In the heart of salad season, when tomatoes and some of our garden’s bounty is just starting, I prepare for summer lunches filled with fresh veggies and lots of variety. Quite possibly one of my favorite cravings courtesy of the Cheesecake Factory, the Santorini Farro Salad is pure genius and always a must. Described as a fresh light combination of Farro, cucumbers, tomatoes, beets, red onion, feta cheese and tzatziki tossed with a vinaigrette, it’s simple, hearty and satisfying year round. Now my closest Cheesecake factory is at least a 45 minute drive, so I’ve been trying to replicate this salad at home, and have come pretty darn close. You can scale it up or down proportionally depending on your favorite ingredients and the number of servings you’d like. I make this salad fresh, as the tomatoes and cucumbers don’t keep well for long.
What you need:
- English Cucumbers
- Pickled Red Beets (or boiled if you prefer)
- Red Onion
- Feta Cheese
- Olive oil
- Red wine vinegar
- Salt to taste
How to make it:
Step 1 Prepare the Farro
As a general rule, for every one cup of Farro, I use three cups of water. Like rice, it exponentially grows in volume. You’ll need to rinse and drain the Farro. Add it to the water and bring to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat medium-low and simmer 30 minutes. Drain off any excess water and let cool. I checked the packaging and this makes about 4 servings (about 2 cups).
Step 2 Prepare the Veggies
It doesn’t get much easier. Cut the cucumbers, tomatoes and beets into bite-sized pieces. Slice the red onion. (I left the onion out this time but it adds a nice little bite to the salad). Toss with salt to taste. It brings out the flavor and natural juices of the tomatoes.
Step 3 Assemble
Assemble the veggies on a plate. Crumble the feta and spread along with the cooled Farro. Add a little or a lot – whichever you prefer. I mix the olive oil and red vinegar and drizzle lightly. I then add dollops of Tzatziki.
Step 4 Enjoy
I serve the salad with fresh pita bread or a crusty rustic bread to dip and enjoy the delicious mixture the vinegarette, natural veggie juices and Tzatziki create.