Farro is a spelt-like grain with a nutty flavour and chewy texture. Using it in a salad like this one makes for a great vegetarian summertime meal. Make sure you get the pearled sort: this has been de-hulled and undergone a process that makes it easier to cook and digest – it doesn't need soaking, you just boil it for 8–10 minutes. We like to cook grains al dente, so they retain their shape and nutrients. If you can't find farro, pearled barley is a good substitute. While we love this as a main, it is also a great accompaniment to meats and fish. If you don't have hazelnuts on hand, almonds or toasted seeds will work just as well.






Skill level

Average: 4.6 (8 votes)


  • 200 g (7 oz/1 cup) farro (pearled spelt), rinsed and drained
  • 2 zucchini (courgettes), thinly sliced lengthways using a mandoline or very sharp knife
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • prunes, pitted and finely chopped
  • 50 ml (1¾ fl oz) apple balsamic vinegar, regular balsamic vinegar or sherry vinegar
  • ½ tsp dijon mustard
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) vegetable oil
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) olive oil
  • large handful (¾ cup) mixed herb sprigs, such as mint, parsley and dill
  • 50 g (1¾ oz/⅓ cup) toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Put the farro into a large saucepan of salted boiling water. When the water comes back to the boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 8–10 minutes, or until the farro is cooked but still has a bite to it. Drain.

Meanwhile, combine the zucchini, onion and prunes in a bowl and add a pinch of salt to soften the raw zucchini.

To make a dressing for the salad, combine the vinegar, mustard and both the oils in a screw-top jar and season with salt and pepper. Put the lid on and shake well to emulsify. 

Add the cooked farro to the zucchini, onion and prunes. Tear the herbs into smaller pieces, then add them to the salad along with the dressing, and toss gently to combine. Place the salad in a serving bowl or on plates and scatter over the hazelnuts.


Recipe and image from Cornersmith: Recipes from the Café and Picklery by Alex Elliott-Howery and James Grant (Murdoch Books, $49.99, hbk).


View our Readable feasts review and more recipes from the book here.