Farro salad

Farro salad

Insalata di farro

Lauren Bamford

A staple grain of the early Romans, farro is popularly eaten throughout central Italy, in particular Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio, where it’s been growing for centuries and has found its way into traditional soups, salads and even desserts.

In Florence, farro salad is a popular lunchtime dish. It makes a delicious lunch for a warm summer’s day and is often present at picnics, family gatherings and garden parties, as it’s also great for feeding a crowd. It’s one of those dishes that you can adapt to the season – just use what’s on hand or what looks good at the market.


Quantity Ingredient
200g farro
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 zucchini, cubed
2 medium tomatoes
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar, plus extra for drizzling
1 bunch rocket
10-12 basil leaves, torn
100g fresh mozzarelline, (small mozzarella balls, such as bocconcini)


  1. Cook the farro in a large stockpot of boiling water – at least 1 litre – with a pinch of salt. Boil until al dente, about 30 minutes. Check every now and then – depending on the type of farro, this may take a little less or a little longer. Drain the farro and rinse in cold water to cool it down. Set aside to drain and cool completely.
  2. Cook the zucchini in the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat until golden, about 5–7 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and set aside.
  3. Quarter the tomatoes, remove the seeds and chop the flesh. Set aside.
  4. Place the red onion slices in a small bowl with the red-wine vinegar and top with cold water – leave to soak for about 10 minutes to take away a little of the bite. Drain when needed.
  5. Combine all the ingredients in a salad bowl. Toss to combine well. Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar to taste, and season with salt and pepper.


  • Some additional ingredients to consider are grilled, sliced eggplant, blanched green beans, cherry tomatoes, baby English spinach, olives, herbs such as marjoram or mint, and cubes of young pecorino cheese instead of mozzarella. If you want to make this salad a meal in itself, add some good-quality tinned tuna or legumes such as whole cooked chickpeas or cannellini beans.
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