Summer farro salad

Summer farro salad

summer farro salad bowl

I finally got my wish and the weather in Bristol is sizzling hot. Too hot for my Greek-born kitty, who having lived here now for almost 4 years is no longer used to relentless summer heat. It looks as though she has not managed to shed enough of her thick fur as this heatwave has caught her by complete surprise! Poor thing! I hate seeing her suffer so I’ve turned into an annoying helicopter cat mom walking after her with iced filled water bowls, which she sniffs at and walks off. Moments later I catch her drinking remnants of some smelly rainwater from a bucket I left in the garden. Aaaah cats!!

One thing this relentless heat does to me is to force me out of bed at the crazy (for me! I realise that many people get up at this time – I used to) time of 7 am in an effort to keep my newly established running routine going. It’s painful, I am not a morning person in the slightest and I don’t think I will keep this habit once it gets cool again (I tease Duncan that I’ve turned into an annoying morning person who does not understand why everybody isn’t getting up with the sunrise – he is NOT worried) but right now this is the only way I can run without getting a heatstroke. I love sleeping in and I don’t usually have any desire to be up at the crack of dawn but I’ve got to admit there is something nice about it too – the world is nice and quiet and after your run, you get to sit in the garden and hear nothing apart from chirping birds. It’s so nice!

Recipewise, all I am craving in this heat are salads, sorbets (I have one on the go right now) and cold coffees. This salad is surprisingly simple and contains few seasonal ingredients but it’s a joy to eat and thanks to chewy farro and some chickpeas, it’s substantial enough to keep you full for ages. I sometimes vary some of the ingredients by adding in a little fresh fennel or shredded young green cabbage but the core of this salad remains the same and we eat it for lunch all the time so I thought I would share. It has a satisfying mixture of flavours and textures and it’s fragrant with lemon and fresh basil (although mint works nicely too), which I’ve managed to grow from seed for the first time this year and which I am therefore putting into everything right now.

Farro is a lovely grain, traditionally eaten in the Middle East, that makes a great addition to salads. It’s nutty and chewy and doesn’t go soggy. I tend to cook a cup or two ahead of time and then simply use it to bulk up my salads throughout the week. It goes really well with grilled vegetables and it’s easy to cook too – you cook it like pasta, in plenty of water. If you cannot have wheat (farro is a wheat grain) simply swap it out for quinoa, red or wild rice. I hope you’ll enjoy this simple salad as much as we have.

summer farro salad farro raw cooked

summer farro salad tomatoes

summer farro salad zucchini

summer farro salad corn

summer farro salad ingredients

summer farro salad mixing

20 min
20 min
20 min
20 min

  • 120 g / ½ cup dry farro (or quinoa if GF)
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 2 small zucchini, cut into thick slices
  • olive oil
  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper
  • 4 celery sticks (or 2 long stalks)
  • 1 large spring onion
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 10 g / 1/3 oz fresh basil (or mint) leaves, finely shredded


  • 1 garlic finely grated
  • 30-45 ml / 2-3 tbsp lemon juice and zest of 1 lemon, adjust to taste
  • 45 ml / 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 ml / 2 tsp maple syrup
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • mild chilli flakes (I like fine Korean chilli flakes), to taste (optional)


  1. Rinse farro well and cook it in plenty of water until tender but still chewy – I find that 35-40 minutes is the sweet spot. Drain and allow it to cool.
  2. Heat up a griddle pan on a low heat. Brush the corn with a small amount of oil and place on the preheated griddle pan. Grill, turning every few minutes, until cooked and lightly charred all over. Once cool, shave the kernels off with a sharp knife. Start on the dressing while the corn grills.
  3. Brush zucchini with a small amount of oil on both sides, season and place on the hot griddle pan. Allow them to cook undisturbed until you get nice char marks on one side, flip and cook until you get the char marks again. Take the zucchini off the pan and allow them to cool and chop into smaller pieces.
  4. Prepare the remaining vegetables by cutting cherry tomatoes into quarters, pepper and celery sticks into thin slices and mincing the spring onion very finely.
  5. Combine cool farro with chickpeas, grilled zucchini, corn kernels, remaining vegetables and shredded basil in a large bowl.


  1. To make the taste of garlic a little less punchy, combine grated garlic with 2 tbsp of lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside for 10-15 minutes while you crack on with the rest of the salad.
  2. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or a jar with a lid – add another tablespoon of lemon juice if liked. Stir vigorously to combine or put the lid on the jar and shake very well. Season with salt, pepper and chilli to taste.


8 g
12 g
2 g
8 g
37 g
*per serving
How would you rate this recipe?
This is a test string

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

4 reviews, 12 comments
Stunning recipe!! I made it again and skipped some ingredients and steps and it was still a tasty dish and I think even a new staple. I was struggling to adapt to cooking for a full Italian family who have some specific food requirements and its a heatwave and I believe your recipes have me back on track, trying to make all your salads. Thank you so much!!
    Aw, thanks so much Emma! I am delighted to hear that this recipe went down so well with you and your family. And I really appreciate you taking the time to review, thanks so much. x Ania
What a delicious summer salad! I love farro, and I love the chewy texture it adds to this salad. I also really loved that the corn and zucchini are charred- it just adds an extra layer of flavor. I try not to use oil, so I left it out of the dressing and it was still delicious! I can see myself taking this to cookouts and potlucks this summer! Great dish!
    Thank you, Coby! I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed it and plan to make it more often. Massive thanks for taking the time to review, I really appreciate it. x Ania
Allison Smith:
I have made this delicious recipe twice now, and I did 'tweak' it a bit.... When I was making the dressing I still had on the char grill pan so I put the lemon that I was using (cut in half) and char grilled it. When the lemon was all nice and grilled I then juiced it and used it in the dressing, the result was a mellow buy beautiful lemon flavor. Next time you make this you could give this a try and see if you like it. Thank you for another great recipe. Greeting from Australia where it is very hot at the moment (26/1)
    Great idea, Allison - I love just about anything charred. Glad you enjoyed this salad and soooo soooo jealous of your glorious climate! x Ania
Looking forward to try this recipe 🤩 However, I've never seen farro where I live (and I looked around a lot for it), so I was thinking of switching with wheat berries instead.
    Sure, that should work well! Hope you'll enjoy this salad. Ania
Karen Mahoney:
Do you think I could swap the farro for perl barley or spelt? Would they have the right consistency? This looks fab though, I am excited to try!
    Hi Karen,
    Yes, I am pretty sure that both of them would work just as well. x Ania
Really delicious. Lovely summer flavours :-) Thanks so much!
    Thank you, Andy! I'm so happy to hear that! x Ania
This was delicious, thank you. You have a knack for knowing exactly what's in my garden and kitchen at any moment and helping me make something lovely with it! Another reason to look forward to more get-togethers - this would be perfect for a summer potluck.
    Aw, thanks Cathy - I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed it! x Ania
Will be making this soon i never had salad before perfect for my after office meals will dm you if i amke this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya
    My pleasure, hope you'll enjoy it! Ania
Join our mailing list and we we will let you know when we publish a new recipe. You'll receive our DELIGHTFUL DESSERTS E-BOOK as a thank you for supporting us.