A delicious and hearty Fall farro salad, with farro, dried cranberries, walnuts and apples, tossed with parsley, red onion and feta cheese.
If you’re looking for salad recipes with farro, you’ll love this Fall inspired farro feta salad. This Fall farro salad is inspired by classic Tabbouleh, but with a seasonal Fall twist.
This grain salad combines farro with lots of parsley and red onion, but substitutes the usual tomato and cucumber with dried cranberries, apples and walnuts. It all gets tossed in an easy red-wine vinaigrette. A great, heartier salad for the cooler days of Fall.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Farro – I love farro, so it is often my grain of choice. I love the simplicity of Quick Cooking Farro, which simply needs to boil in water for about 10 minutes. Other grain, such as bulgur, barley, quinoa or couscous would also work just fine here.
Parsley – curly or flat parsley is just fine here.
Dried cranberries – use your favourite dried cranberries here.
Walnuts – I love the slightly bitter note of walnuts, but pecans would also work nicely here.
Feta cheese – feta is great for bringing a salty note to the mix, but crumbled goat cheese would be a good substitute, as well.
Apple – use any apple variety you enjoy.
How to Cook Farro
Farro comes in whole, pearled or semi-pearled forms. Semi-pearled farro has part of the bran removed and pearled farro has all of the bran removed, so neither one is considered a whole grain. Pearled and semi-pearled farro cook faster than whole grain farro and the texture is slightly softer than whole grain farro. Whole farro is the most nutritious and is a whole grain. It is also longer cooking, often benefiting from pre-soaking before cooking.
To cook farro:
- First rinse the farro with cold water in a fine strainer to remove any impurities and debris.
- Optionally, you can soak the farro in water overnight. Soaking the farro overnight can help reduce the cooking time and make it easier to digest.
If pre-soaking, place in a bowl, cover with water and let soak overnight. The next day, drain and rinse the farro before cooking.
- To cook the farro, place the soaked or un-soaked farro in a large pow and add enough water or broth to cover it by about an inch or two. You can use a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio of farro to liquid depending on your preferred texture (less liquid for chewier farro, more liquid for softer farro). You can also add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavour.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, the reduce the heat and simmer. Check the cooking instructions on the package for an approximate cooking time. Generally, it takes about 20-30 minutes for pearled or semi-pearled farro and around 40-50 minutes for whole farro. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- After the recommended cooking time, check the farro for doneness. It should be tender but still have a slightly chewy texture. If needed, continue simmering for a few more minutes until it reaches your desired consistency.
- If there is excess liquid remaining after the farro is cooked, you can drain it using a fine-mesh strainer or simply tilt the pot and pour off the liquid.
- For extra flavour, you could toast the walnuts by cooking in a hot, dry skillet briefly (just stir over medium heat until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes).
- You can enjoy this salad at room temperature, right after mixing or you can cover and refrigerate to enjoy later. If making ahead, you may wish to hold back the apples and add just before serving, so they don’t brown in the salad.
Get the Recipe: Fall Farro Salad
- 1/2 cup quick-cooking farro, or other grain cooked per package directions *See Notes
- 3/4 cup parsley, curly or flat, chopped
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 medium apple, any variety, peeled or unpeeled, cored and diced
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup, or honey
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Cook the quick-cooking farro in boiling water for 10 minutes. *For other grains or slow cooking farro, refer to the package directions for cooking. Drain and run under cold water for one minute to stop the cooking and cool. Add farro to a medium bowl.
- Add the parsley, red onion, dried cranberries, walnuts, apples (**if making ahead, hold back the apples to add just before eating) and crumbled feta to the bowl. Toss to combine.
- Make the vinaigrette: Combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, maple syrup and salt and pepper in a small jar or bowl. Shake or whisk until well mixed.
- Drizzle vinaigrette over the salad and toss to combine. Enjoy immediately or cover and refrigerate to enjoy later.
More Fall Salad Recipes to Love!
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!