This simple Farro Caprese Salad with Shrimp is a zesty, hearty spin on the classic caprese salad.
I think I’m going to start a new segment here on the blog and it’s going to be called Meals from Mare’s Friends.
Remember a few weeks back when I shared my friend Katherine’s delicious Roasted Cauliflower Chickpea Salad Well, today’s recipe is courtesy of my good friend Fernando and it hails all the way from Montevarchi, Italy, twenty miles south of Florence.
My husband Tom and I got together with our close friends Jackie and Nando a few weeks ago and Nando mentioned this hearty farro salad his grandmother and aunt often make when they go to Italy. My eyes started to light up. I knew I’d love it because farro is one of my favorite grains. It’s hearty and nutty and keeps me incredibly satisfied for hours.
I’m also a huge fan of the classic caprese salad during the summer. Nothing beats fresh mozzarella and garden ripe tomatoes and basil drizzled with a bit of olive oil then sprinkled with salt and freshly ground pepper. Such an easy dish and always a hit at the table. It’s something I live on all summer long. So the combination of the farro with the ingredients of the caprese, and some shrimp thrown in, (because that’s how we do things at the beach), sounded like a winner of a summer salad, and one I must share.
You can either grill the shrimp or sauté them in a pan with a bit of olive oil. Whatever floats your boat (because that’s how we say things at the beach). And if shrimp is not your thing, feel free to substitute some grilled chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken which is equally delicious. I used grape tomatoes, but any kind of juicy red tomato will do. And I used cherry size fresh mozzarella, but you can use the larger ball and cut it in cubes. A little sprinkle of pine nuts on top for garnish and extra crunch and of course some fresh basil leaves plucked from the garden make this delicious salad one of my new summer faves. Thanks Nando! Hope y’all enjoy it too!
- 1 1/2 cups farro I use Bob's Red Mill
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 lb. shrimp cleaned and deveined
- 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
- 8 oz. fresh cherry size mozzarella or large 8 oz. ball, cubed
- 6-8 oz. pesto
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 fresh lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup pine nuts for garnish
- 5-6 fresh basil leaves for garnish
Rinse 1 1/2 cups farro. Place in a large pot and add 4 1/2 cups water, enough to cover the grains. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain any excess liquid. Let cool, then place in a large bowl.
In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until pink and opaque, about 4-5 mins total. Feel free to grill shrimp, if desired. Drain and add shrimp to farro.
Add the tomatoes and mozzarella to the farro.
In a small bowl, whisk together pesto and garlic. Pour over the farro mixture and gently toss until well coated. Squeeze the lemon over the farro and toss again. Season with salt and pepper.
Top with pine nuts and additional fresh basil leaves. Serve either at room temperature or chilled.