Farro Salad with Summer Vegetables

Farro Salad with Summer Vegetables

Pearled farro. I love it.

It’s become my go-to quick cooking grain for pilafs and easy salads.

Unpearled farro (with the bran layer fully intact) requires soaking and long cooking times, but semi-pearled and pearled farro have some of (or most of) the bran layer removed, shortening the cooking time and increasing the tenderness.

My ultimate favorite is semi-pearled, since I enjoy the nutty flavor and tougher texture of the bran, but the grocery store nearest me only carries fully pearled farro. Either way, it’s freaking delicious and nutritious.

Farro (also known as emmer) is a type of wheat, different from the modern wheat cultivated today. It has a higher protein and fiber content than traditional wheat, and reminds me a lot of barley.

Since farro has a pretty neutral, nutty taste, it’s perfect for grain-based side dishes.

If you toss it with a vinaigrette, the plump grains absorb the vinaigrette like a sponge, ensuring flavor in every bite. Load it up with mixed herbs, veggies, and cheeses for an absolutely mouth watering side dish or light main dish. Top with grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu to make it a meal.

This Farro Salad with Summer Vegetables just SCREAMS summer.

It highlights all of summer’s best, like bell pepper, zucchini, tomato, cucumber, eggplant, and fresh herbs. Eating it instantly transports me to a picnic at the beach, lounging in the sun, eating light fresh food that makes me feel good. Good thing it makes enough to serve 8, so I can enjoy it all week!

Farro Salad with Summer Vegetables - Perfect for summer!

Farro Salad with Summer Vegetables

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time55 mins
Servings: 8


  • 2 cups 16 oz uncooked pearled farro
  • 2 large or 3 small zucchini, ends discarded, each squash sliced vertically into 1/4ths
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper,  seeds and stem removed
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper,  seeds and stem removed
  • 1 small eggplant or 1/2 large eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • Olive oil or grapeseed oil, for drizzling
  • 3/4 cup minced red onion
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup cucumber, cut into a small dice
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
  • 1 cup quartered kalamata olives
  • 8 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning


  • Fill a saucepan with water, add a generous pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Add the farro, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain the farro and place in a large salad bowl.
  • Drizzle the zucchini slices, bell pepper halves, and eggplant slices with olive oil or grapeseed oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a grill pan or broiler on high heat and grill or broil the vegetables in batches, flipping once, until grilled/charred but still firm (about 6-10 minutes per batch). Remove the vegetables to a plate and let cool.
  • When the grilled vegetables are cooled, chop them into a small dice, about 1/4 inch, and add to the salad bowl with the farro. Add the red onion, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, basil, mint, olives, and feta cheese and toss to combine.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, honey, salt, and pepper. Pour over the farro salad and toss well. Serve as a light dinner with grilled bread and sliced fruit, or top with grilled chicken for a heartier meal. Leftovers keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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Roast Beef Sandwiches with Lemon Horseradish Mayonnaise

Closeup Shot of Roast Beef Sandwich with Horseradish Mayo

Mmmmm I love me a good sandwich.

Any kind will do. I literally can’t think of one sandwich I don’t like!

We eat a lot of sandwiches for lunch around here, and sometimes even for dinner if we’re having a busy day 😉

The best part about sandwiches is how creative you can get.

There are no limits. Pair a meat or vegetarian protein with whatever vegetables and cheese you have in the fridge, and voila, a delicious meal is waiting for you, sandwiched between two slices of bread.

Roast Beef Sandwiches with Horseradish Mayo

Speaking of bread…. people always ask what the “best” type of bread is.

I avoid labeling foods as “good” or “bad” because really, food doesn’t come with a morality judgment! I believe that food is meant to be enjoyed, first and foremost, for the most satisfying and satiating eating experience.

That being said, I do base my diet around whole foods.

What do I define as a “whole food”? Foods that haven’t been processed into oblivion, and are somewhat close to their natural forms.

So, for example, my absolute favorite bread is sprouted grain bread, especially the brand Ezekiel. Rather than taking whole grains, stripping them of their fibrous bran and nutritious germ, and making bread flour out of the starchy endosperm (like normal white bread), Ezekiel bread soaks whole grains until they sprout, then forms them into a loaf & bakes it.

The result is a dense, flavorful, fiber-rich, absolutely delicious loaf. It’s the type of bread that adds flavor to a sandwich, rather than just acting as the holder, and will stay strong and un-mushy if you pack your sandwich for later in the day. Awesome.

Plus, it has 3g of fiber and 4g of protein per slice, and only natural ingredients:

Organic Sprouted Wheat, Filtered Water, Organic Malted Barley, Organic Sprouted Rye, Organic Sprouted Barley, Organic Sprouted Oats, Organic Sprouted Millet, Organic Sprouted Corn, Organic Sprouted Brown Rice, Fresh Yeast, Organic Wheat Gluten, Sea Salt.

Compare that to the ingredients in Oroweat’s 100% Whole Grain Bread:


eh….. say what??

Why choose the sugar & preservative-laden variety when there’s a way better choice sitting on the shelf right next to it? 🙂

Plus, as a dietitian who works with food sensitivities, that Oroweat bread has TONS of extra stuff that many people have an inflammatory immune reaction to, like soy, whey, and lecithin. No bueno.

My 2nd favorite type of bread is good ‘ol sourdough.

The fermentation by yeast and bacteria (or addition of lactic acid) helps reduce the phytic acid content of the wheat and makes the magnesium more bioavailable (win!)

Plus, I love its tang and hearty structure. There’s nothing worse than mushy bread!

I always have a loaf of sprouted grain bread and a loaf of sourdough in my freezer.

For this sandwich, I opted for sourdough, because I LOVE the way it pairs with rich roast beef.

This Dietz and Watson variety of roast beef is my favorite. Just beef + salt + pepper. No preservatives or nitrates, just real food.

Pile it high on a sandwich with a creamy horseradish mayo, and you’ll feel like you’re at a gourmet sandwich shop!

Roast Beef Sandwiches with Horseradish Mayo - Overhead Shot

Roast Beef Sandwiches with Lemon Horseradish Mayo

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Servings: 2 sandwiches
Author: Erica Julson


  • 4 slices of sourdough sandwich bread
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper
  • 1/2 lb high quality roast beef
  • 1/4 English cucumber, sliced
  • 2 rounds of red onion slices
  • 4 slices of Muenster cheese
  • 2 handfuls of herbed lettuce blend


  • Toast the 4 slices of sourdough bread and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, horseradish, lemon zest, and a sprinkle each of salt and pepper. Spread generously on each piece of bread.
  • Choose 2 pieces of bread to be the base of each sandwich. Layer on the roast beef, divided evenly between the two sandwiches. Top with slices of cucumber and red onion, layer two slices of Muenster on each sandwich, and pile with herbed lettuce mix.
  • Close each sandwich with a second piece of bread, cut in half if desired, and serve.

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Kale Salad with Gruyere and Garlic Croutons

Kale Salad with Gruyere and Garlic Croutons Overhead Shot in Large White Bowl

Salads are a summertime staple. Fresh, light, satisfying, but not too heavy.

They’re quick to whip up, and go great with grilled meat or vegetables. Perfect for a light summer dinner by the pool with a large iced tea or glass of crisp white wine.

This kale salad is perfect for people who are still dipping their toes into the world of kale.

Sometimes an ALL kale salad can be a little fibrous and chewy, so this salad is half curly kale, half tender green leaf lettuce. It makes the salad a little lighter and balanced, while still holding up to the dressing, rich cheese, and crispy croutons.

The secret to this salad is the homemade croutons.

They’re super simple to make. Just cube up some bread, toss it with olive oil, salt, and garlic powder, and bake for about 15-20 minutes until golden and crispy.

The croutons last for weeks if kept in a sealed bag the pantry (but watch them disappear quickly! They’re hard to resist snacking on 😉 )

Once you start making your own croutons, you’ll never go back.

Aside from baking the croutons, this salad requires very little work! Simply whisk together the salad dressing ingredients, grate some cheese (very easy to do with the grating blade in a food processor), and rip up some greens. Toss together, and you’re good to go!

This salad dressing actually comes from the San Francisco a la Carte cookbook by The Junior League of San Francisco (published way back in 1979!). It was one of my favorite dressings as a kid. Don’t be too weirded out by the raw egg. It’s actually super delicious. You can use pasteurized eggs if you’re worried about salmonella, or just swap in mayonnaise (although it will make for a heavier/creamier dressing).

Kale Salad with Gruyere and Garlic Croutons with Rustic Wood Backdrop

Kale Salad with Gruyere and Garlic Croutons

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings: 4


  • 1 small bunch curly kale, stems removed and discarded, leaves torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1 small head green leaf lettuce, torn into bite sized pieces
  • 6 oz gruyere cheese, shredded

For croutons: (makes extra)

  • 20 oz French Parisian bread, or other soft and dense loaf
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

For salad dressing:

  • 1 large egg, replace with mayonnaise if immuno-compromised or use pasteurized eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar


  • Place the torn kale and lettuce into a large bowl. Store in the fridge while you make the croutons.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the bread into roughly 1-inch cubes and spread on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the bread cubes with olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and garlic powder. Use your hands to toss and make sure all the croutons are evenly coated with oil and seasoning. Spread out evenly on the baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet. The croutons will continue to crisp as they cool.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together the salad dressing ingredients (egg, salt, garlic powder, pepper, olive oil, and red wine vinegar) in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Add the croutons and cheese to the salad bowl with the kale and lettuce. Pour the dressing over top and toss well to evenly coat. Serve right away.
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