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Warm Farro Salad with Basil

This warm farro salad with basil is an aromatic and easy dinner recipe, and who doesn't love a filling warm grain salad recipe?
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 319kcal


  • Wide skillet
  • Medium pot


  • 1 cup pearled farro
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons neutral oil
  • 1 tablespoon plant-based butter optional
  • 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
  • 1 red Fresno chili pepper trimmed and sliced into rounds
  • 2 medium zucchini trimmed and sliced into half-moons
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or use more neutral oil
  • 4 ounces basil leaves cut in a chiffonade; a few leaves reserved for garnish
  • 6 ounces green olives rinsed if desired
  • 5 ounces watercress
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Cook the Farro:

  • Bring 3 cups of salted water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the farro, reduce heat, and simmer for 25-30 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse.

Lightly Brown the Onions:

  • Heat the oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add the butter, and once frothy, add the onions. Cook the onions, often stirring, 8-12 minutes until the onions begin to turn golden brown. They need not be fully caramelized. Season lightly with salt.

Broil the Zucchini:

  • Turn on the broiler. Arrange the zucchini and sliced red Fresno pepper on top of the onions in an even layer. It's okay if there is some overlap! Drizzle with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the skillet to the broiler and cook, regularly checking, for 3-5 minutes until char marks develop on the zucchini. It may take longer depending on your broiler, but check the zucchini often!

Finish the Vegetables:

  • Transfer the skillet back to the stovetop and turn the heat to medium-high. Allow the zucchini to cook without moving, for an additional 5-6 minutes or until excess water is cooked off and the bottom of the zucchini begins to brown. Don't overcook the zucchini! It should still be bright green in places.
  • Add the sliced basil to the skillet along with the olives and watercress and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes until the watercress wilts.

Finish the Farro Salad:

  • Add the cooked farro to the skillet and toss to combine. Taste and season again to your preferences. Turn off the heat and serve warm. Garnish with a few additional basil leaves, if you like.


Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 12g | Sodium: 723mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 40mg
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