A healthy, quick and easy farro salad with crunchy fennel, radicchio, olives, feta cheese, and a zesty lemon vinaigrette.
This healthy, hearty farro salad is one of my weekly go-to’s. If you’re not familiar with farro you should be! It’s a super versatile nutrient-packed ancient grain that can be used to make salads, risottos, soups, and stews. This salad can be served as a side dish to grilled meats or fish or all on its own. Top it with grilled chicken for a complete meal that’s perfect to pack for a meal prepped lunch.
A mandoline is one of my go-to kitchen tools. They are super sharp and make thinly slicing vegetables so quick and easy. But, they can also cause really bad cuts. My pro tip is to wear gloves when slicing on a mandoline. You can use disposable kitchen gloves, that way if the blade catches it catches your glove first rather than your finger. Dishwashing gloves work too, just make sure they’re clean of course.
Farro Salad Stepsâ
Step one: Thinly slice fennel and shallot on a mandoline.
Step two: Make the vinaigrette.
Step three: Toss the salad ingredients and vinaigrette together in a large bowl.
Step four: Serve or store!
Farro Salad Ingredientsâ
Cooked Farro: Farro is one of my favorite whole grains. It’s chewy and has a nutty flavor that’s great for mixing with salads. It’s not gluten-free but it is packed with fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Fennel: Fennel adds a fresh, crunchy, peppery, flavor to the salad. Thinly slice it on a mandoline for the best results.
Radicchio: I love radicchio’s pleasant bitterness, especially when paired with a creamy cheese like feta. If radicchio is out of season or you just don’t love it, feel free to use kale, arugula or any leafy green.
Feta Cheese: Who doesn’t love feta? Goat cheese will also work in this recipe. To make it vegan you can omit the cheese altogether.
Crushed Olives: I live pitted Castel Vetrano olives. I get them from the salad bar at my grocery store. You can really use any olive though. Kalamata would be great too!
Dill: I feel like dill is a controversial herb, a lot of people don’t like it. I used to hate it but I’ve really grown to love it recently. Any fresh leavy herb will work in this salad: basil, parsley, oregano, cilantro, tarragon. Fresh herbs only though, dried will not work here.
Dressing: This salad has so much flavor in the ingredients, crushed olives, shallot, feta cheese. For that reason, I keep the dressing super simple just lemon juice, dijon mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Tips for cooking farroâ
- I prefer to cook farro the same way I cook pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt, some people like to add aromatics like onion, bay leaf or garlic, by all means, feel free to do that but since we will be tossing this farro in a vinaigrette I don’t think it’s super necessary.
- Add the farro to the pot of boiling water then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 30-40 minutes until the grains are tender but still chewy.
- Drain the farro through a colander. Rinse with cool water and you’re good to go!
How long will Farro Salad last?
Farro salad will last in the refrigerator for up to four days. It actually makes a great option for meal prep. Serve with grilled chicken or steak for a complete meal!
Farro Salad with Fennel, Feta and, Crushed Olives
- 2 c cooked farro
- 1 bulb fennel
- 1 large shallot
- 1 small head of radicchio roughly chopped
- 1 c large green olives pitted and crushed or roughly chopped
- 4 oz feta cheese
- 1/2 c fresh dill roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 c lemon juice
- 1/2 c olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Remove stalks and fronds from the fennel bulb. Cut the bulb in half and thinly slice on a mandoline. If you don't have a mandoline just use a knife and make the slices as think as possible. Do the same with the shallot.
- Make the dressing: whisk together the dijon mustard and lemon juice. While whisking slowly stream in the olive oil. Whisk continuously until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large bowl toss together the dressing, sliced fennel, shallot, cooked farro, olives, radicchio, dill, and feta cheese. Season with salt and pepper and serve or store.