This amazing farro salad features cannellini beans, fresh mozzarella, arugula and sun-dried tomatoes all tossed in a bright and delicious basil vinaigrette!
Fun fact: I’m obsessed with farro. I think it’s a highly underrated grain! It’s very nutritious (packed with plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants) and I love the nutty flavor and chewy texture!
Its only downfall is that it is a wheat grain so it does have gluten. That said, if you are gluten-free you can still make this salad! Just swap the farro for a gluten-free grain like rice or quinoa.
This farro salad was inspired by a local Greek market called Stella’s here in Richmond. I absolutely love their version and wanted to try recreating it at home.
The delicious combination of Mediterranean flavors, with white beans, mozzarella cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and arugula, makes for such a tasty salad! And the basil vinaigrette is out of this world.
What is Farro?
While farro seems to be gaining popularity in recent years, it has been around for thousands of years! It is a wheat grain that goes by a few names… einkorn (farro piccolo), emmer (farro medio) and spelt (farro grande). Any of these will work for this salad, but emmer is the most common type of farro found in US grocery stores. Before cooking it looks like a wheat berry and after cooking it looks similar to barley. In terms of taste, farro has a mild, nutty flavory and a chewy texture. I love it!
Here’s What You Need
farro – you’ll find dry farro by the other grains in the grocery store. Cook time for the farro will differ based on what variety you buy so you’ll want to follow the instructions on your package.
cannellini beans – also known as white kidney beans. I used canned beans for a shortcut!
sun-dried tomatoes – look for some that are red instead of brownish in color. I’ve found they’re softer and they add a vibrant color to the salad as well.
mini mozzarella balls – also known as pearled mozzarella, these little balls are about the size of marble and are perfect in this salad. If you can’t find mozzarella pearls, you can use larger mozzarella balls and cut them into smaller pieces. It won’t look as pretty, but will still taste delish! If you don’t have mozzarella on hand I bet this salad would be tasty with crumbled feta instead. And you can skip the cheese to make this recipe dairy-free, if needed.
baby arugula – the perfect, zesty green to add to this salad!
sea salt and pepper – to bring all of the flavors together.
basil vinaigrette – a delicious combination of basil, olive oil, red wine vinegar, shallot, sea salt and pepper.
How to Serve Farro Salad
This farro salad could be eaten on its own (it makes a great lunch) or served as a side salad! If you want to add extra protein, it would be delicious with grilled chicken. And if you’re hosting a backyard picnic, it makes an amazing side salad. Here are some other dishes it would pair well with:
I also have to mention that this salad is super kid-friendly. Every time I make it, Olivia (my 20 month old) gobbles it up. She does pick out the arugula, but absolutely loves everything else!
How to Store Leftovers
This salad stores so well! Farro is a heartier grain so I actually think this salad gets better with time. I like to make it a few hours in advance to let the flavors marinate together. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Cook farro according to package. You should end up with a little over 2 cups of cooked farro once cooked and drained. Run under cold water to cool. Drain well.
Add all dressing ingredients into a high powered blender and blend for at least 1 minute, or until basil is really chopped up and dressing is emulsified. Yield: little less than 3/4 cup total
Add cooked farro, cannellini beans, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella balls and arugula into a bowl. Add dressing and toss. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired. Serve right away or chill in the fridge before serving. Recipe will keep up to 3 days in the fridge.
Farro swap: If needed you can use barley instead of farro for this salad.