If you haven’t guessed from my last name (Rizzo), I’m of Italian descent. Although we are fully American now, most of our family gatherings still include pizza, meatballs, sausage or lasagna. I even worked at an Italian restaurant in high school and college. In other words, I’m not stranger to the classic caprese salad. For those of who are unfamiliar, a caprese salad is fresh mozzarella with tomato and basil slices, topped with some good olive oil. Otherwise known as heaven.
One of my favorite things to do is take old favorites and make them just a little bit healthier. Case and point–my lentil meatballs and several variations of pizza (veggie and naan pizza). The traditional caprese salad is pretty healthy already, but this recipe uses whole grain farro as the base to make it a hearty vegetarian meal, rather than an appetizer.
I also sused roasted cherry tomatoes instead of raw tomato slices. You see, I have a love-hate relationship with tomatoes. I HATED them as a kid and wouldn’t even eat pizza sauce, but I’ve grown to like them in certain situations. That being said, I still can’t eat them raw. I’ve tried every variation, and my palate just doesn’t enjoy them. If you’re a raw tomato lover, feel free to skip the roasting step in this recipe.
This dish is so easy to throw together, and it seems super elegant. That’s why you should bring it to your next barbecue for some summer side variety.
Farro Caprese Salad
- 8 ounces quick cooking farro
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes washed and sliced in half
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh basil washed and chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh mozzarella chopped into 1/2" x 1/2" cubes
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cook farro according to package directions. Set aside.
On a baking sheet, coat the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Stir until all the tomatoes are coated well. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Combine the cooked farro, roasted tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and salt in a bowl. Top with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and vinegar (if using). Stir until thoroughly mixed.