Farro Tomato Salad with Basil and Mint is a Flavor BOMB of a salad! Chewy, nutty farro with roasted cherry tomatoes, shredded basil and mint all topped with feta and a tangy dressing! Oh, so good! Lunch, dinner or side!
I love healthy foods, don’t you? … Healthy foods? …. Yes? No? Does that phrase make you think of bland-tasting, texture-free, unsatisfying foods? Because I’m here to say there are so many healthy foods that, when prepared well, have flavor that rivals (or exceeds!?!) some of the foods of lesser health value. I know that may sound like blah, blah-blah, blah-bla. But, let me explain…
These are the types of foods I love – ones that are so full of flavor they make you stop in your tracks. Those with unexpected ingredients or combinations that are MORE than the simple sum of their flavors. I used to sell pharmaceuticals and there was this one combination of medicines that was more than the sum of its parts. What I mean by this is that if medicine A resulted in 30% of people responding and B resulted in 40% responding, when you combined A+B, you might expect 50-60% responding (overlap happens). But, in our case, maybe 80% of people responded. We called A+B a “synergistic” combination, because it was more than the sum of its parts. I love synergy, don’t you?
And that’s where this Farro Tomato Salad comes in! It’s totally MORE than the sum of its parts. In every way. Flavor, nutrition, satisfaction – all right here!
Farro, also known as Emmer – is high in protein – 10 g per cooked cup, and high in fiber as well. Nutty, chewy, satisfying. In this salad, the farro is toasted, for extra nuttiness. Slightly charred cherry tomatoes create a tantalizing and gorgeous sweet flavor for the fluffy farro. Add some sharp, crisp red onions and a tangy vinaigrette. Top it all off with a chiffonade (see this How to Chiffonade video – it will change your how you cut herbs!) of fresh earthy, sweet, basil and mint. Add some chunks of salty, creamy feta, and you’ve got a FLAVOR BOMB!
This salad makes a satisfying lunch or dinner, or a great side dish for any meal! Definitely more than the sum of its parts. One-fifth of the recipe, which is a nice-size lunch portion, has only 350 calories, 10 grams protein, lots of fiber an healthy fats! Synergy!
So, create some synergy in YOUR life! Make this awesome Farro Roasted Tomato Salad! It makes a lovely lunch, dinner, or side dish. You can thank me later.
Looking for other farro recipes?
Healthy Bowl with Lime-Tahini Dressing
Vegan-Adaptable Sweet Potato Farro Salad
Red Lentil Farro Sweet Potato Soup
Autumn Bowl with Honey Balsamic Dressing
How about some other salads?
Chicken Salad with Buttermilk Green Goddess Dressing
Couscous Bowl with Sumac Onions
Recipe Tips ->
This Farro Roasted Tomato Salad is so versatile. You can add additional veggies if you want, or make the dressing using some optional variations, described below. But it all starts with making the best farro!
How to make the best Farro: You can go by the directions on the package, or get the quick-cooking variety that just takes 10 minutes. But for the longer-cook variety (30 minute), I recommend following some of the tips from the BA Test Kitchen, mentioned in Tips for Cooking Grains. The best recommendations are to:
Toast the grain first. I just heated a saute pan over Medium Heat, while my water was coming to a boil, and toasted the farro for about 5-6 minutes. You’ll need to stir it often until it is a bit darker in color, and smells nice and nutty. Just be careful not to burn it! But a nice toast – so worth it!
Cook in ample water. You can cook the farro the way you cook pasta, in that you don’t need to measure the water, and get the right proportion of grain-to-water. This is because you want to cook the farro until it is nice and chewy and let is absorb all the water it can until it’s done. Then remove it from the water so it doesn’t become “gummy” or “sticky”. I used farro that said to cook for 30 minutes, so I set it at a low boil for 30 minutes and then drained it well.
Once the farro is cooked, drain it well. When the farro is drier, it will absorb sauces well, and will also be fluffier. Both are nice in a salad. If you’re making it in advance, be sure to chill the dried farro, as this also helps it dry and be fluffy.
While the farro cooks, go ahead and roast your tomatoes. Just drizzle them with about a tablespoon of olive oil, spread them out on a Sheetpan, add a bit of salt and pepper, and into a 400F oven for 20-25 minutes. When you see the tops charring a bit, its time to take them out of the oven!
Then mix those fabulous toasty and a bit saucy cherry tomatoes with the farro, add some sliced red onion and a quick vinaigrette and top with fresh basil and mint and some feta cheese! And you’ve got the most fabulous Farro Tomato Salad!
Want a Vegan salad? Just omit the feta cheese or substitute your favorite crumbly vegan cheese.
Need extra protein? Feel free to add strips of chicken breast, tofu, or steak for an additional boost of protein.
Don’t have White Balsamic Vinegar? Feel free to substitute White Wine Vinegar, or for a bit of extra Zing, substitute Seasoned Rice Vinegar!
Serve warm? Serve cold? Room temperature? Yes, Yes, Yes! Always delicious!
Lunch? Dinner? Side dish? This recipe will make 4-6 hearty servings or 8-10 side servings.
So, make the wildly flavorful salad! So many ways to make it your own!
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Farro Tomato Salad with Basil and Mint
The most flavorful salad to celebrate the flavors of tomatoes and fresh herbs! Starts with protein- and fiber-filled Farro, roasted tomatoes! Add in some fresh herbs and feta cheese and a super-tasty dressing and I can’t get enough! So tasty, so healthy!
Nutrition information is for 1/5 of recipe, a large serving.
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 30 min
- Total Time: 45 min
- Yield: 4–6 large servings, or 10 side-dish servings 1x
- Category: Salad
- Method: Stovetop, Oven
- Cuisine: International
- 1 1/2 c (270g) Farro (Emmer)
- 1 lb (454 g, 3 cups) Fresh Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 T (15ml) Olive Oil (any type)
- 1/4 Medium Red Onion, super-thin-sliced
- 1/2 c Chopped Fresh Basil
- 1/3 c Chopped Fresh Mint
- 1/2 c Crumbled Feta Cheese
- 1/4 c White Balsamic (or White Wine) Vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 c Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 400F.
Cook the Farro
- Fill a large (4-5 qt/litre) saucepan about 2/3 full with water. Sprinkle 1 tsp salt into the water. Turn the heat on to heat the water to boil.
- (optional but recommended) While water is heating, toast the farro, if desired. Heat a large frypan or saute pan over medium heat. Once hot, toast the farro, stirring often, until fragrant and nutty-smelling, about 4-5 minutes.
- Pour the toasted farro into the boiling water and maintain a low boil for about 30 minutes until farro is fully cooked but still chewy. Drain well.
- While the farro boils, place the tomatoes on a baking sheet. Cut the larger ones in half. Coat with 1 Tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper. Place the sheet pan in the preheated oven until tomatoes begin to char, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- Mix the charred tomatoes, onion slices with the farro.
- Make the dressing. In a small (8 oz) jar, add the mustard and sugar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the vinegar and Extra-Virgin Olive oil. Cover with lid, and shake vigorously. Add more salt and pepper, if desired.
- Pour half he dressing over the farro mixture. Mix in the feta cheese, chopped basil and mint. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle remaining dressing over the salad and mix well. Serve warm, room temperature or cold.
- Serving Size: 1/5 recipe
Keywords: Farro Tomato Salad, Roasted Tomato salad, Tomato salad with Basil and Mint, Farro, Tomatoes, Roasted Tomatoes, warm Farro tomato salad, How to cook farro, how to roast tomatoes
My mouth is watering at the thought of all the flavours in this salad Laura. It’s right up our street as I love to cook and eat as healthy as possible for Lynne and I. I’ll have to get me some Farro. Looks and seems a bit like Pearl Barley? Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks, Neil! Glad you like this salad. the combination of flavors is one of my favorites! And, yes, do try farro! It looks like barley, but I find it a bit firmer, chewier, and nuttier. Also the protein and fiber are difficult to beat! Hope you get the chance to try it!
Dennis Yannakos says
Craving for tomato salad! Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks, Dennis! It’s definitely a keeper. thanks so much!
mimi rippee says
This is fabulous. I love the mint in this – reminiscent of tabbouleh. I tend to forget about farro, and freekeh, and bulgar. I have no idea why. I just usually go directly to pasta or whole grains i’ve cooked for years, like barley. They’re all fantastic, and I need to spread the love!
Mimi! I totally get that! Farro is my go-to the way you use barley and bulgar. I love its chewy texture and nutty flavor. But thanks! Yes, the mint and basil here totally make the flavor of the dish. But, yes, spread the love. I’ll try to as well!
I do love healthy foods that taste good too and the first things that come to my mind looking at your salad are healthy, hearty, and scrumptious! I really love the addition of basil and mint.
Thanks, Balvinder! Mint and Basil are a combination I just love! Especially in a hearty dish like this!
All That I'm Eating says
I love farro but I am yet to cook it at home. This is such a delicious summery dish.
Thanks so much, Caroline! Farro, like other grains, is easy to cook! The quick-cookie time takes only a few minutes, but I have to say, I prefer the traditional, 30-minute (or longer) type! Hope you get the chance to make some farro!
This looks like the perfect end-of-summer salad. The ingredient combination is delicious. I love the nutty flavor of farro and it such a filling dish
Thanks, Rahul! I agree, and farro is by”far” (!) my favorite grain to use in this type of dish!
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
I love the nuttiness and texture of farro and your recipe looks great. BTW, I haven’t been able to comment for months but hopefully this has been fixed and my comment goes through.
Karen! So good to hear from you! I think our issue has something to do with the different WordPress versions out there. I loved your rib recipe and can’t wait to try out that Carolina Sauce! Yum! I was unable to comment, but will keep trying! Glad you were able to get through!
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
Thank you Laura. I contacted Askimet and they did some tweaks. I’m mow able to comment on a lot of blogs that I couldn’t before but not on everyone. 😊
Karen – thanks for letting me know, I’ll do the same! appreciate the tip!
David @ Spiced says
Haha! I love how you worked “synergistic combination” into this post. Well done! And for the record I totally agree with you. I love recipes where the finished version is greater than the sum of the parts. This recipe certainly sounds amazing! Healthy recipes often carry a boring connotation, but this recipe is anything but boring. And I love the charred tomatoes angle, too!
Thanks, David! I started off with trying to find something to do with the overload of cherry tomatoes I had, so I almost tossed them in raw. But, then, I thought of charring them a bit, since it would create not only a great flavor but also add some sauciness to the farro! Glad you’re a fan! And a fan of a syneergistic combination!!
Katherine | Love In My Oven says
I do love healthy foods! And when I think of healthy I think of something like this, a dish loaded up with goodness with a lot of color and flavor! We have so much basil, it would be perfect in this. And farro adds such a nice chewy texture!
Hey, Katherine! I agree, this is a wonderful healthy way to get lots of flavor. and it’s also a party of awesome texture! Hopefully some of your basil will find its way to nice farro salad soon! thanks for visiting!
Ben | Havocinthekitchen says
When people say salads are boring and bland, it is obvious to me they haven’t discovered the ways to make it super exciting yet. It is also unfortunate that many people still treat a salad a side dish (often just some sad greens and dressing) while it could be a stunning main course. You’ve just proved a a salad could be healthy yet satisfying, stunning and scrumptious! Love the combo of nutty farro, feta, tomatoes, and herbs!
Thanks so much, Ben! I love a main dish salad. It’s always so satisfying and I always feel good about it! And you’re right there are so many equally healthy ways to improve the flavor of simple ingredients!
Kim Lange says
I love healthy foods way better! I agree, it doesn’t have to be bland. This salad sounds amazing and I love the addition of the mint! Pinning!
My goal is for people to hear “YUM!” at the same time they think of healthy foods! And, I totally agree with your comment on the mint! Mint + basil is a match for the ages! So delicious! Thanks for the PIN!
Ancient grains like farro are so good and farro and farro and freekeh are two of my favorite. I love the chewiness of the cooked grain so I know farro must be wonderful in your farro and tomato salad. The addition of herbs and the dressing surely must make your salad greater than the sum of it’s parts….
Thanks, Ron! I love farro for all those reasons, too! Im going to have to try freakeh, it’s one I’ve not yet experimented with, so I look forward to that!
Kelly @ Kelly Lynn’s Sweets and Treats says
I love farro! And the combination of flavors in this sounds amazing!
Thanks so much, Kelly! I’m a farro fan, too! It’s definitely my favorite of the ancient grains. Although there are a few I haven’t tried yet. So, stay tuned….