Meatless Monday: Caprese Di Farro

This Meatless Monday, try a pasta-salad alternative made with whole-grain farro, mozzarella, tomatoes and basil.
By: Michelle Buffardi
Related To:
Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

Farro is a whole grain similar to wheat berries; it's sometimes called emmer (especially in Italy or in Italian import stores). It's a flavorful little grain with a nutty, chewy texture. You can throw cooked farro into a green salad or use it in soups in place of pasta. Bonus: it freezes well so you can cook a whole bunch and freeze it in freezer bags for when you don't have time to wait for it to cook. You can find farro in Italian stores, health food stores and in many grocery stores; I like to buy it in the bulk bins at the health food store because it's cheaper that way.

Debi and Gabriele's Caprese Di Farro salad is a good introduction to this grain; it's foolproof so even if it's your first time cooking with farro, you can't really mess it up. "Caprese" means "in the style of Capri," an Italian region best known for the mozzarella-basil-tomato combination everyone loves. Be sure to use real, high-quality fresh mozzarella cheese in this simple salad; the processed kind isn't the same.

Caprese Di Farro

1 pound farro
10 ounces organic cherry tomatoes, sliced into quarters
1 (5-ounce) ball fresh mozzarella, chopped
1 handful fresh basil leaves, torn
2 ounces pitted kalamata olives
Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, toss in the farro and cook for 20 minutes, strain, and rinse with cold water, then set aside.

Add the tomatoes to a bowl, add the mozzarella, rip the basil leaves with your hands, and add the olives.

Season with a good quality extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper, to taste.

Serve right away or cover and refrigerate for tomorrow's picnic.

We're heading into picnic season; get a little creative with your summer salads this year. Haven't you made pasta salad enough times in your life? Mix it up and try a whole-grain, better-for-you pasta alternative like farro, quinoa or wheat berries in your next picnic salad.

More Whole-Grain Summer Salads:
Keep Reading

Next Up

Meatless Monday: Panzanella

David Rocco's panzanella, a Tuscan tomato and bread salad, is so satisfying, you won't miss the meat at all on this Meatless Monday.

Meatless Monday: Homemade Hummus

There are about a million hummus variations, pick one or go classic this Meatless Monday.

Meatless Monday: Oktoberfest Feast

Celebrate Oktoberfest vegetarian style with Cooking Channel's Roasted White Asparagus with Sauerkraut Hollandaise and Toasted Pumpernickel Breadcrumbs.

Meatless Monday: Autumn Rice Salad

Quick-cooking rice makes this Autumn Rice Salad a speedy weeknight dinner.

Meatless Monday: Paella with Tomatoes

Smoked paprika adds a smoky, almost bacon-like flavor to recipes; use it in vegetarian dishes like Mark Bittman's Tomato Paella.

Meatless Monday: Southwestern Potato Quesadilla

You can fill a quesadilla with just about anything, like cheesy, spicy mashed potatoes.

Meatless Monday: Roasted Butternut Squash

You've probably been seeing a lot of recipes for butternut squash lately, and for good reason. It's rich, creamy and sweet, making it hard to believe that it's healthy-- good source of fiber, low in fat, high in antioxidant-rich vitamin C kind of healthy.

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Pot Pie

The Meatless Monday cure for the rainy-day blues: Aida Mollenkamp's Vegetarian Pot Pie.

On TV

Sugar Showdown

9:30am | 8:30c

Sugar Showdown

10:30am | 9:30c

Unique Sweets

11am | 10c

Unique Sweets

11:30am | 10:30c

Unique Sweets

12pm | 11c

Unique Sweets

12:30pm | 11:30c

Unique Sweets

1pm | 12c

Unique Sweets

1:30pm | 12:30c

Good Eats

2pm | 1c

Good Eats

2:30pm | 1:30c

Unwrapped 2.0

3:30pm | 2:30c

Unwrapped 2.0

4:30pm | 3:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Challenge

8pm | 7c

Cupcake Wars

10pm | 9c

Extreme Cake Makers

11:30pm | 10:30c

Challenge

12am | 11c

Cupcake Wars

1am | 12c

Extreme Cake Makers

3:30am | 2:30c
What's Hot
What's Hot

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

New Episodes Sundays 8|7c

A Fuss-Free Feast!

Top Thanksgiving Tips 8 Videos

Follow these simple strategies to create a stellar spread without the stress.

So Much Pretty Food Here