Both barley and farro are ancient grains and packed with mighty nutrients! These include dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, niacin, thiamin, and zinc.
Each brings a slight crunch and nutty flavor to this summer salad recipe as well. Really, the grains perfectly complement the flavors of fresh veggies, which are tied together with a homemade vinaigrette.
So whether needing for a gathering or wanting for home, give this light and delicious summer farro salad a go!
Summer Barley & Farro Salad Recipe
Yield: 8 servings
Nutrition per serving: 150 calories, 7 g fat, 3 g protein, 22 g total carb, 4 g fiber
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
*Note: cook grains ahead of time for quick day-of assembly or look for pre-cooked grains in your local grocery store's frozen aisle
Total time: 10 minutes
• 1 cup barley, cooked and chilled*
• 1 cup farro, cooked and chilled*
• 1 cucumber, chopped
• 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
• 1 zucchini, chopped
• 1 medium red onion, diced
• 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
• Handful of fresh basil, chopped
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
• 1 lemon, juiced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• Salt and pepper to taste
1. Prepare the barley and farro according to package instructions or see our tips below. Allow ample time to cool before assembling salad or prepare up to 3 days ahead of time and store in the refrigerator.
2. In a large bowl, add barley, farro, cucumber, red bell pepper, zucchini, sun-dried tomato, and basil.
3. In a medium bowl, add olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and oregano. Whisk until fully incorporated and season with salt and pepper as desired.
4. Drizzle atop grains and vegetables then toss to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Prepare the salad at least 3 hours ahead of time so the flavors have time to mingle.
How to Cook Barley and Farro for the Salad
Cooking barley and farro is similar to cooking rice - boiling water, allowing to simmer, and so on. Follow this simple recipe to ensure the grains cook to perfection each time.
• 2 cups farro
• 6 to 6 1/2 cups water or broth**
1. Before cooking the farro, add into a fine-mesh sieve and rinse with cold water. Drain.
2. Transfer farro to a medium pot. Add cups water or stock and bring to a boil over high heat.
3. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until farro is tender.
**Using broth elevates the flavor of the grains. Use a low-sodium option to moderate salt intake as well.
Follow the same proportions when cooking barley, including 2 cups barley and 6 to 6 1/2 cups water or broth. Cook time also depends on the type of barley:
• Pearled barley, which is easier to find and used most often in recipes. Cook for about 45 minutes.
• Hulled barley can be used in place of pearled barley. It is important to note, though, you will need to increase the cooking time to about 90 minutes.
Taken together, add grains and water together and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until tender, adding more water as needed.
Make the Summer Farro Salad Your Own
Farro and barley are versatile grains that can harness many flavors. So during the summer months, have fun exploring a local farmers market or grocery store for in-season produce!
Fresh ingredients to add in the salad may include:
• Feta cheese
• Kalamata olives
• Summer squash
• Yellow cherry tomatoes
Adding pistachios, sunflower seeds, and other nuts and seeds offer a slight crunch and some healthy fat.
The dish is versatile in regards to its serving temperature as well. It can be enjoyed chilled, warm, or even at room temperature.