Farro and Cucumber Salad with Feta, Dill and Mint
A delicious, fresh and hearty salad.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 as a light meal, 6 as an appetizer or side dish.
- 1 cup farro (I use semi-pearled)
- sea or kosher salt
- 2-3 medium-sized cucumbers (see headnote)
- 1 small bunch radishes
- 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and pressed (or minced)
- 1/4 cup good olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 2-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (to taste)
- 2-3 teaspoons white wine vinegar (to taste)
- black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped dill
- 2-4 ounces feta (I used Bulgarian sheep feta), sliced or crumbled
- flaky salt
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Drain the farro if you soaked it, and add it to the boiling water. Cook until the farro is tender but not falling apart, 30-45 minutes. Drain the farro, rinse with cool water, and drain again. Place the farro in a large bowl and set aside. (The farro can be cooked 1-2 days in advance and refrigerated.)
Slice the cucumbers into either 1/8" thick slices if skinny, or cut into 1" square chunks if fatter. Trim the radishes and slice them thinly. Add the cucumbers and radishes to the farro. Add the garlic, olive oil, the smaller amounts of lemon juice and vinegar, and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Toss well. Toss in the mint and dill and taste, adding more lemon, vinegar, salt or pepper if you feel the salad needs it. Scatter as much feta as you like over the top of the salad.
Serve within an hour or two, while the mint is fresh and green. As the salad sits, the farro will absorb flavor and moisture, so you'll want to taste it again before serving, adding more of the vinaigrette components if you feel the salad needs it.
When you serve the salad, top each plate or bowl with a few drops of olive oil, a few flecks of flaky salt, a dusting of black pepper, and a few small mint leaves.
If you soak your farro in cool water for 3 hours or up to overnight, it will cook more quickly and evenly.
This is a fun place to showcase different varieties of cucumber; I used 2 painted serpents and 1 lemon cucumber. The best ones for this salad are ones with thin skin, dense flesh, and tiny seeds. English and Mediterranean varieties should all work well. Taste the skin before you cut them, and peel it away if it tastes bitter or tough. If your cucs have large seeds, you'll want to scrape them out; they will release liquid that could make the salad watery.
I like this salad when freshly made. The mint will turn brown after an hour or two, so if you decide to make the salad ahead, add the mint at the last minute.
I bet roasted beets and/or carrots would make a nice replacement for cucumbers if you find yourself in need of a cool grain salad in the fall or winter.
Nutritional values are based on one of four servings.
Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 193mg | Potassium: 440mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 515IU | Vitamin C: 15.3mg | Calcium: 127mg | Iron: 2.2mg