Farro Caprese Salad incorporates whole grains with an Italian classic pairing of juicy tomatoes and fresh buffalo mozzarella. Nutty farro is cooked until tender and then tossed with peppery arugula, cherry tomatoes, and soft ripened cheese. The salad is drizzled with a sweet and tangy balsamic reduction dressing.
As the farro cooks, prepare the addicting honey balsamic reduction to dress the salad. If you’re looking for more wholesome vegetarian salads then try Avocado, Tomato and Cucumber Arugula Salad, Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad, and Tuscan Pasta Salad.
Farro Caprese Salad
Take your tastebuds on a trip to Italy with this healthy and flavorful Caprese salad. But for this recipe, miniature bites of sweet cherry tomatoes and pearl-sized fresh mozzarella are tossed together with spicy greens and ancient grains for a satisfying appetizer.
Italian cuisine is all about highlighting farm-fresh ingredients and the art of cheesemaking. Pairing mild and soft cow’s milk cheese with sweet vine-ripened cherry tomatoes and tender basil is divine. To incorporate these flavors into a heartier salad, I add farro and arugula.
To make the flavors pop, concentrating balsamic vinegar and honey together provides the perfect pungent contrast to the sweet and peppery flavors of the ingredients. A little bit of high-quality extra-virgin olive oil adds the finishing touch. It’s a delicious start to any meal, especially on warmer nights.
How do you make Farro Caprese salad?
- Simmer farro in salted water until tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Drain the farro and then chill in the refrigerator.
- Combine balsamic vinegar and honey in a small saucepan.
- Simmer and reduce to ½ cup, 15 to 18 minutes.
- Toss farro, tomatoes, mozzarella, arugula, and basil in a large bowl.
- Drizzle salad with balsamic vinegar reduction dressing.
How do you cook farro?
If you’ve never tried farro before, you’ll be delightfully surprised by the nutty flavor and chewy texture. What is farro? It’s a hulled wheat-based whole grain packed with protein, fiber, and iron.
It’s sold whole, or semi-pearled or pearled, removing some or all of the outer bran and husk. This affects how quickly the grain cooks, so look at the package for labeling and double checking the cooking directions. But don’t worry, learning how to cook farro is easy!
I purchased whole farro for extra nutrition. A pasta cooking method of simmering the grains in plenty of water until almost absorbed for a tender chew. Make sure to drain the grains well and chill in the refrigerator so that it doesn’t wilt the lettuce or melt the cheese.
How do you make a balsamic reduction?
Reducing balsamic vinegar and honey is easy! The principle of doing this is to remove half of the water from the vinegar to create a maple syrup like texture. This also concentrates the solids in the honey for a thicker and sweeter sauce.
Make sure to boil it briefly, then simmer so you can see some bubbles breaking the surface indicating water is evaporating. As the reduction cools to room temperature, the glaze will cling to the salad ingredients for a bold addition to the side dish.
Looking for more Italian appetizer recipes? Try these ones!
Farro Caprese Salad
Farro Caprese Salad incorporates whole grains with an Italian classic pairing of juicy tomatoes and fresh buffalo mozzarella.
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup whole farro rinsed
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 ½ cups baby tomatoes cut in half (9 ounces)
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella ciliegine cherry size, drained
- 1 ½ cups baby arugula
- 1 tablespoon chopped basil plus more for garnish
- Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
- Black pepper for seasoning
- Add 3 cups water, rinsed farro, and salt to a medium saucepan.
- Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat.
- Cook until farro is tender, about 30 minutes.
- Drain the water from the farro and transfer to a large plate, place in the refrigerator to chill.
- Add balsamic vinegar and honey to a small saucepan, stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat. Reduce the sauce to about ½ cup and has a maple syrup consistency when cooled, about 15 to 18 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, it will thicken more.
- In a large bowl combine the cooled farro, cut tomatoes, mozzarella, arugula, and chopped basil.
- Drizzle the salad with olive oil and the balsamic vinegar reduction. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with more basil leaves if desired.