This easy Farro Salad with Artichoke Hearts and Feta combines the nutty, hearty flavor of farro with the tangy, briny flavor of artichoke hearts and the salty goodness of feta cheese to create a dish that is both flavorful and delicious. The best part? This salad can be made in just 30 minutes, making it the perfect option for busy weeknights. It’s also incredibly versatile and can be customized by adding other ingredients such as roasted vegetables or grilled chicken.
What is Farro?
Farro is an ancient grain that has been a staple food in Mediterranean cuisine for centuries. It is a type of wheat that is commonly used in salads, soups, and stews. Farro is an excellent source of fiber, protein, and nutrients like magnesium, zinc, and B vitamins. It has a nutty flavor and a chewy texture, similar to barley or brown rice. Farro is also versatile and easy to cook, making it a great ingredient for a variety of dishes. With its health benefits and delicious taste, farro is a popular choice for those looking to add more whole grains to their diet.
Types of Farro
There are three different types of farro available in the market – whole, semi-pearled, and pearled. Each type of farro has its unique texture, flavor, and nutritional profile.
- Whole farro: The least processed form of farro and most nutritious type of farro. This type of farro takes the longest to cook, but it has the most nutrients and fiber. Whole farro takes longer to cook than semi-pearled or pearled farro, about 30-40 minutes, but it has a nuttier flavor and a chewier texture.
- Semi-pearled farro: The middle ground between whole and pearled farro, where some of the outer hull is removed, but not all of it. It has a slightly softer texture than whole farro and a milder flavor and takes about 20-30 minutes to cook.
- Pearled farro: Has had the outer hull removed, which shortens the cooking time but also removes some of the nutrients. It has a softer texture and a milder flavor than whole or semi-pearled farro and takes about 15-20 minutes to cook.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Farro: I use Trader Joe’s 10 Minute Farro for this recipe. It’s perfect because it cooks up in just 10 minutes because it’s pre-cooked. It also has a great chewy texture and delicious nutty taste. However, if you have a different type of farro on hand, don’t worry – you can use that instead!
- Artichoke hearts: I always have a few cans of artichoke hearts in my pantry so that’s what I use in this recipe. Frozen artichoke hearts will work great too.
- Feta cheese: Feta has a creamy and crumbly texture and brings a delightful saltiness and tanginess to the dish. For those looking to mix things up, goat cheese or parmesan cheese can also be great options.
- Parsley and dill: Fresh herbs in this salad is a must. Avoid using dried herbs, as they won’t provide the same depth of taste. Luckily, there are many types of fresh herbs to choose from, so feel free to use your favorite!
- Scallions: Also called green onions. I like to use scallions in this salad because they have a nice, mild onion flavor. You can substitute them for chives, or even a sweet onion like a Vidalia or Walla Walla.
- Lemon juice: Use fresh lemon juice instead of bottled. The flavor of fresh lemon juice is much more bright, fresh and lemony than bottled.
How to Make Farro Salad with Artichoke Hearts and Feta
- Cook farro according to the package directions.
- Let the farro cool until it’s room temperature. You can use this time to chop and prepare the other ingredients.
- In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
- In a large bowl, add the farro, artichoke hearts, parsley, dill, scallions, and half the feta cheese.
- Pour the lemon and olive oil dressing over the farro mixture.
- Using large spoons or salad servers, mix all the ingredients until well combined.
- Let the salad rest for 10-30 minutes to give the flavors time to meld. I usually make this salad and then prepare the other dishes or set the table while the farro salad rests. And sometimes I just can’t wait and I dig right in. It’s up to you!
- Let the farro cool: This salad is ideal served at room temperature and also delicious chilled. After cooking, let the farro come to room temperature before adding the other ingredients. There should be enough time to let the farro cool while you’re preparing the other ingredients.
- Give it time: Once you’ve dressed and mixed the salad, let it sit for 30 minutes so the flavors have time to come together.
- Save some feta: To keep the feta cheese in a farro salad from becoming too soft, only add half before mixing and save the rest for serving. Feta has a crumbly texture that can break down and become soggy in the salad. By adding half first and the rest just before serving, you can maintain its texture and flavor while ensuring it’s evenly distributed.
- Vegan Version: If you are vegan, you can substitute the feta cheese with a vegan cheese alternative, such as tofu feta or a vegan cheese substitute.
- Nutty Flavor: For a nutty flavor, you can add chopped almonds or walnuts to the salad.
- Make it a Meal: Add some protein to this salad like beans, chicken, salmon or tofu to make it a complete meal.
- Leafy Greens: You can add some leafy greens like spinach, arugula, or kale to the salad for an extra boost of nutrients.
- Different Grains: If you don’t have farro, you can use other grains like quinoa, bulgur, or barley to make the salad.
- Swap the Cheese: Use a different cheese like goat cheese, parmesan, or mozzarella.
- Citrusy Flavor: For a citrusy flavor, you can add some orange or grapefruit segments to the salad.
What to Serve it With
- This farro salad makes a wonderful accompaniment to my Danish Breaded Pork Patties (Karbonader).
- It’s a perfect side for grilled chicken, salmon or burgers!
- Make it a part of your Easter spread – it will be part of ours!
- It makes a light side dish for my hearty and delicious Swedish Meatloaf with Caramelized Cabbage (Kålpudding).
- Make it a meal and serve it with some roasted vegetables and garlic bread.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, this recipe is not gluten-free since farro is a type of wheat. However, you can easily make this recipe gluten-free by swapping out the farro for a gluten-free grain like quinoa or brown rice.
This salad is vegetarian, however it’s not vegan because it includes feta cheese, which is a dairy product made from sheep’s milk. However, you can use a vegan alternative to feta cheese, like tofu feta or a vegan cheese substitute to make it vegan.
Farro salad can last in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days if stored in an airtight container.
Yes, you can make this salad ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat. Just be sure to toss it well before serving.
Yes, you can use canned or frozen artichoke hearts in this recipe.
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Easy Farro Salad with Artichoke Hearts and Feta
For the salad:
- 1 cup uncooked farro I use Trader Joe's 10 minute farro
- 1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
- ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
For the dressing:
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cook farro according to package directions.
- Let the farro cool until it's room temperature. You can use this time to chop and prepare the other ingredients.
- Meanwhile, in a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked farro, chopped artichoke hearts, crumbled feta cheese, chopped parsley, and chopped dill.
- Pour the dressing over the farro mixture and toss everything together until well combined.
- Let the salad sit for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- Serve the salad at room temperature, garnished with extra chopped parsley and the remaining crumbled feta cheese, if desired.