Lemon, Farro, and Wild Rice Salad

Farro and wild rice both have wonderful texture, and when you put them together in a salad, you have a winning combination that is packed with flavor and nutrition.

I love salads that I can put together and munch on all week at lunch or snack time. They are often the same salads that provide a great dish for a gathering (and yes, there will be social gatherings again).

Farro and Wild Rice

This salad combines delicious lemon with two of my favorite grains –– farro and wild rice. Both have a nutty flavor and chewy texture, and both provide tons of nutrition.

Farro is a variety of wheat that is found in three distinct varieties: emmer, spelt, and Einkorn. The most common one sold in this country is emmer wheat, and you can buy it whole grained or pearled.

Fiber, Protein, and More

Nutritionally, a half-cup of farro will provide 7 grams of both fiber and protein, and is a great source of B Vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and iron, and is a low-gluten grain.

Wild rice and farro, two delightful grains that are filled with nutrition and flavor!

Wild rice is the seed of a marsh grass, gluten free, and is a carb counter’s dream with nearly half the carbohydrates of brown rice. It is a great source of fiber and protein, containing all the amino acids to make a complete protein. It is also loaded with minerals and vitamins.

Slow cooking, but you have time

They both take a while to cook, but if you use the pasta method of boiling just like you would boil any pasta, you won’t over or under cook these grains. They can be eaten plain with a little butter, or used in any dish where one would use rice – salads, casseroles, side dishes, soups, stews, stuffings, pancakes, etc.

Warm or chilled

You can make this salad and serve it warm, then serve the leftovers cold if you like. You can also vary the amounts according to what you have and what you like.

This salad is all about texture, so add whatever you think might add to the interest.


Lemon, Farro, and Wild Rice Salad

  • 1 cup wild rice, rinsed
  • 1 cup farro, whole grain or pearled, rinsed
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, small dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 watermelon radish, chopped (save a slice to garnish)
  • 2 or 3 mini sweet peppers, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced, optional
  • 1 cup chopped flat-leafed parsley
  • 2 tbsp. pumpkin seeds or nuts
  • Juice and zest of two Meyer lemons, or other variety
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. fruity olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. grainy mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

First, cook your grains. You can even do this the day before. Bring a large pot of water on to boil and when ready add a tbsp, of salt and the wild rice. Bring back to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. This will take about 45 minutes or so.

While the rice cooks, bring a second pot of water to a boil and do the same with the farro, cooking it like pasta. The whole farro will take 30 minutes or so to cook, while the pearled will take only 15. Just keep testing it until it is at the texture you want.

In both cases, the cooking time of these grains will depend on lots of things, the briskness of your simmer, the age of the grains and even the subtle differences in varieties, so just go by your own instincts.

Prepare all the other ingredients while the farro and rice are cooking. They can all go into the mixing bowl together. Season with salt and pepper, taste, and season again.

Once the grains are cooked, strain and add to the bowl. Mix well and garnish any way you like! You can add a bit more lemon zest at the end, and garnish with some flaked sea salt or more nuts.

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17 Comments Add yours

  1. 👌🏻👌🏻❤️

  2. So colorful! Such a great idea combining rice and farro

    1. I love the texture of both, individually or together.

  3. This sounds so good and versatile, I love all the crunchy textures!

  4. I’m envious of the watermelon radish! 😜🍉

    1. Our winter farmers market still has a nice supply. The pretty purple daikon radishes too. A little bit of color in a sea of beige root vegetables!

      1. The best I can do is 45 minutes away. That’s not happening anytime soon. 🐿

      2. No, I’m sure it isn’t. My market is just five minutes away, and I probably won’t go this week. It is rarely crowded because it is open two days, so next week, depending on how things go, I might take a quick trip, distancing of course, to pick up greens, but I’ll have to evaluate at that time. Just about the only thing open here is markets, which is good.

      3. Freshness goes a long way in food preparation. Enjoy it. 🌿🌱🍃

  5. chef mimi says:

    This is really lovely. I would have to serve it warm, or at least at room temp. That’s just me!

    1. I served it first room temperature, then chilled the next day. All ways are good!

  6. Julia says:

    What a pretty salad! I love the watermelon radish. It really adds such a nice pop of color. I also just love radishes.

    1. They add lovely color and spicy flavor! One of my favorite deep winter local ingredients.

  7. Karen says:

    I’ve got all the ingredients except the watermelon radish so my salad will not be as colorful.

    1. Ah, but it will still be delicious!

      1. Karen says:

        Without a doubt.

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