Uncooked whole farro in a bowl with a wooden spoon on the table

Farro – sometimes called split or emmer – is an ancient grain with a nutty taste. It is rich in fiber, protein and calcium. This highly versatile member of the wheat family can be used for hot or cold salads, as a replacement for arborio rice in a risotto or added to a hearty soup. It’s one of my go-to grains and here I prepare it for a chilled, summer entrée salad.

Let’s get cooking!

The Prep

Measure out one cup of farro. Measure out 2 cups of water. Combine the water and farro in a 8qt stock pot. Over medium high heat, bring to a boil. Stir, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer covered for 40-50 minutes. Drain, allow to cool and refrigerate for a few hours.

Julien 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes.Watercolor lemon fruit branch with leaves isolated on white background. Lemon citrus tree. Lemon branch and slices. Lemon branch with leaves. Hand painted illustration

Remove the pits and quarter 1/2 cup of oil-cured olives. These salty, umami packed wonders can be found at Italian specialty shops and many regular grocers as well. Brine-cured green olives should not be substituted in this recipe.

Using a vegetable peeler, shave 1/4 cup of high-quality Parmesan-Reggiano cheese.

Chiffonade 4-6 basil leaves.

Measure out 2 tbsp of lemon juice.

Measure out 6 tbsp of avocado oil.

You are mised out!

The Assembly


Slowly whisk the avocado oil into the lemon juice. Taste and adjust the acid/oil ratio as you like. Season with salt and pepper.

Add enough of the lemon-oil dressing to the farro to make it moist, but not wet. You don’t want to see any dressing in the bottom of your mixing bowl.

Stir in the tomatoes, olives and basil.

Plate the salad and sprinkle the shaved Parm on top.

The Payoff

Perfect for a warm summer evening’s entrée, serve this simple salad with a bright, chilled white. A sparkling vinho verde from Portugal always makes me smile.