Summer Squash & Basil Farro Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette.
Late summer zucchini farro salad coming in hot!
I never want summer squash season to end. There, I said it.
We are living for zucchini and summer squash over here and just enjoying it so much. Sure, in approximately thirty days I will be losing my mind over fall and winter squash, but that’s neither here nor there.
For now, why not make one of my all-time favorite salads with zucchini?
This bowl is super satisfying and a great summer meal to make when you want a make-ahead dish or just a filling weeknight dinner. There is so much flavor and texture, which I think we all know by now is a requirement for me.
I made this, inspired by my slow roasted tomato farro salad, because it’s such a versatile dish. It works well as a main dish, as a side dish or even a potluck or BBQ dish. It’s delicious hot or cold. It’s customizable when it comes to herbs and dressing and even cheese. Leftovers are amazing!
There are just so many options.
And when I hinted on instagram that I may try a version of this dish with zucchini, you guys were allllll about it. Because grain bowls are the best.
Plus, it’s a great way to sneak in some vegetables. I find that I eat more veggies if they are tossed in a grain salad with delicious dressings and nuts. And obviously, cheese.
Could never live without cheese. Ever ever.
I used the method from my melted zucchini baked ziti here – where the zucchini and summer squash almost become caramelized in a pan. They are soft and wonderful. But you could also grill zucchini or even roast it.
And! You can use another grain, like quinoa or rice too. For the dressing?! Well it’s one of my go-to recipes as well. OF COURSE.
It’s lemony and tart and complements all the flavors. We have crunch and buttery flavor from the pine nuts. Creamy, tanginess from the feta. A bit of chew from the farro.
Really it is SUCH a lovely salad.
Zucchini Farro Salad
- 2 medium zucchini squash, thinly sliced
- 2 medium summer squash, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ cups cooked farro
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ½ cup pine nuts
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Stir in the zucchini and squash with a big pinch of salt and pepper and stir. Cook, stirring often, until the zucchini get melty and slightly caramelized, about 20 to 25 minutes.
While the zucchini cooks, you can prepare the farro and toast the pine nuts. As a note, this is a great salad to use leftover farro, rice or quinoa! You can make the farro ahead of time.
To toast the pine nuts, heat the nuts in a skillet over medium-low heat. Toss the nuts and shake the pan a few times until they are golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Don’t take your eyes off them!
Once the zucchini are melty and slightly caramelized, stir in the garlic and cook for a few minutes.
To make the salad, combine the farro with the squash in a large bowl. If taking this to a party, I would combine it all cold and serve it cold. Toss in the feta cheese, pine nuts and fresh basil. Add about ¼ cup of the dressing, tossing well. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. If needed, you can add more dressing, or serve the salad as is with the dressing on the side so people can use it themselves.
This stores great in the fridge for a few days!
In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, garlic, salt and pepper. Continue to whisk while streaming in the olive oil. This dressing stays great in the fridge in a sealed container for a week or so, so feel free to make a double batch if desired!
I adore you.