Crispy Farro and Tomato Salad

Crispy Farro and Tomato Salad

Welcome to this week’s episode of Tomato Month on Cup of Jo! Today our hero finds itself in a most unusual arrangement…

…paired with crispy farro! Not regular farro, crispy farro. This recipe is my favorite kind of recipe: one that has just enough of a twist to make it feel special, but not enough of a twist to make it feel deal-breaker-y. I love how the farro is used as a crunch factor as opposed to a base grain, allowing for the real star to steal the show.

Crispy Farro and Tomato Salad
Recipe by Emily Connor for Food52

A few notes from Emily: You can substitute other grains for the farro (freekeh, wheat berries, spelt, and quinoa) but make sure whatever they are, they are either leftover or fully cooled freshly prepared grains. For best results, cook the grains like pasta in a pot of heavily salted water to minimize the amount of moisture they retain. They’ll crisp better this way, and cook faster, too. (If the idea of farro intimidates you, might I suggest picking up the 10-minute farro at Trader Joe’s which turns out perfect every time?)

1 cup cooked farro (leftover or freshly prepared and fully cooled)
sea salt, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley (dried well if damp)
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan, plus more for finishing
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, or to taste
2 large tomatoes (1 to 1 1/4 pounds), cored and thinly sliced–or use a mix of different colors, shapes, and sizes

Heat the broiler with an oven rack about 4 to 5 inches from the heating element. Toss the cooked farro on a sheet pan with the olive oil and a few pinches of salt, then spread into an even layer. Broil for a few minutes, or until you hear a faint sizzle and popping sound. Stir, spread out, and broil for a few minutes longer. Repeat until the farro is lightly toasted and crispy-chewy in texture, about 5 minutes in total. (Better to err on under- vs. over-toasting; broil too long and the farro will get too hard and dry.) Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

When ready to serve, toss the crispy farro with the parsley, Parmesan, and lemon zest. Arrange the tomatoes on a large platter and season with sea salt. Sprinkle some of the crispy farro over the tomatoes (making sure that the tomatoes aren’t hidden), and spoon the rest around the tomatoes. To finish the salad, grate a little Parmesan and drizzle a little more olive oil over the tomatoes, if desired.

What tomato recipes are you eating this week? We’d love to know.

P.S. An avocado caprese salad and an heirloom tomato tart.

(Recipe syndicated with permission of Food52. Photo by Julia Gartland for Food52.)