Quick and Easy

Crispy Farro and Tomato Salad

July 31, 2018
16 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves 2 (is easily scalable!)
Author Notes

For a whole new summer grain salad experience, broil farro until it's crackly and crispy, toss with parsley, parmesan, and lemon zest, then scatter over the ripest, juiciest tomatoes you have. Repeat all summer long.

A few notes:
—Substitute other grains for the farro (freekeh, wheat berries, spelt, and quinoa are favorites of mine).
—Use leftover or freshly prepared grains (fully cooled).
—For best results, cook the grains like pasta in a pot of heavily salted water to minimize the amount of moisture they retain. They’ll crisp better this way, and cook faster, too.

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup cooked farro (leftover or freshly prepared and fully cooled; see headnote)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley (dried well if damp)
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan, plus more for finishing
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, or to taste
  • 2 large tomatoes (1 to 1 1/4 pounds), cored and thinly sliced--or use a mix of different colors, shapes, and sizes
  1. Heat the broiler with an oven rack about 4 to 5 inches from the heating element. Toss the cooked farro on a sheet pan with the olive oil and a few pinches of salt, then spread into an even layer. Broil for a few minutes, or until you hear a faint sizzle and popping sound. Stir, spread out, and broil for a few minutes longer. Repeat until the farro is lightly toasted and crispy-chewy in texture, about 5 minutes in total. (Better to err on under- vs. over-toasting; broil too long and the farro will get too hard and dry.) Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. When ready to serve, toss the crispy farro with the parsley, Parmesan, and lemon zest. Arrange the tomatoes on a large platter and season with sea salt. Sprinkle some of the crispy farro over the tomatoes (making sure that the tomatoes aren’t hidden), and spoon the rest around the tomatoes. To finish the salad, grate a little Parmesan and drizzle a little more olive oil over the tomatoes, if desired.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • KKD
  • Cheryl
  • EmilyC
  • joanna

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

8 Reviews

KKD October 14, 2021
Excellent. Thank you.
joanna October 5, 2019
I have been toasting different whole grains for sometime and have used them in salads. They add a nutty flavor without nuts and a healthy dose of carbs and fiber.
Cheryl September 16, 2018
I burned the farro the first time. Second time worked. Next time I would adhere to the "lightly" part of the toasting and maybe the farro wouldn't be quite as hard. All delicious. Instead of parsley, I used chopped basil. Felt the lemon zest was superfluous.
EmilyC September 16, 2018
Hi Cheryl! You’re right—the texture is best when lightly toasted. Take it too far, and it will be too hard/dry. I’ll add an extra note in the instructions to better convey this. So glad it worked in the end! : )
Shyla September 9, 2018
This is a great recipe but seems disingenuous to not credit Smitten Kitchen since she just published it last week.
EmilyC September 10, 2018
Hi Shyla: I’m not familiar with the Smitten Kitchen recipe you mentioned! I came up with the grain-crisping technique while working on Mighty Salads several years ago and then thought to use the grains with tomatoes earlier this summer.
Shyla September 10, 2018
Thanks for taking the time to reply. It’s a pet peeve of mine when credit isn’t given where it’s due. (Journalist in me). Sounds like I’m mistaken here - like I said, love the recipe. Such a fun, fresh take on tomatoes. Cheers!
Mary W. September 7, 2018
Why won’t your recipes print out anymore? I get big black stars even when I’m signed in.