This Farro Arugula Salad with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes, Eggplant, and Smoked Mozzarella is a super satisfying, savory, and hearty salad! It’s definitely substantial enough for a meal, but it’s amazing with some grilled shrimp or chicken added to it too! It’s filled with garlicky roasted tomatoes, roasted eggplant, peppery arugula, chewy farro, lots of fresh basil, smoked mozzarella, garlic oil, and lemon juice. Such a simple and delicious meatless meal!
I’m back with ANOTHER salad! After last week’s summer grain salad and summer strawberry salad (both SO good), I knew I had to keep it going for the rest of the month. Today’s salad is amazing and really different than the last two. I love it soooo much.
Farro is always a favorite of mine when it comes to salads, because it bulks them up, and it adds the best chewiness and texture.
The salad is super satisfying from the roasted veggies, smoked mozz, and farro of course. It’s totally a perfect meatless meal on it’s own, but I’ve also added grilled lemony shrimp and chicken to it before, and it was absolutely delicious that way too!
The best part of this salad is the garlicky roasted tomatoes and eggplant. They get super sweet and caramelized, and I could just eat the whole sheet pan by itself, and be 100% happy.
This salad was actually inspired by a pasta dish my aunt makes, which was inspired by a dish that a local restaurant near her used to have. I’ll never forget the first time I tasted it years ago – such a unique combination of flavors and it’s so satisfying.
I’m also not usually one for smoked cheeses, or anything smoked for that matter. I just don’t gravitate toward that flavor profile, unless it’s really amazing smoked chicken, ribs, or BBQ. So if you’re scared of the smoked mozzarella, don’t be! Trust me on this one.
It’s incredible with all of the flavors.
The other best part of this salad is the garlic oil that it gets tossed in. Kind of similar to how I made this pasta, you make a simple garlic infused oil over the stove, and then toss the salad with it, along with some freshly squeezed lemon juice, flaky salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. I mean….how much better can it get?!
I like to serve this salad room temperature or slightly chilled, but you could totally serve it hot, and melt the smoked mozzarella into it!
All you need for this salad:
- farro (I use the quick cooking kind from Trader Joe’s because it’s so easy + such a time saver!)
- cherry tomatoes
- lots of garlic!
- smoked mozzarella
- good quality extra virgin olive oil
- flaky sea salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
And that’s it!
So simple, and SO good.
Farro Arugula Salad with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes, Eggplant, and Smoked Mozzarella
This Farro Arugula Salad with Garlic Roasted Tomatoes, Eggplant, and Smoked Mozzarella is a super satisfying, savory, and hearty salad! It's definitely substantial enough for a meal, but it's amazing with some grilled shrimp or chicken added to it too! It's filled with garlicky roasted tomatoes, roasted eggplant, peppery arugula, chewy farro, lots of fresh basil, smoked mozzarella, garlic oil, and lemon juice. Such a simple and delicious meatless meal!
For the roasted tomatoes and eggplant
- 4 cups diced eggplant (1/2-3/4'' cubes)
- 2 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
For the garlic oil
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- salt and pepper
For the salad
- 3 cups cooked farro*
- the roasted tomatoes and eggplant
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, torn, plus extra for serving
- 6 ounces smoked mozzarella, cut into 1/4-1/2'' cubes
- the garlic oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400℉. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the tomatoes and eggplant and toss with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper until incorporated. Roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring once or twice during baking, until toamtoes are burst and caramelized, and eggplant is golden brown on the edges. Let cool for 5-10 minutes.
While tomatoes and eggplant are roasting, make the garlic oil. Heat olive oil in a small saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute or so, or until garlic is fragrant and very lightly brown on the edges (it will burn quickly so watch carefully!). Remove from heat immediately and pour into a small bowl to stop cooking. Season with a couple pinches of salt and pepper.
To assemble the salad, add the farro to a large bowl along with the cooled roasted tomatoes and mozzarella, Stir gently to combine. Add the arugula, torn basil, and smoked mozzarella and stir again to combine. Drizzle the salad with the garlic oil and lemon juice. Season with a few generous pinches of flaky sea salt, and a generous amount of freshly cracked black pepper, to taste. Toss once more to combine, and season to taste with additional salt and pepper if desired. Serve with extra basil leaves.
*I always use the quick cooking farro from Trader Joe's, because it's just that - quick! It only takes 10 minutes, and it's just as good as the stuff that takes longer to cook.