You’ll love this satisfying and delicious farro salad recipe, prepared Mediterranean-style with peppery arugula, fresh veggies, feta and a good handful of walnuts. It makes a light weeknight meal and is even better for lunch the next day!
This post is in partnership with California Walnuts in celebration of plant-forward eating. All opinions are my own.
The answer to a delicious plant-forward dinner may already be in your pantry!
Toss together a wholesome grain like farro, fresh veggies, herbs, and a big handful of delicious walnuts with a few tablespoons of my homemade lemony Greek salad dressing for the perfect supper salad.
You'll love how versatile this Mediterranean farro salad recipe with arugula and walnuts as a satisfying weeknight meal, or paired with things like falafel, grilled chicken, baked cod, salmon kabobs, or even chicken meatballs. And it's even better for your lunch the next day.
What I love about this farro salad
Not only does this salad taste amazing--even a bit fancy--but it is also the perfect example of a plant-forward meal that uses simple and nutritious Mediterranean staples.
Aside from peppery arugula, and a good mix of fresh veggies, herbs, and sweet cherry tomatoes, this farro salad is a wholesome meal with two amazing powerhouse ingredients:
What is Farro? Farro, pronounced “fah-roh,” is an ancient whole grain wheat that has been a part of the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean pantry for thousands of years. Chewy, nutty, and earthy tasting, farro grains are also a good source of fiber (double the fiber found in quinoa), plant-based protein, iron, and antioxidants. love using farro on its own or as a side to your favorite fish, but it also makes the perfect base for a satisfying salad that will hold up a good 2 to 3 days in the fridge.
I am using California walnuts in this cold farro arugula salad, not for a pretty garnish or just for the delicious crunch and flavor, but for even more nutrition. Did you know that one ounce of walnuts is a dynamo of important nutrients for optimum health, including protein (4g), fiber (2g) and magnesium (45mg)? Heart-healthy walnuts are also the only nut significantly high in essential plant-based omega-3 alpha linolenic acid (ALA) -an essential plant-based fatty acid that must come from food, with 2.5 grams per ounce!
How to cook farro?
Farro is very easy to prepare, and soaking is not required but it can speed up the cooking a bit. In this recipe, I used 3 cups of water to 1 cup of farro. You can follow the package instructions, but I have found that an easy way to cook farro that yields great results is by treating it like pasta and cooking it in salted boiling water. Here is how to cook farro:
- Rinse the farro well. Put 1 cup of farro in a large sieve and rinse under cold running water
- Cook in boiling water. Bring 3 cups of water, seasoned with a good pinch of kosher salt, to a boil. Add the rinsed 1 cup of farro. Turn the heat to medium and simmer until the farro is tender and chewy. The farro will take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes to cook, depending on the kind of farro used. Most farro available in the United States is pearled, where the bran has been removed so it cooks faster than whole farro, which has the bran intact, or semi-pearled farro with some of the bran (this is the most common variety used in Italy).
- Drain the farro well using a fine-mesh strainer. And it helps if you spread the drained farro on a sheet pan and pat dry with a paper towel.
You can cook plain farro and keep in the fridge for a few days to use as needed. If properly stored, cooked plain farro will keep in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
How to make farro salad
Once you’ve cooked your farro, which you can do ahead of time, this farro arugula salad is as quick as 1, 2, 3:
- Make the quick lemony Greek dressing. Here, you will combine ¼ cup fresh lemon juice with 1 to 2 teaspoons of dry oregano, minced garlic clove, and a good dash of kosher salt and black pepper. While whisking vigorously, slowly drizzle ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil. (You may not use all the dressing for this salad, but you can store it in the fridge for other uses).
- In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked farro, walnuts, tomatoes, veggies, herbs.
- Pour the dressing all over the salad and toss well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add feta cheese to your liking, or omit the feta for a vegan farro salad.
A couple of tips
- For best results, allow the farro salad to sit for a few minutes before serving so that the flavors will meld. It also helps to mix the salad while the cooked farro is still slightly warm so it will soak a bit of the delicious lemony dressing and fresh herby flavors.
- Prepare ahead options: You can prepare the Greek salad dressing a few days in advance and refrigerate in a tight-lid glass container. Cook the farro 1 to 2 days ahead of time and save it in the fridge until you are ready to make the salad (warm it up a bit before using).
Related recipes you may like
Mediterranean Farro Salad with Arugula and Walnuts
For the salad
- 1 cup dry farro
- kosher salt
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 green onions, trimmed and chopped
- 1 bell pepper (any color), cored and chopped
- ¾ cup walnut halves/pieces
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
- Feta cheese, to your liking
For the dressing
- 5 tablespoons Homemade Greek salad dressing, (use this salad dressing recipe), more to your liking
- Cook the farro. Bring 3 cups of water, seasoned with kosher salt, to a boil. Add the farro and lower the heat to medium. Simmer for 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the kind of farro you are using. The farro will have absorbed the water but use a sieve to fully drain. If you like, spread the farro on a tray or sheet pan and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Make the dressing using this Greek salad dressing recipe.
- Toss the salad together. In a mixing bowl, combine the farro (still somewhat warm) with the arugula, tomatoes, onions, peppers, walnuts, and fresh herbs. Pour the salad dressing, then toss well. Taste and adjust seasoning. Finish with a sprinkle of feta cheese to your liking.
- You can cook the farro a day or two ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to make the salad. While plain farro will keep in the fridge for 4 to 5 days, you should also budget some days for leftover farro salad once mixed.
- You may not use all the Greek dressing in this farro salad recipe. Store leftover dressing in a tight-lid glass jar in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks and use as needed.
- Leftovers: store leftover farro salad in the fridge for 2 to 3 days (this will depend too on whether you cooked the farro or prepared the dressing ahead of time).
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