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At the peak of summer’s bounty, it can be tricky to figure out what else to do with all of the tomatoes and sweet corn.
If you’ve had as many BLTs or tomato sandwiches and as much corn on the cob as you want, how do you honor the pint of sungold tomatoes on the counter and the extra ear of corn in the crisper drawer?
That’s where this corn and tomato farro salad comes in.
Farro salads are workhorse meals for me.
They walk the line between sturdy and light, they keep well, and they work with all sorts of flavors. (Like this sugar snap pea farro bowl with buttermilk dressing; or this roasted delicata squash, kale, and leeks with farro; or this asparagus and spring onion farro salad.)
I can’t get enough of farro’s nubbly, chewy texture and it’s nutty flavor. Farro is an ancient wheat variety that Romans have been eating for centuries.
This corn and tomato farro salad honors that Italian heritage, bringing in tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil.
I like to use sungold cherry tomatoes here, which are orange, petite, and intensely sweet. Any cherry or grape tomatoes on the sweeter side would work though.
The dressing is a kicky blend of shallots, sherry vinegar, the juice of some of the sungold tomatoes, a pinch of smoked paprika, and some olive oil.
Juicing a handful of the tomatoes into the dressing swathes the whole salad with that wonderful peak-season tomato flavor.
For flavoring the farro, I steal a technique from bruschetta or crostini where a raw clove of garlic is swiped across toasted bread.
Here, I add a smashed clove of garlic to the mixing bowl where I add the freshly cooked farro and toss it around, then discard the clove of garlic.
The farro takes on a wonderful garlic fragrance, but it doesn’t get overwhelmed by raw garlic.
Then the warm farro gets tossed with the dressing, which it greedily soaks up.
Then the fresh sweet corn kernels sliced right off the cob get tossed in, along with the halved sungold tomatoes.
And then torn bits of fresh mozzarella get mixed in to add some richness and heft to the dish.
Then the whole thing gets showered with a flurry of basil leaves.
And that’s when it’s time to dig in.
For the shallot-tomato vinaigrette
- 2 teaspoons minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 5-6 sungold tomatoes, halved
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
For the farro tomato salad
- 1 cup farro
- 1 pint sungold tomatoes (or other cherry tomatoes), halved and lightly salted
- 1 ear of sweet corn, kernels sliced off the cob
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella
- a handful of basil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring a medium saucepan 2/3 full of water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing. Add the minced shallots to a mixing bowl, cover with sherry vinegar and a pinch of salt, and let sit for 15 minutes to lightly pickle.
- Take 5-6 of the sungold tomatoes and juice them over the shallot and vinegar mixture, pressing the cut side over a strainer to remove all of the liquid. Discard the skins and seeds. Stir in the olive oil and smoked paprika.
- When the water comes to a boil, add a pinch of salt along with the farro. Cook until al dente according to package instructions (usually around 25 minutes).
- Add the smashed garlic clove to a large mixing bowl. When the farro is finished cooking, drain through a fine mesh strainer and immediately add to the mixing bowl with the garlic. Toss the garlic around through the farro with a silicone spatula until the farro is fragrant with garlic. Discard the garlic clove.
- Add the dressing, tomatoes, and corn kernels to the farro and toss.
- Tear the fresh mozzarella into bite-sized pieces and add to the farro and toss again.
- Taste and season with more salt (and pepper if desired). Roughly chop the basil and sprinkle over the salad.
Keeps well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 316Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 234mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 7gSugar: 10gProtein: 12g