can make this recipe ahead of time and meal-prep your next lunches or dinners.
You can always add chickpeas, or another legume of your choice, to make this recipe even more fulfilling.
We like to use pearled Farro because it cooks relatively fast, about 20 minutes.
You can find pearled Farro in most supermarkets these days. It's the most common variety in the United States.
For this recipe, you can substitute Farro with barley, brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat.
Note: Farro is the Italian word (used worldwide) to describe three varieties of this ancient whole grain. The three types of farro are spelt, einkorn, and emmer.
We cook the farro in vegetable broth to infuse it with flavor. You can substitute water for vegetable broth.
You can use any eggplant for this Mediterranean farro salad. We use globe eggplant, the one with dark shiny skin that you can find in most stores.
Most zucchini varieties are suitable for this recipe. We use green zucchini, but yellow zucchini, grey zucchini, and other summer squash varieties work well for this recipe.
Red onion adds sweetness to this recipe, and we recommend adding it to other vegetables as they roast in the oven.
Use jarred roasted bell peppers, or you can roast the bell peppers yourself, peel them, chop them, and add them to the salad.
Olive oil, salt, pepper
We use extra virgin olive oil, salt, and black pepper to season the veggies before roasting them.
Pistachio nuts add a nice crunchy and nutty flavor which fits well with the other ingredients and the cumin dressing.
You can substitute shaved almonds, pine nuts, or slivered almonds for the pistachio nuts.
Feta is an optional ingredient; however, we do recommend crumbling a few pieces of it on top of this Mediterranean salad.
It adds creaminess and a tangy, savory flavor that makes the salad pop. We use dairy-free feta cheese.
To complete the Mediterranean flavor palette, we add plenty of fresh flat-leaf parsley. Other fresh herbs you can use are basil, mint, and dill.
This simple cumin dressing with fragrant spices, garlic, fresh lemon, and good quality olive oil represents the essence of Mediterranean cuisine: it's simple, fresh, healthy, and flavorful.
If you don't like cumin, make our Italian dressing instead.
Try to get extra-virgin olive oil if you can. It's a staple ingredient in Mediterranean recipes, has a richer and fruitier flavor, and is packed with antioxidants.
Fresh lemon juice is best. However, you can substitute lemon juice with apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar.
We like to use minced garlic; however, a teaspoon of garlic powder will also do.
Use ground cumin for this dressing. If you don't have ground cumin, you can crush cumin seeds with a mortar and pestle.
We recommend sweet, not smoked, paprika here. You can also add red pepper flakes if you like some heat.
Salt and pepper
Sea salt and kosher salt are best combined with freshly ground black pepper.
Step 1: Boil the Farro
Rinse the Farro, then add it to a pot with boiling vegetable broth.
Simmer on medium to low heat until the Farro absorbs the liquid and it's cooked al dente - tender but with a bite - for about 20 minutes.
Stir occasionally to prevent the Farro from sticking to the pot.
Tip: You'll need 3 parts of broth for 1 part of Farro. For example, if you use 1 cup of Farro, you'll need 3 cups of vegetable broth.
We use pearled Farro which has some of the bran removed and cooks faster. Some farro varieties might take a little longer to cook. In this case, add more broth as needed.
There's no need for draining the Farro unless there's broth left in the pot.
Step 2: Roast the Veggies
Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C. Chop the eggplant and zucchini into ½-Inch (about 1 cm) cubes. Transfer them onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Slice the red onion and add it to the other veggies.
Season with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and black pepper.
Toss well, and roast the veggies until soft and slightly charred (about 20 minutes).
Step 3: Make Cumin Dressing
To a small bowl, add olive oil, lemon juice, ground cumin, red pepper flakes, minced garlic clove, finely chopped parsley, paprika, salt, and pepper.
Whisk until ingredients are combined.
Step 4: Mix the Salad
To a large mixing bowl, add the Farro, roasted vegetables, chopped bell pepper, and the dressing.
Toss well and arrange onto a serving platter. Top with pistachio nuts and crumbled feta cheese.
You can serve the salad immediately or store it in the refrigerator and eat cold or at room temperature.
Mediterranean farro salad with chickpeas
Add a can of chickpeas to make this Mediterranean farro salad with roasted vegetables even more nutritious and fulfilling.
We often do this, especially when we want to boost our protein intake. The Farro and chickpeas combined will provide you with more than enough wholesome, high-quality, and complete plant-based protein.
Classic Farro Salad
If you feel like a crunchy and refreshing farro salad, and don't want to turn on your oven, then make our classic farro salad with a delicious Italian dressing with oregano.
For this one, we use crisp raw vegetables such as cucumber, tomatoes, black or kalamata olives, green or red bell pepper, corn, and pumpkin seeds.
Check out our classic farro salad recipe.
Mediterranean farro salad is a fulfilling dish we serve as a main meal for lunch or dinner or in smaller portions as an appetizer. It's not a salad we would serve as a side dish.
This Mediterranean farro salad is a great recipe to make ahead as it keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days.
The next day, the salad is even tastier as the veggies and the dressing have time to meld together, and the Farro absorbs their flavor.
You can serve the salad cold, from the fridge, or at room temperature.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. We do not recommend freezing this recipe; however, you can freeze cooked Farro for up to 3 months.
To do so, let it cool down completely, transfer it into freezer-friendly zip lock bags, and freeze—Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, in the microwave, or boiling water.
Yes, one of the pillars of a Mediterranean diet is whole grains, including Farro.
According to scientists and nutritionists (not keto and paleo bloggers), the mediterranean diet is the healthiest diet for humans.
It's based on the traditional cuisines of Italy, Greece, and other countries touched by the mediterranean sea (note the word traditional and not modern cusines which have been heavily westernized and rendered unealthy).
It's a predominantly plant-based diet based on whole grains, legumes, vegetables, nuts, hebrs and spices. Olive oil is the main source of fat, and it's a diet lower in protein compared to most other western diets.
Anecdotally, if you travel around Italy in the summer months, you'll see fresh ready-made single-portion farro salads packed with fresh veggies in most supermarkets.
A great way of adding Farro to one's diet is using it in salads and soups. For instance, try our classic farro salad or our Mediterranean farro salad.
Yes, Farro contains gluten, although in lower quantities than other grains, and it is often unsuitable for gluten-free diets.
More Salad Recipes
Mediterranean Farro Salad
FOR THE SALAD
- 1 cup farro uncooked
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 4 cups eggplant cut into ½-Inch cubes (about 1 small)
- 3 cups zucchini cut into ½-Inch cubes (about 2 medium)
- 1 red onion sliced
- ½ cup jarred roasted bell pepper diced
- 1 handful pistachio nuts toasted
- 2 ounces feta cheese we used dairy-free feta (optional)
- 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas (optional)
FOR THE DRESSING
- 4 tablespoons parsley finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin ground
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
STEP 1: BOIL THE FARRO
- Rinse the Farro, add it to a pot with boiling vegetable broth, and simmer until it absorbs the liquid (about 20 minutes).Stir occasionally to prevent the Farro from sticking to the pot. Cooked farro should be slightly chewy and al dente.
STEP 2: ROAST THE VEGGIES
- Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C. Chop the eggplant and zucchini into ½-Inch (about 1 cm) cubes and slice the red onion. Transfer veggies onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and season with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and black pepper.
- Toss well and roast the veggies until soft and slightly charred (about 20 minutes).
STEP 3: MAKE CUMIN DRESSING
- To a small bowl, add olive oil, lemon juice, ground cumin, red pepper flakes, minced garlic, finely chopped parsley, paprika, salt, and pepper.Whisk until ingredients are combined.
STEP 4: MIX THE SALAD
- To a large mixing bowl, add the Farro, roasted vegetables, chopped jarred bell pepper, and the dressing.
- Toss well and arrange onto a serving platter. Top with pistachio nuts and crumbled feta cheese.You can serve the salad immediately or store it in the refrigerator and eat cold or at room temperature.
- Add a can of chickpeas to make this Mediterranean farro salad with roasted vegetables even more nutritious and fulfilling.
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