This healthy vegan farro salad is packed with dried cranberries, sliced almonds, honeycrisp apple slices, chives, and a lemon vinaigrette. It makes a wonderful light lunch or side dish.
I'm pretty new to farro, and I am surprised just how much I like it. I am notoriously picky when it comes to
everything certain grains. I don't like the texture of quinoa or couscous (ok they're not technically grains), for example.
I love the texture of farro. It's sort of chewy/nutty... like it has a bit of bite if that makes any sense. It's satisfying to eat.
Farro is also quite filling and has a light, pleasant taste. It doesn't overpower anything else that you're serving it with, and that makes it good for salads. I did a bit of research into farro, and it turns out that it's an ancient grain, and the Romans used to eat it. It's fairly easy to find. I did have to go to a couple different supermarkets when I was first trying to locate it.
I ended up buying the trusty Bob's Red Mill brand, and most stores carry that brand in general, so it shouldn't be too hard to find, especially in the States. Farro is high in protein for a grain, and it contains lots of fiber. What's not to love? It's also sometimes mistaken for spelt, but it's not the same thing. And sometimes it also goes by the name "emmer". Now ya know.
If you're wondering how to cook farro, it's actually really easy. I find it even easier to cook than rice! Why? It doesn't need to soak up all the water, so you won't have it glued to the bottom of the pan unless you really forget about it. 1 cup uncooked farro in 3 cups water or stock, bring it to a boil, simmer for 30 mins, drain it, and you're done. I do strongly recommend cooking it in stock or at least water + a stock cube to infuse some salt and flavor into it.
This cold farro salad is actually a great make-ahead salad, I found. I took it for work lunches 2 days after I made it, and it actually held up pretty well. The apple slices didn't brown too much (I suppose the lemon juice in the dressing helps with that), and it tasted just as good as when I first made it.
Hope you enjoy my fall farro salad!
Questions? Let me know!
Fall Farro Salad
- 1 cup uncooked farro
- 3 cups vegetable broth or water + veg bouillon/stock cube
- 1 honeycrisp apple sliced thin or diced
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley chopped
- Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tbsp)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Add the farro and veg broth to a medium pan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Let the farro cool for at least 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prep your other ingredients.
- Once the farro has cooled (it doesn't have to be totally cold), toss with the other ingredients. Serve immediately or put it in an airtight container in the fridge and chill it. Farro can be cooked ahead of time then combined with the rest of the salad ingredients later on if needed.
- I've eaten this salad 3 days after I've made it, and as long as you keep the salad in an airtight container, the apples don't brown much.
- Serves 2-4.
Like this recipe? You may also like my healthy broccoli salad or my chickpea and kidney bean salad.
Chuck D says
Excellent Fall salad. We served it with Honey mustard chicken thighs and the combo was fantastic. The sweet and tart flavors of the farro blended well with our entree.
I'm so happy you enjoyed it, Chuck!
Jacqueline Sofo says
I've just found your page and I love it! I made the spinach and grilled eggplant salad onnthe weekend and it was a hit at our family bbq. I'm now looking at this farro recipe and just want to clarify something for my own understanding. You say farro is sometimes mistaken for spelt but they are different. In my search for farro, my local nut/grain store told me farro and spelt seed were the same thing. Im confused now and hoping for some clarification please. I'm in Australia but I don't think that would make a difference to what it's called.
Hi Jacqueline! So glad you liked that salad. 🙂 According to my research, the nut/grain store was incorrect. Here's an article from The Kitchn that explains it in more detail: https://www.thekitchn.com/farro-is-not-spelt-and-spelt-i-71041 I've also found a few other resources that say the same thing... but I've also found contradictory research. There seems to be a lot of confusion and different opinions out there, and I'm hoping that I've been referencing correct ones haha. Apparently "true" farro is a higher quality grain for cooking called emmer. Spelt is a different group of wheat species that includes emmer and einkorn. All 3 are types of whole wheat... so if you can find emmer, that is the best to use. Maybe look on Amazon Australia (not sure it'll display properly for me) and see if you can find anything specifically labeled as farro and go from there? Then you'll get a sense of if it's available or called something different down under. Let me know how it goes!
Jacqueline Sofo says
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and for sharing your research. I think I may take a copy of your motes to the grain store and take it from there. Watch this space!
Jacqueline Sofo says
I found this.... the 4th answer is interesting
I think I'm even more confused now! Hahaha
Of course! I find this stuff pretty interesting haha... I guess I am a bit geeky when it comes to food.
Jenna Urben says
This is right up my alley! I've never had farro but sounds perfect this time of year
Thank you! I'm sure you'll love it. 🙂
Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom says
Farro is one of my fave grains! love this!
Lindsay Cotter says
i wish farro was GF. it looks amazing! so nourishing too!
Aw that is too bad. 🙁 Dietary restrictions aren't fun.
Jennifer Farley says
Love all those textures together
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
I love farro Natasha! Such a hearty grain. And this fall version is perfect for right now.
Thanks so much!!
Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy says
Farro is literally my favorite!
Matt Robinson says
So many good things happening in the salad!
Thanks, Matt! 🙂