summer farmers market farro salad

This recipe is from a magazine page that I ripped out and stuck in a file of things to try- that was in the olden days- before Pinterest!  For the most part I like to adapt the recipes I find and it’s kind of nice to use the paper from the torn out magazine recipe to write the notes for my changes.  I also still like to look at magazine and cook book photos.  I’m not ready to give up paper yet.  The article where I found my  salad recipe is called Tuscan Cooking 101 from a 2009  edition of Food and Wine.  My Summer salad features farro which is similar to barley and is grown, among other places, in certain mountain regions in Tuscany.  I like to think of myself in Tuscany enjoying a plate of summer farmers market farro salad at an outdoor cafe while on vacation with my husband.  We would order small espressos for dessert, lingering for a short while before heading out for an afternoon of exploring in the Tuscan countryside.  Just a thought.  I have a few ideas for salads to try over the Summer and many of those ideas are inspired from visits to our local farmers markets.  Although the  basil and sweet Italian pepper I sliced into this salad came from my own vegetable garden.  I’m still waiting on the tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers.  I planted my vegetables a little late this year and this cooler weather we’re experiencing right now is slowing things down a bit.  So, I’m off to the farmers market tonight in search of berries for a pie and hopefully my grandkids.

summer farro salad

Yield: 8 servings

Salad is best served right after adding dressing. This recipe is adapted from Food and wine.


  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 small fennel bulb, quartered
  • 12 ounces or 1 & 3/4 cups farro
  • 5 cups water
  • Sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 small cucumber, seeds removed and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Italian pepper, sliced in thin rings
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan.
  2. Add the yellow onion, carrot and fennel, cover and cook over medium low heat until barely soft.
  3. Add the farro and stir to coat with olive oil.
  4. Add the water and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes until farro is barely tender, season with salt.
  6. Continue to cook covered for 10 more minutes, drain the farro and remove the vegetables.
  7. Let cool completely.
  8. In a large bowl whisk together the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil with the vinegar, season with salt and pepper.
  9. Fold in the farro, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes, Italian pepper and basil.
  10. Season with salt and pepper.

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  1. Lovely salad!!! perfect for eating al fresco.
    The pictures are charming and tempting.

  2. Beautiful salad, Patty! I think Frances Mayes would be happy to serve this alfresco at Bramasole, so we can all picture ourselves in Tuscany while we dine :).

    • pattysfood says:

      Laura, your comment made me laugh! Isn’t it fun to have a rich fantasy life when it comes to dining;-)

  3. Nice salad Patty, like the ingredients in it…perfect as a meal :)
    Awesome pictures as always…hope you are enjoying your week!

  4. Just gorgeous, Patty! And I LOVE your new blog layout! I’ve never made a salad with Farro, but it looks like a great alternative to Rice.

    • pattysfood says:

      Thanks Susan, farro is a wonderful alternative to rice, I think it makes a salad substantial enough to enjoy as a meal.

  5. This with a glass of wine would be the perfect summer meal. I love all the fresh veggies in here. Unfortunately hubby wouldn’t come near this :( I made a Quinoa salad tonight with lots of the same veggies and he ate 2 bites and was done. But I might have to try it for lunch!

  6. such a beautiful salad Patty. I just recently cooked with farro for the first time and will definitely try it again.

  7. Hi Patty! I have gotten behind on so many of the blogs I enjoy, including yours, so this is the first I’ve seen of your renovation. I love your blog’s new look! This salad also looks perfect for the summertime. I remember making this when that magazine issue originally came out. I lost track of the recipe, but now, I can make your version. Hope you are having a great summer so far.

  8. What a simply PERFECT summer salad! I love farro and it just adds that richness to anything. I need to make this salad. Just got back from getting my cut and color and stopped at Whole Foods and your salad would be a perfect addition to their selections. Hope you are doing well!

  9. It’s a good thing that I love salads, because we’ll be eating a lot of them when we return from our trip (tomorrow). I love the chewy texture and nutty flavor of farro and all the veggies make this a lovely summer main! Tuscany here I come :)

  10. Oh yes, I remember those days of tear sheets and recipe folders! I also remember the days of film developing, which I am so glad is now gone! The digital age really helped us all share and blog easily, without causing more harm to trees! Thanks for sharing your market-fresh farro salad. Lovely photographs! Now, I will pin it on my virtual file!

  11. What a delightful and delicious farro salad! Love those photos.

  12. If just the name of the salad didn’t entice me (it did) the photographs blew me away. Just beautiful!

  13. gorgeous pictures Patty, I find it difficult to take a great photo of salad sometimes but you did this perfectly! I will have to put this on my to make list, thanks for the recipe and have a nice rest of the week.

  14. Just clicked over from Rosemary’s blog, and again I see another delicious summer salad. I love farro and it’s so good for you…very healthy. Love how you combined it with the colorfrul veggies. This is a perfect summer ligtht lunch that I would even eat rolled up in a tortilla wrap!

  15. mmm..what a beautiful, fresh and colorful salad! I love the recipe, and it’s must try! Thanks Patty for sharing this, can’t wait to try it!

  16. I still love my magazines and books and will always be ripping out recipes. This salad looks like a keeper!

  17. How I love this salad Patty! It does give you thoughts of relaxing, looking at the rolling Tuscan hills and taking life easy. I would like that one too please!

  18. What a fabulus salad, and your photos really do transport me to Tuscany. I love cooking magazines and books – I will never give them up!

  19. What a gorgeous salad!

  20. This salad really shows what summer is all about. I love all the ingredients and looks very refreshing! I used to collect those magazine cut outs too. It was more tedious work to organize them. Pinterest is great but I used to enjoy looking at my collection on my hand…sometimes it’s nice to have it just like albums. :-)

  21. Bella questa insalata…..

  22. I used to rip out recipes, too, and it wasn’t that long ago! This one looks like it was worth the wait.

  23. I’m with you Patty – I love Pinterest and searching the web but I love my magazines too! This salad looks fabulous – I’m pinning it to serve at the beach this summer! Thanks!

  24. Hi Patty,
    I do the same thing too with food magazines. Actually I have a huge stack beside me of food magazines and cutouts:) The salad looks incredible and perfect for this hot weather. Don’t think I’ve ever tried farro, it looks like wheat berries and I’ve had those. Maybe I could use them if I can’t find farro?

  25. Patty, This salad looks so fantastic…I love whole grains! I’m with you…I’m not ready to give up paper yet either. Love the feel of a new book or magazine!!

  26. I have never used farro in a salad before. This is just a gorgeous salad Patty…beautiful!

  27. A great summer salad,light and airy. Perfect for the putside dining table, great way to go instead of rice. Thanks Patty!

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