Farro Salad with Tart Cherries

Farro, Arugula & Tart Cherry Salad | A Couple CooksFarro Salad with Tart Cherries | A Couple CooksFarro Salad with Tart Cherries | A Couple CooksThis post was created in partnership with Oregon Fruit. All opinions are our own.

Giveaway rules below!

Pretty simple is mantra around here, what with our Pretty Simple Cooking cookbook. Alex and I like to say that cooking healthy is not easy, but it can be pretty simple once you change your lifestyle. A great thing about pretty simple cooking it also can be 1. pretty delicious and 2. just pretty.

Believing this mantra wasn’t always the case for us, which is hard for people to believe sometimes. I say it often, but when Alex and I got married, I was completely inept in the kitchen. I didn’t know a thing about what it took to put together a meal. I would choose recipes that seemed simple, only to find they took me ages to put together and left me in a bad mood. Over the years, learning through trial and error has helped me to understand what makes a recipe simple to put together–and that simple doesn’t always mean quick! Experience in the kitchen has helped me surround myself with simple recipes that maximize flavor and minimize headaches.

That’s the case with this farro salad with tart cherries. It takes about 25 minutes to put together, what with the farro-making and veggie-chopping. However, it’s a pretty simple concept. Simply boil a whole grain (like farro, quinoa for gluten-free), then add apple, arugula, tart cherries, and a bit of feta cheese for a savory saltiness. Cover it all in a tart cherry vinaigrette, and you’re in business. With the red and the green, it’s a beautiful salad for the holidays. Another great thing is that though it features lots of fresh ingredients: apples, arugula and cherries, it can be eaten year round since many of these ingredients are available throughout the year.

Typically Alex and I don’t think of using fruit in cans. However, we’ve been introduced to Oregon Fruit canned fruit, which we used for this recipe. Canned fruit is an easy way to incorporate the flavor and nutrients of fresh fruit; it’s available nationwide and year round. Oregon Fruit is packed in the USA during the summer for maximum ripeness and flavor. Some other great features: it’s non-GMO and there’s no High Fructose Corn Syrup or BPA in the cans. Here we’ve used canned tart cherries, which bring a sweet-tart flair to the salad. I’m a huge fan of tart flavor (my favorite drinks: margaritas or sour beer), so this one hits it out of the park for me.

Versatility is another thing we love about this recipe. You can use it as a side dish at a holiday meal; it would look lovely piled onto a large a platter. Or, turn it into a main dish as a grain bowl! Simply mound a larger quantity into a bowl and serve it with avocado toast or crackers as a filling lunch or weeknight meal. It can be served warm, room temperature, or cold, which makes it endlessly versatile. And finding recipes that work for many occasions is part of that pretty simple approach to the kitchen! We hope you’ll find this farro salad hits all those elements for you–an uncomplicated concept for many occasions that looks pretty and tastes pretty delicious.

Giveaway: Oregon Fruit is giving away two (count ’em!) TWO INSTANT POTS! To help you make your whole grains, and whatever else you’d like. Head to our Instagram feed to enter! Giveaway ends Wednesday, December 6 at 11:00 pm EST, so hurry!

Looking for recipes with whole grains? 

Eating whole grains is more than just whole grain bread! In addition to this farro salad, here are a few of our favorite recipes with whole grains:

Did you make this recipe?

If you make our farro salad with tart cherries, we’d love to hear how it turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks and @oregonfruitproducts.

This recipe is…

Vegetarian and naturally sweet. For gluten-free, substitute quinoa.

Farro Salad with Tart Cherries


  • 1½ cups dry pearled farro
  • 15-ounce can Oregon Fruit tart cherries
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon or stone-ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 1 tart apple
  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • ½ to ¾ cup feta cheese crumbles (goat cheese would also work)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  1. In a saucepan over high heat, bring 9 cups of water to a boil. Add the farro, stir once, and continue to boil uncovered for about 20 minutes, bubbling rapidly. Taste a grain of farro; if the grain is plump and tender, remove the pan from the heat and pour it into a strainer. (If not, continue to cook and taste until tender.) Rinse with lukewarm water to cool slightly and shake it dry. Brands of farro can vary, so adjust the cook time as necessary.
  2. For the vinaigrette, drain the cherries. Finely chop 2 tablespoons of the cherries, then reserve the remainder for the salad. Combine chopped cherries, vinegar, honey, and mustard in a small bowl. Drizzle in oil, whisking constantly, until incorporated.
  3. With the remaining cherries, roughly break some of them in half, or slice them in half. Thinly slice the shallot into rings. Chop the apple into very small bite-sized pieces. When farro is done, mix it with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Then in a large bowl, combine the farro, shallot, apple, arugula, feta crumbles, and cherry vinaigrette. Top with fresh ground pepper. Taste and adjust flavors as desired.