Here is your latest awesome vegetarian dinner! This Greek farro salad features healthy grains, chickpeas, roasted broccoli, and apples along with feta and olives for a delicious Mediterranean meatless meal. It’s a little sweet, a little bitter, a little crunchy, and a little creamy and all just what you want on your table tonight.
Eating the Mediterranean diet means focusing on whole grains, beans, vegetables (and fruits!) while enjoying some dairy and less meat. And that means we need more simple, veggie forward dinner ideas.
Or at least I do! Because it can be tough to move away from the standard American diet where meat features in every meal. We have made great strides here at BitofBaconHQ over the past couple of years adding more vegetarian days and meals and this salad is my latest entry in satisfying meatless dinners.
What Do You Need?
- Farro – You’ll need the grain plus a bay leaf, cider vinegar, water, and salt.
- Roasted Veggies – The veggies we are roasting are broccoli and chickpeas.
- Salad Additions – To round things out, add black olives, feta, red onions, and apples.
How to make this
To make Greek farro salad, first cook the farro until it is tender but chewy. Then roast broccoli and chickpeas so they caramelized and a little crispy. Toss the grains with the roasted veggies and mix in sliced apples, onions, feta, and olives. Top with a vinaigrette.
1. Cook the Grain
Since the base of the salad is grain, you are going to want to make that grain as flavorful as you can! So add the farro to your pot, fill with water so it covers by an inch or two, then add a little cider vinegar, some kosher salt, and a bay leaf.
Bring to a boil, then simmer until cooked. If you’re not sure if it’s done, taste a piece or two. Tender but chewy is what you want.
Tip: If you want to switch to another grain, like rice or bulgur, you can use the same method.
2. Roast the Veggies
Toss your broccoli and chickpeas with their seasonings and spread them out on a baking sheet. Then pop them both in the oven for ~20 minutes. Done!
Tip: For crisper chickpeas, leave them in the oven after you take off the broccoli. Give them another 5-10 minutes.
3. Make the Dressing
I use an olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice dressing with plenty of oregano. (Recipe is linked in the card below.) You can use that dressing or make your own favorite Greek vinaigrette for the salad. You will need about 1/2 cup of dressing.
4. Finish the Salad
At this point we have farro, veggies, and dressing. Now we need the rest! Slice two apples, crumble some feta, get out the olives, and slice some red onion.
I like the chickpeas, feta, and olives on the top of the salad so what I do is mix a little dressing with the grain and then toss that with the broccoli, apples, and red onion. Add a little more dressing and continue mixing until you are happy. Then top with the rest and serve!
Tip: If you want to do composed plates, save out the apple too since a fan of apple slices on top is very pretty.
What is farro?
For more info, see my farro ingredient spotlight. Basically though, it is a ancient type of wheat native to the Mediterranean and used in Italian, Greek and other regional cuisines.
When cooked it has a nutty, complex flavor similar to other whole grains and it should be chewy but not at all hard when you bite down. The trick here is to use pearled farro. The pearled version cooks both evenly and quick and is done in 20-25 minutes. Fully whole grain farro (less common to find in the store in my experience) does take much longer to cook and benefits from being soaked overnight.
Can you use other grains?
Definitely! It won’t be a farro salad at that point but it will still be a Greek grain salad. Feel free to use other grains which fit your diet and tastes. Possibilities include rice (wild, red, brown, etc.), bulgur, quinoa, freekeh, barley, wheat berries, and more.
More Great Ways with Grains
- Improve your kale salads with this Kale, Radicchio, and Freekeh Salad! (Freekeh is nutty grain similar to bulgur.)
- Or maybe you want more farro? Then you love this Grilled Chicken and Farro Caesar.
- Delicata Squash and Shrimp Rice Bowls make the most of seasonal squash and are a delicious Mediterranean dinner.
- Southwestern Brown Rice and Black Bean Salad is great as a main or as side. Perfect for bbqs!
If you try my recipe for Greek Farro Salad, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
Greek Farro Salad with Roasted Chickpeas
- 3/4 cup pearled farro
- 2 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 bay leaf
- kosher salt
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and dried
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 2 apples, thinly sliced or chopped
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 4 oz feta
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
- 1/2 cup Greek salad dressing, purchased or homemade
- Add farro to a medium saucepan. Fill with water until it is 1 inch above the farro.
- Pour in the cider vinegar. Add the bay leaf and a spoonful of kosher salt.
- Bring the farro to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to medium and let simmer for 20-25 minutes. Farro will be softened but still chewy.
- Drain (discard the bay) and either use warm to spread out the farro on a baking sheet to cool.
- Heat oven to 400F.
- Toss broccoli with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt and spread out on half a baking sheet.
- Then (using the same bowl) toss chickpeas with 1 tablespoon olive oil, a pinch of kosher salt, paprika, and cayenne. Spread them out on the other half of the baking sheet.
- Roast the broccoli and chickpeas for 18-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Or until the broccoli browned and tender and the chickpeas are a little crispy.
- Layer the salad ingredients into four bowls. Start with the farro, then add the broccoli and chickpeas, finally the apples, onion, feta, and olives.
- Pour salad dressing over and serve.
- Farro: Make sure you are using pearled farro. If your farro is NOT pearled, check the package for cooking directions since it will take longer than the pearled version.
- Other Grains: You can substitute other grains, such as quinoa, brown rice, bulgur, barley, etc. Use the same amount of dried grain and follow the package directions to cook it.
- Other Vegetables: You can use other roasted vegetables with or in place of the broccoli. Possibilities include cauliflower, brussels sprouts, carrots, parsnips, radishes, and asparagus. These vegetables may have different roasting times so double check how long they need to cook before you use them.
- Salad Dressing: Any Greek dressing you enjoy will be good. I used my Greek Mason Jar Dressing.
- Serving: You can also serve the salad in one large bowl for people to help themselves. Toss the dressing with the farro, broccoli, and onion. Top with the rest of the ingredients.