Farro is a whole grain, much like other whole grains such as barley, quinoa, and wheat berries. It is is actually a specific type of common wheat, but a few different varieties of wheat are sometimes called farro. Farro looks quite a bit like a more oblong and larger barley grain and has a similar taste and texture. Like barley, farro is still a bit chewy when cooked, rather than soft and mushy. Farro and barley can be used interchangeably in most recipes. Farro has been my favorite salad grain in the last few months. I make Farro salads often, using different ingredients and dressings every time.
This particular Farro Salad has different textures and flavors and they come together perfectly. It's nutty, tart, peppery, and a little sweet. It's also crunchy, chewy, and fresh. This salad is perfect for summer get togethers because it can be prepared ahead of time.
In a medium saucepan, bring salt, bay leaves and 4 cups water to a boil.
Add farro and simmer until farro is tender, about 30 minutes. Let farro cool, then discard bay leaves.
In the meantime, preheat oven to 400 degrees F, place diced squash on a baking tray, and roast for 15 minutes.
In a salad bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
Add farro, squash, cheese, and pistachio nuts and mix well.
Just before serving, fold in herbs, tomatoes, and flaky salt to taste.