Winter Farro Salad with Feta and Citrus Vinaigrette has a lot going on. The chewy texture of farro contrasts with the crisp winter fruit. Feta gives it just that little bit of zestiness needed. And the nuts and seeds give it enough crunch to make this a well-rounded salad that is as much at home as a side on your dinner table, or as the star of the show at a picnic. You are going to love this great recipe and the addition of this delicious grain to your rotation.
Winter Farro Salad with Feta and Citrus Vinaigrette
I am a wee bit late to the whole farro game.
I mean I use quinoa ALL the time.
I have millet, sorghum, and barley on regular rotation when dinner time comes.
So the ancient grain whole grains game is strong in the Whole Food Bellies house, but somehow this particular grain hasn't received much love.
I did, however, happen upon some 10 Minute Farro at TJ's last month and just had to give it a whirl. Happy to say, it was well-received and is now one of our favorite grains and a new member of our grain rotation (thank goodness TJ's has the quick-cooking version!)
This is one 'cheat' I am happy to take on board.
I just LOVE adding fruit to my salads, and fresh winter fruit makes such a great addition to contrast the nutty flavor of the farro.
Oranges are rampant right now, so I paired them with some chopped pears, and dried cranberries, along with some nuts and seeds for the ultimate light winter feast.
You will need:
- farro: we use par-cooked quick farro for this recipe, but if you only have dried uncooked farro then you can easily use that. If you cannot get your hands on farro then brown rice is a great alternative;
- orange: any type of orange will work, but I find the sweeter varieties better for salads like this;
- pear: whatever pear is in season will be fine;
- celery stalks;
- unsweetened dried cranberries: you can use sweetened cranberries if that is what you have, I just prefer unsweetened for adding to salads as the sweetened variety can be a bit overpowering;
- pumpkin seeds;
- orange and thyme dressing: this is a homemade salad dressing, however, you can use a vinaigrette of choice if preferred and simply add some lemon juice and orange juice and mix it all together;
- feta cheese: you want the creamy version that crumbles easily;
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to serve.
Some optional extras I like to throw in from time to time include finely chopped red onion, bell peppers, fresh herbs such as fresh basil, and chopped juicy tomatoes.
Can This Farro Salad Recipe Be Made Ahead Of Time?
Winter Farro Salad is great for making ahead of time and serving up for lunch throughout the week.
If this is your plan, I would make the salad but keep the dressing separate and just drizzle over the top before serving. Otherwise, you run the risk of sogginess.
Simply mix all of the salad ingredients together in a large serving bowl and mix all of the dressing ingredients together in a glass jar with a lid or a small bowl that can be covered.
Just keep stored in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to eat. When it comes time to eat, remove the salad from the fridge and allow it to rest at room temperature for a little while before serving.
As mentioned above, we used quick 10-minute farro from Trader Joe's, however, if you have dried farro then use the instructions below for cooking perfectly.
Tip: instead of using plain water cook the farro in some chicken broth or vegetable broth for added flavor. Add 2 or 3 bay leaves as well to add a nice subtle flavor to the nutty farro.
If you like to meal prep, then make a big batch of farro and separate it into portions, separate it into what you need for the salad and freeze the rest in Ziploc bags for future use.
Instant Pot Cooking Instructions for Farro
- Put the farro along with one cup of water into the instant pot. Pop on the lid and seal the valve.
- Set to manual mode for 12 minutes.
- Quick pressure release once complete.
- Once pressure has been released, remove the farro from the pot and set it aside.
Stove Top Cooking Instructions for Farro
- Bring a medium saucepan filled with water to a boil.
- Add farro; reduce to medium heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until slightly chewy.
- Drain and serve.
Serving Suggestions and Substitutions
This hearty farro salad can be served as a delicious side dish alongside some chicken like this Rotisserie-Style Chicken or a plant-based protein of choice for a vegetarian meal.
It can also be served as a main course by itself with a bed of leafy greens such as peppery arugula or baby spinach to make it a bit more filling.
Sprinkle with some red pepper flakes if you like a little bit of a kick.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
More Cold Salads
Looking for some more delicious salad recipes to BRIGHTEN up your day?
Next time try one of these out:
I love to hear from you, so if you have tried this farro salad with feta then be sure to leave a star rating in the recipe card, or a comment below the recipe card.
Winter Farro Salad with Feta and Citrus Vinaigrette
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- 1 cup Farro, uncooked
- 1 large orange, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 large pear, diced
- 2 large celery stalks, diced
- ½ cup unsweetened dried cranberries
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- ⅓-1/2 cup orange and thyme dressing
- ⅓ cup feta cheese
- big pinch of coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to serve
- Prepare farro according to directions. Let cool completely in refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Add chopped orange, pear, celery, cranberries and pumpkin seeds to cooled farro. Gently toss with Orange and Thyme Vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately at room temperature or chilled. If not serving immediately, you may need to add some additional dressing to freshen it up before serving. But be sure to add the dressing before refrigeration to prevent the pears from browning.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
If you need some more winter salad ideas then check these recipes out from around the web: