Farro Salad With Blue Cheese, Pine Nuts, and Tomatoes Recipe

A full-flavored and refreshing grain salad worthy of your next cookout.

Serving of farro salad with blue cheese, pine nuts, and tomatoes served inside a bowl

Serious Eats / Qi Ai

Why This Recipe Works

  • Simmering the farro with onion, garlic, and carrot imparts a subtle savoriness and a hint of sweetness.
  • Cooking the farro until just barely tender preserves its texture when tossed with the vinaigrette.

In this simple recipe, farro is simmered with onion, garlic, and carrot to impart extra flavor. Then it's combined with a host of fresh ingredients: juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs, all of which are tied together with red wine vinaigrette, pine nuts, and crumbled blue cheese.

The key to good farro is to avoid cooking it too long. My package directions said 30 minutes, but that landed me with swollen, overcooked grains. In my case, 20 minutes did the trick, but the bottom line with all grains is keeping an eye on the pot and trusting your taste.

Once the farro is drained and cooled, simply toss in your chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, along with a fresh, aromatic handful of basil, parsley, and thyme. Finish it off with the nuts, cheese, and vinaigrette and you'll find yourself with a cool, refreshing summer salad that's more than worthy of your next backyard barbecue.

July 2014

Recipe Details

Farro Salad With Blue Cheese, Pine Nuts, and Tomatoes Recipe

Active 15 mins
Total 35 mins
Serves 6 servings

A full-flavored and refreshing grain salad worthy of your next cookout.


For the Vinaigrette:

  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad:

  • 10 ounces farro (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 4 cups water

  • 1 small white or yellow onion, quartered

  • 1 medium clove garlic, smashed

  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into large chunks

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

  • 1 medium tomato, chopped

  • 1 small seedless cucumber, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup minced, fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced, fresh lemon thyme or regular thyme

  • 3 ounces crumbled blue cheese

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. For the Vinaigrette: Whisk together ingredients for the vinaigrette in a small bowl, seasoning generously with salt and pepper. Reserve.

    Minced garlic, red wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper whisked together in a small bowl

    Serious Eats / Qi Ai

  2. For the Salad: Place farro and water in a medium saucepan with onion, garlic, carrot, and 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer until farro is just tender, about 20 minutes (see notes). Drain, discard onion, garlic, and carrot and transfer to a bowl to cool.

    Farro, water, onion, garlic, carrot, and 2 teaspoons of salt being brought to a boil inside medium saucepan over medium-high heat

    Serious Eats / Qi Ai

  3. Gently fold remaining salad ingredients into cooled farro. Add vinaigrette, starting with a few tablespoons at a time. Taste, season with salt and pepper, and add additional vinaigrette as needed. Serve immediately.

    Remaining salad ingredients gently folded into cooled farro, with vinaigrette added

    Serious Eats / Qi Ai


Be careful not to overcook the farro. You want it to stand up to the vinaigrette, so remove it from the heat just when it loses its bite.

Make-Ahead and Storage

You can cook the farro ahead of time and refrigerate it. However, it's best to dress the salad shortly before serving it, ideally at room temperature.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
368 Calories
21g Fat
38g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 368
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 11mg 4%
Sodium 700mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 6g 23%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 10mg 49%
Calcium 115mg 9%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 394mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)