Farro is my absolute favorite grain. It’s nutty, robust, chewy, and filling. Now, mix these flavors and textures with sweet roasted tomatoes and garlicky pesto for one of the most satisfying warm salad combinations ever.


  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes or about 4 cups of various heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup farro, rinsed
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut in half and then into about 8 wedges
  • 2 cups baby spinach or arugula
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, coarsely chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup pesto, homemade or store-bought, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Bring a medium to large pot of water to boil. Add 1 tablespoon* of salt. Add farro, stir, and bring water back up to a simmer.
  3. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but still chewy. Drain and put the farro back into the pot.
  4. While the farro simmers, toss the shallots, onions, and tomatoes in olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, red pepper flakes, and a few good cracks of pepper. Pour the mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment and roast until the tomatoes begin to crack and the onions are golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  5. Add the tomato, onions, and shallots back into the farro and mix gently. Spoon the pesto into the pot and stir just enough to incorporate.
  6. Add the lemon juice, zest, and greens, and gently fold into the mixture. Let cool for a few minutes.
  7. Pour the mixture into a serving bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with Parmesan, and add additional Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Garnish with additional basil and serve.


* Farro absorbs salt better than most grains so be sure to not over salt the water.

I like to roast the tomatoes and shallots on parchment because it makes it easy to gather up the sides and pour the mixture into the pot or bowl.