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.)

  1. This looks so delicious! Can’t wait to try it. Just thinkin’ about what to do during this quarantine period, and now I have the answer. :)

  2. I am just eating tomatoes like apples, mostly, but I am super excited to try basically everything in this comments section. There’s also a woman at the farmer’s market that is selling rosemary garlic sourdough bread which is the perfect thing for a caprese sandwich, especially since the basil I have been growing is exploding.

  3. ♥ tomatoes. eating tomato/avocado salad for breakfast with wasa crackers. also love them on simple toasts with mayo and a bit of truffle salt.

    I can eat cherry and grape tomatoes like candy!

  4. jeannie says...

    This looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it.

  5. rose says...

    I can never get past ripe heirlooms sliced on a plate with salt and pepper! But all these comment versions sound great so maybe there’s still time for me to try!

  6. Hannah says...

    Yum!! This sounds so delicious! I made the NYT Gazpacho you posted the other week with my farmers market tomatos and it was perfect. Looking forward to trying this one next week!

  7. maywyn says...

    Hoping to buy fresh tomatoes at a farmer’s market, to make a salad with lots of curley parsely, black olives, feta cheese, and a splash of olive oil.

  8. t says...

    I am sure this is delish and I LOVE tomatoes but all I am seeing in this pic is a plate of tomatoes covered in bugs and I’m having a hard time unseeing it.

    Summer bugs got me buggin’!

    • Alanna says...

      YES! I came to the comments to see if anyone else thought the same thing or if I was just crazy! Haha

  9. CaraM says...

    My favorite recipe this time of year is always a good BLT. Simple, easy, and perfect. Sometimes I get fancy and add avocado, or a fresh cheese (ricotta, burrata, or fresh mozzarella), but it is the BEST easy meal of summer!

  10. Sasha L says...

    LOVE tomatoes!!! This salad sounds amazing.

    We’ve been eating Costco goat cheese on homemade sourdough toast, with basil and sliced salted tomatoes. I just never get tired of this!

    Also Molly Yeh’s everything bagel seasoning tomato gallettes, so delicious. Just butter pie crust, a spread of cream cheese (or sub goat cheese), sliced tomatoes, everything seasoning around the crust edges. Omg, it’s the best and way easier than you’d think looking at it.

  11. Michaela says...

    Yesss. Making this for dinner tonight! Just got back from a 4-day backpacking trip and I’m craving fresh food but also feeling too exhausted to cook much. I already have some of the Trader Joe’s 10-minute farro in my pantry, so this looks perfect!

  12. K says...

    One of my faves especially this time of year is Mark Bittman’s tomato and peach salad: (#2 on this link)
    Peach and tomato slices, red pepper flakes, red onion, cilantro, with olive oil and lime or lemon juice. Crowd pleaser every time!

    Love a good tomato soup (especially at Nordstrom’s! My son just gulps that stuff up) and tomatoes with balsamic and garlic.

  13. mb says...

    I am all for TOMATOES!!!
    Here to suggest my “mutt” caprese–I sub the mozarella with ricotta salata (the firm ricotta). I also slice it thinly and put it on toast with thick slices of heirloom tomatoes. I drizzle a little olive oil and skip the balsamic and it is AMAZING.
    Oh–and copied from a bar in Spain,–grated tomatoes on toast with coarse (sea or kosher) salt and drizzle of olive oil. If you add to that a slice of salami or serrano ham, you’ll never want to go back to your former life.

    • Rose says...

      I couldn’t agree more re Spanish Pan con Tomate, try it with the following enhancements: grill or toast bread in broiler, rub with a whole clove of garlic cut in half; drizzle a mixture of olive oil and anchovy oil (or olive oil mixed with anchovy paste); spoon grated tomato on top! Of course, a little maldon salt, salami or serrano makes it extra delicious! It is so much more than meets the eye!

    • Lulu says...

      MB this is priceless. I love your comment, particularly “you’ll never want to go back to your former life” and evoking delicious memories of tapas in Spain. You’ve made my day. Thank you!

  14. Julie says...

    This sounds great, I loooove farro. I went classic this week and made B.L.T.s for my husband and I: toasted whole grain bread (we’re obsessed with Joe’s Killer Bread), thick cut bacon, heirloom tomatoes, shredded iceberg lettuce, and a garlic and lemon aioli.

  15. Sam says...

    I am 5000% here for this recipe and super excited for the rest of this tomato focused month! A whole month of recipes for my fav food.

    Currently loving tomato’s and plums tossed in a balsamic vinegrette and topped with burratta and salt. Perfection.

    • Rachel McLeroy says...

      Ohh tomatoes and plums together sounds amazing!