Farro and Fig Salad with Arugula and Feta

Farro and Fig Salad with Arugula and Feta

Perusing the expo haul at a recent Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics conference,  I noticed a trend: the Grain-Free label featured prominently on everything from bags of granola to energy bars. It struck me as odd, marketing something as “grain-free”, as if being “free of grains” is the path to health.

Here’s the problem: grains are good for you. Choose slow-release, quality, less processed grains — sorghum, farro, buckwheat, brown rice, whole oats, whole wheat bread, and quinoa — and you’ve got an affordable energy source that delivers protein, fiber, and a host of nutrients. Grains are a foundation of the sort of plant-based diet that almost all nutrition experts agree is a very smart way to eat.Farro and Fig Salad with Arugula and Feta

Now that I’ve spun off into a dietitian diatribe, let me tell you an even better reason to embrace grains: they’re delicious. Let’s start with today’s recipe for Farro & Fig Salad. It’s one I developed last year for the California Fig Board and have been hooked on ever since. The recipe calls for dried figs, which lend a hit of sweetness to balance out the peppery greens and salty feta. If you can’t have gluten in your diet, sorghum would be an excellent substitute. Either way, the dish is pretty simple to make, requiring no more than about 15 minutes of your time to prep and assemble.

I’ve made it for weeknight suppers and also served it to a table full of dinner guests. Nobody seemed to mind that it wasn’t grain-free.

A delicious way to get in your grains: Farro and Fig Salad with Arugula and Feta. #wholegrains Click To Tweet
5 from 1 vote

Farro & Fig Salad with Arugula and Feta

This salad makes an excellent side dish for roast chicken, pork, or lamb, or is hearty enough to stand on its own as part of a vegetarian meal. If you can't tolerate gluten (which farro has), use sorghum instead. Either way, it's easy to make and delicious to eat. 

Course Main Dish, Side Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 - 6
Calories 230 kcal


  • 1 cup semi-pearled farro (see notes)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ heaping teaspoon dried turmeric
  • ¾ cup stemmed and chopped dried figs
  • 2 gently packed cups arugula
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (2 ounces)


  1. Put the farro and water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat until the water simmers, put on the lid, and cook until the farro is tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, for 10 minutes.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, shallot, mustard, salt, pepper, and turmeric. Add the farro, figs, and arugula and toss well. Crumble the feta over the top and toss again.

  3. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Semi-pearled farro is the most common variety. However, if you stumbled upon whole-grain farro, give it a try (it's even more nutritious). Be sure to read the label for cooking instructions, since they will be different from semi-pearled. 


11.11.2017 at10:06 AM #


Hi Katie! This looks delicious. I’ve never tried farro. If I can’t find dried figs, what can I substitute? Thanks for all of your weeknight rescues.

11.11.2017 at10:25 AM #


Hi Nancy,

If you can’t find dried figs, I’d suggest dried apricots or dried medjool dates. The dates will be a little sweeter, so maybe scale back the amount just a bit. Glad you are enjoying Weeknight Rescue!

11.01.2018 at5:02 PM #

Jack | BBQRecipez

This is the perfect salad for my lunch. Oh YUM! Love everything about this recipe! This sounds like something I need to try. I really like

11.01.2018 at5:02 PM #


One of my favorites too!

02.16.2019 at10:04 PM #


This salad was enjoyed by my entire family including two young adults who usually sneer at salad.

02.16.2019 at10:04 PM #


Ahh…music to my ears. Thanks for letting me know.

05.08.2021 at3:35 AM #


To make this salad dairy-free, would you simply leave out the feta or substitute something?

05.08.2021 at3:35 AM #


Yes, you could leave it out or maybe swap it for toasted nuts for a little something extra.

08.02.2021 at8:01 PM #

Rochelle Winston Davies

Do you think this would work with fresh figs?

I was also thinking this might be good pushing Freekah as the grain? What do you think?

08.02.2021 at10:18 PM #

Rochelle Winston Davies

I meant to type using Freekah, not pushing Freekah.

08.02.2021 at10:18 PM #


I think that would work. It’s a smaller grain, but has a similar texture. Let me know how it goes!

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