A quick and simple Caprese Prosciutto Farro Salad for Memorial Day weekend and beyond. Nutty farro, sweet and juicy cherry tomatoes, salty prosciutto, herbs, and mozzarella all combined to create a refreshing spring/summer salad that’s pretty and delicious. Toss this quick and simple salad with an herby lemon balsamic vinaigrette and flaky sea salt. Every bite bursts in your mouth…it’s pretty hard to beat this simple summer salad. Perfect for upcoming picnics and backyard BBQs.
When I looked at the calendar this past Saturday night while finishing up writing Sunday’s Nine Favorite Things, I suddenly realized that Memorial Day was only a week away. Quarantine life had my mind thinking that we still had two weeks until Memorial Day. How could it be that Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start to summer, was basically here. It snuck up on me quicker than it ever has before.
I think we can all agree that this is one of the weirdest times in history. Most of us have lost track of what day it is. Days just seem to blend together. But with the abrupt realization that summer is about to hit us head-on, the anticipation for warmer days and sunshine couldn’t be greater. It’s making things feel much brighter, happier, and uplifting my spirits.
Plus, summer food is here! The market has been stocked with sweet early season cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and even ears of corn. Our herb garden is slowly starting to come to life, and each day the sun stays up just a minute or two longer. It’s one of my favorite times of the year.
And all that brings me to this Caprese Salad…
When I learned that Memorial Day was this weekend I panicked. I had no summer recipes plotted out and nothing for picnic season. I’ve been so stuck in the mindset of comfort food that I’d forgotten summer was even coming. Once I realized this, I immediately switched gears and quickly started to jot down some fresh summertime recipe concepts.
And then I landed on this salad. The cherry tomatoes on the pantry shelf and the bag of farro…that’s probably been in the pantry for over a year…were both calling me.
When it comes to tomatoes, I tend to overbuy. And farro? Well, let’s be real, you all know that when it comes to grains I love pasta. And I maybe love rice even more. So I tend to use these two grains more than any other. But I figured it was time to switch things up, try something new, to use up a little of that farro in our salad. Twas’ a good idea.
For those of you who may be unfamiliar, farro is an ancient grain that looks very similar to brown rice, but cooks much quicker. It’s also much nuttier too. Farro is actually cooked like you would pasta. It’s very easy to make and lends a chewy, nuttiness to salads that I love.
Since the farro takes the longest to prepare, start here. It’s easy. Just boil the farro in salted water until it’s tender. This takes about twenty minutes, so while the farro is cooking, prep the remainder of the salad.
Here’s a little tip when making a salad with an oil-based vinaigrette… Make the vinaigrette in the bottom of your salad bowl to limit the number of dishes you dirty. Not a genius tip, but it works!
For the vinaigrette, I did a simple lemon balsamic with a mix of herbs. It’s just high-quality olive oil, good balsamic, lemon, honey, fresh thyme, and lot’s of fresh black pepper and flaky sea salt.
Simple. But also delicious.
Now, this next step is KEY. Once the farro has been drained, immediately toss the hot farro with the vinaigrette in the bottom of the salad bowl. When the hot farro is tossed with the vinaigrette, you will immediately smell the balsamic and herbs. It’s like the heat “activates” the vinaigrette and intensifies the flavors. It’s the simplest of ingredients and the simplest process, but yet it’s all incredibly flavorful and layered with textures.
Once the farro has cooled, toss in the cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and prosciutto.
And then, you’re done. SIMPLE. But pretty and very delicious. I love topping my salad with a mix of fresh herbs. But you can simply use basil or whatever you have on hand.
Suggestions, substitutes, and ideas…
If you’re not loving the sound of farro in your salad, I get it. First, I urge you to at least give the farro a try. It’s shockingly delicious with a chewy texture and nutty flavor that fits perfectly with this summery Caprese.
Second, if you just can’t do the farro, not a problem, use quinoa or your favorite pasta. Either will be great.
To keep this vegetarian, just simply omit the prosciutto.
If you don’t have mixed herbs on hand, just use basil and lots of it, that’s great too. And lastly? This salad keeps incredibly well and is delicious the following day for lunch or served with your favorite grilled chicken or salmon.
And that’s all for today! Who else is excited about summer food? What are you guys looking forward to? Any recipes you’d love for me to create?
Looking for other Caprese recipes? Here are my favorites from year’s past.
Lastly, if you make this Caprese prosciutto farro salad, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Caprese Prosciutto Farro Salad
Calories Per Serving: 510 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 2 cups dry farro or quinoa
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 2-3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved if large
- 8 ounces fresh bocconcini (small mozzarella balls) or torn mozzarella
- 3 ounces prosciutto
- mixed herbs, for topping (optional)
- 1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Boil the farro according to package directions, about 20 minutes. Drain.2. Meanwhile, in a large salad bowl, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, thyme, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Add the hot farro and half of the basil. Vigorously toss to combine. Let the farro cool. 3. To the salad, add the cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and remaining basil, gently toss. Arrange the prosciutto and fresh herbs on top. Serve the salad at room temperature or chilled.
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Leftovers: keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days. Alternate Grains: this salad is delicious tossed with pasta, quinoa, or orzo, so feel free to use your favorite, or whatever you have on hand.