A delicious whole grain farro salad with feta cheese, roasted eggplant and sweet cherry tomatoes.
Here’s a hearty vegetarian salad to add to your healthy meal rotation — a farro bowl full of roasted vegetables, fresh mint and feta cheese. This one-dish meal features vibrant Mediterranean ingredients like eggplant, tomatoes and feta and it’s seasoned with aromatic cumin and coriander spices.
Like all good main dish salads, this farro bowl recipe is an easy one to make ahead. Enjoy it warm, at room temperature or keep it in the fridge to pack for lunch the next day.
To make the salad, the farro cooks on the stovetop while the vegetables roast in the oven. And conveniently, they take about the same amount of time to cook (25 minutes) — that’s a win-win in my book.
I’m little obsessed with farro and consider it an essential staple in my pantry. I actually use it so often that I buy it in bulk (it’s more economical that way) and store it a big glass jar.
Farro is an ancient variety of wheat with a mild, nutty taste and a pleasing bite. It’s not at all chewy and each grain keeps its shape, which is a must in a salad like this.
How to cook farro
Farro can be cooked just like pasta in a pot of boiling water until tender. But since I wanted to add an extra layer of flavor in this salad, I prepare the farro like a pilaf, with olive oil, seasonings and just the right amount of liquid.
Cooked farro keeps well up to a week in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Other farro recipes to try:
mediterranean farro bowl with roasted vegetables and feta
Yield 4 - 8 servings
This hearty farro bowl packs up nicely for lunch or to bring to a potluck
The recipe serves 4 as a main dish or up to 8 as a side.
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 1/4 cups farro
- 2 1/2 cups water
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 small eggplants (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint (or substitute basil, Italian parsley or a mixture of all three)
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees, with the racks arranged in the center. Line 2 small rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- While the oven is preheating, put 2 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and add the shallot, garlic, cumin, coriander and cayenne. Cook until the shallot is softened, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add the farro, water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and cover. Cook until the water is absorbed and the farro is tender, about 25 minutes.
- Toss the eggplant, red onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt on one baking sheet and season to taste with black pepper. Repeat with the tomatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt on the second baking sheet.
- Roast the vegetables for 20 - 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. The eggplant should be softened and golden brown and the tomatoes juicy and wrinkled.
- Transfer the farro to the baking sheets, dividing it equally. Spread it out on the pan and let everything cool 15 minutes.
- When ready to serve, scrape the farro and the vegetables into a large bowl and add the lemon juice. Sprinkle the mint and feta over the salad and toss gently.
Courses salad/side dish