Farro with tuna, arugula, and cherry tomatoes

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Farro with tuna, arugula, and cherry tomatoes

Since the farmers' market came to our workplace over 2 years ago, it's been easy to get ideas for new dishes to cook. Often you can just pick up what's fresh and beautiful and the recipe comes to you from cookbooks, the internet, magazines, newspapers, or from friends who also like to cook.

A friend gave me a bag of farro along with a recipe for Farro Con Calamaretti, Rucola e Pomodori Cilieglini. Though not bilingual in Italian, I figured the recipe called for the arugula and cherry tomatoes I had brought home from Happy Boys Farm.

While I like squid, I opted for fresh tuna this time. This is definitely a "will make it again" dish.

Although I had never cooked with it, farro is a wholesome and nutritious grain that has been used for thousands of years. Information on the internet is confusing as some say you have to soak it overnight and cook it for 2 hours.

"Pearled" farro has had the outer hulls removed and cooks faster. One pragmatic cook simply advised following the cooking instructions on the bag. You may have to find this grain at an Italian deli. The search is absolutely worth it as it makes a spectacular, tasty, light yet slightly chewy grain salad.


  • 1 cup farro
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 handfuls baby arugula leaves
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 to 1 pound fresh tuna, sliced into 1/4" strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the farro, reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Combine the farro, arugula, and tomatoes in a large salad bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk 5 tablespoons olive oil into the lemon juice. Season the dressing with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the garlic and shallots. Stir a few times then sauté the tuna until just done.
  5. Add the tuna to the salad and toss it with the dressing. Adjust the seasonings and serve.