I have been wanting fresh, vibrant foods this pregnancy! I’m talking fresh fruits galore, veggies, herbs, and colorful salads with lots of toppings. This is especially awesome because these are nutrient dense foods to help keep baby and me both healthy and fueled properly. I must say, the summer produce in our area have been wonderful this year, and I look forward to enjoying more of it as the summer progresses. This caprese farro salad checks all boxes!
Convenient meals and sides are also a go-to these days, especially ones that can be made ahead or have components that can be prepped in advance. This summery caprese farro salad fits the bill for being filling, flavorful, and healthy! Yum, yum, yum, yum, YUM!
Components of the Caprese Farro Salad
Let’s talk about the main components of this caprese farro salad in a little more detail:
If you have never had farro, you are in for a real treat. According to the Whole Grains Council, farro is an ancient strain of wheat that is most popular in Italy. Farro's hearty and chewy texture is perfect for cold salads. It has a similar appearance to barley and the flavor is pleasant and somewhat nutty. You can also enjoy some key nutrients, including protein, fiber, and a variety of B vitamins and iron. Please note that farro is not gluten free because it is a type of wheat. If you cannot find farro, barley would work as an acceptable substitute. Because traditional farro can take a long time to cook, I highly recommend a quick cooking variety of farro, such as the 10-minute variety which can be found at Trader Joe’s.
This ingredient is pretty self-explanatory. It tastes delicious and looks pretty contrasted with the colors of this salad. It has such a pleasant texture, too.
Any kind of cherry or grape tomatoes will do, but if you can find multi-color cherry tomatoes, those are best. Each tomato has a slightly different flavor and the extra colors of orange, yellow, brown, and red makes for a lovely visual.
I am a big green onion fan because of its flavor and convenience. Depending on the size of you green onion and flavor preference, I give a range of 2-3 in the recipe below. I like to use the greens and the white portion for a little extra flavor.
Of all the fresh herbs, basil is my hands down favorite! It has such a bright flavor that pairs so beautifully with summer produce, especially tomatoes. Feel free to add extra if 3 Tbsp isn’t enough for you!
This balsamic dressing is heavy on the balsamic, which I love in a summer salad. The Dijon mustard serves as an emulsifier and keeps the vinegar from separating from the olive oil. In a pinch, you could also add about ⅓ cup of your favorite balsamic dressing instead in place of this vinaigrette.
As I mention in the recipe below, be sure to reserve some mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil for a garnish on top of the salad. This would be perfect for a summery dinner party, barbeque, fourth of July party, or even a weeknight side!
Caprese Farro Salad
- 1 ¼ cups 10-minute farro uncooked
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella cubed
- 1 9- ounce package cherry tomatoes quartered (about 2 cups)
- 2-3 green onions sliced thinly
- 3 Tbsp fresh basil chopped
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- ⅛ tsp garlic powder
- Cook the farro according to package directions and let cool completely.
- Reserve about ¼ each of the tomatoes and fresh mozzarella for the top of the salad. Additionally, save about 1 tsp chopped basil.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooled farro, quartered tomatoes, cubed mozzarella, green onion, and basil. Set aside.
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients until smooth and combined.
- Just before serving the salad, add the dressing to the salad and mix until coated evenly. Pour into the serving bowl and top with the reserved tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Serve immediately.
If you are looking for another easy and healthy recipe, be sure to check out this chicken salad!
You may also enjoy these other great posts!