Written by: Natalie Faella, MS, RDN, LDN | April 1, 2022
OK, so I know I've said this before, but THIS might be my favorite make-ahead salad. I just love farro. It's such a hearty, satisfying, doughy, and delicious little grain. And I think I was inspired to incorporate more mint into my life after enjoying a few (glorious) mojitos on the beach in Florida at my BFFs wedding last month. And I'm SO glad I did! (Add mint to this recipe, and enjoy those mojitos!).
The mix of flavors and textures come together very well in this salad. You have the crunchy celery, hydrating cucumber, kick from red onion, savory and satisfying chickpeas, farro, and feta, and of course the deliciously refreshing mint.
It is vegetarian, and loaded with nutrients like protein, fiber, magnesium, zinc, B-vitamins, iron, and other powerful little micronutrients.
You can enjoy this salad as it is with the addition of your favorite dressing, or as a salad topper on a bed of greens. I also like mixing it up with some additional toppings like tempeh, avocado, and pumpkin seeds. The tempeh will give you an extra boost of protein while the avocado and seeds provide some healthy fats and micronutrients like potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, and zinc. More on the dressings and some pictures of how I've enjoyed this salad below!
The best part about this salad: not only is it SUPER easy to make, but it also makes for an easier week because you can prep it ahead in bulk and enjoy it all week long.
This recipe makes a huge bowl (for reference, one that is just over 13" in diameter) that Pete and I share for lunches or dinners over the course of a week. You may want to cut it in half if just you will be enjoying it, or if you want to give it a test run, first!
2 Cups (uncooked) Farro — I usually use Bob's Red Mill but any farro will do!
1 Large Cucumber
4 Large Celery Stalks
1/2 Red Onion
1 Can Chickpeas
1 Bunch of Mint
Feta (the more feta, the betta!)
Cook farro and let cool. I usually wait about 5-10 minutes then put the farro in the fridge while I prep the rest of the ingredients. Note: farro can take a little while to cook (about 30 minutes or so). This could be a great time to play around with making your own dressing if you're interested; or just relax — you deserve it!
Strain and rinse chickpeas and let them dry. I usually just put them on a paper towel-covered plate while I prep the rest of the ingredients.
Chop cucumbers and celery stalks into about pinky-finger-tip size pieces.
Finely chop red onion and mint.
Once the farro has cooled, transfer to a large bowl and mix in cucumbers, celery, chickpeas, onions, mint, and feta.
Add your favorite dressings, additional toppings, etc., and enjoy for up to a week!
For the Dressing
I really love this salad with a honey dijon lemon dressing. I make my own and unfortunately do not have a recipe — I just kind of keep playing around with proportions of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, dijon mustard, and honey until it tastes good. This recipe from Love & Lemons looks similar to what I do, but has the addition of garlic, which I'm sure would also be delicious. I also really like Whole Food's Herbes de Provence dressing and Tessemae's Lemon Garlic dressing with this salad, too.
Note: I don't add dressing until I'm about to eat the salad (i.e., I don't prep the large bowl of the farro salad with dressing) to avoid wilting mint and soggy veggies as it sits in the fridge all week. If you are making the Love & Lemons recipe, I think it would help to at least double it so it will last you for the week!
Take a Look At the Process!
Pro tip: halve your celery stalks and store them in water in the fridge so they'll last longer!
Because chopped veggies are just so aesthetically pleasing (at least to me):
Everything is ready to go!
Ready to mix it up (I add the feta separately to my bowls because Pete is not a fan):
All mixed together (besides feta). Just give me a big spoon...
Here it is with just dressing added. It's delicious on its own, but keep scrolling for some other ways I've enjoyed it...
Farro salad + sweet baby lettuces + tempeh:
All of the above + pumpkin seeds for extra crunch!
Farro salad + arugula + avocado:
If you try this recipe, let me know what you think in the comments or reach out on the contact page! And subscribe to stay tuned for more recipes and more of my anti-diet approach to nutrition, health, & wellness.