Farro Salad with Roasted Zucchini, Herbed Cashew Cheese, and Mint
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Farro Salad with Roasted Zucchini, Herbed Cashew Cheese, and Mint // Choosing Raw

One of the first things I did when I got to NYC in August and started to unpack was to line up all of my grains and legumes in mason jars along a shelf in my apartment. I can’t tell you how much joy it gives me to walk by the queue of oats, wheatberries, barley, millet, quinoa, spelt berries, lentils, and so on; I smile every time I see them, imagining how many versatile meals will emerge from this simple array of healthful (and inexpensive) foods.

Grain salads are a staple for me. They’re easy to create, filling, healthy, and they make for perfect lunch leftovers. This particular grain salad happens to be one of the best I’ve made in a long time, and I’m so glad that I put it together while zucchini was still in season. If you can remember to prepare the cashew cheese in advance (I often make a batch of the stuff over the weekend), it’s a very small amount of work for an exceedingly delicious dish.


Farro Salad with Roasted Zucchini, Herbed Cashew Cheese, and Mint // Choosing Raw
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Farro Salad with Roasted Zucchini, Herbed Cashew Cheese, and Mint

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Yields: 4 Servings


  • 1 cup pearled farro (180g)
  • 2 large zucchini, quartered lengthwise and then sliced crosswise into pieces about 3/4-inch / 2cm thick
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint (5g)
  • 1/2 cup cashew cheese (crumbled)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat your oven to 400F.
  • Bring a medium pot of water to boil over medium-high heat. Add the farro and turn the heat to medium-low. Boil the farro until tender yet still firm, 25 to 35 minutes. When the farro is ready, drain it thoroughly with a fine-mesh sieve, return it to the pot, cover, and allow it to steam for a few minutes. The farro can be cooked up to 2 days before assembling your salad.
  • Toss the zucchini slices with the avocado oil, a generous pinch of salt, and pepper to taste. Spread the zucchini on two baking sheets and roast for 15-20 minutes, or until the zucchini is browning and tender.
  • Turn the farro out into a mixing bowl. Add the zucchini to the farro, along with the olive oil, lemon juice, and mint. Toss the ingredients together. Add the cashew cheese and gently fold it into the salad. Taste, and add salt and freshly ground pepper as needed. Serve.


Most grain salads boast wonderful texture, but this one is particularly varied: buttery soft zucchini, chewy farro, creamy cashew cheese. You could serve this along with a bright green salad, a summery soup (summer corn and coconut soup, easy summer gazpacho, or even one of my blended salads), a plate of roasted vegetables, or a nice slab of grilled tofu. I hope you’ll love it as much as my boyfriend and I did, when we savored each and every bite.

Farro Salad with Roasted Zucchini, Herbed Cashew Cheese, and Mint // Choosing Raw

I’m in the midst of a heavy week of nutrition counseling; I barely had a chance to breathe today in between clients! But I can’t tell you all how great it feels to be diving back into my work. It’s funny: I embarked on my post-bacc because counseling had shown me that I wanted to work with people, to help them heal. But in many ways my post-bacc pulled me away from this sense of vocation and purpose; I was so wrapped up in beating the med school odds and surviving my classes that I couldn’t direct much of my energy outward. And I had to stop taking and responding to clients because my stress levels were so high.

I’m not where I thought I would be this fall, which is to say I’m not a first year med student. But in many ways I feel that I’ve gotten back to my original intention, which was to create a career in which I could help people to heal themselves using food as a tool. I’m as busy as I was at certain moments of my post-bacc, and I’m still putting a bunch of groundwork in place for new professional directions. But I feel more complete and more satisfied with my work than I have for a very long time.

That was a random train of thought, but as I sat here at the end of a long, exhilarating work day, I had to tell you.

Night, friends.


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Categories: Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes, Meal Sized Salads
Method: Oven, Stovetop
Ingredients: Cashew Nuts, Farro
Dietary Preferences: Soy Free, Vegan

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  1. This recipe sounds delicious. I have 3 questions!
    How essential is the nutritional yeast to the cashew cheese? I have none!
    Would rice be the best replacement for farro (I am wheat intolerant)
    Do nuts/seeds get affected by sunlight? I also keep them in glass jars, but hide them away in the pantry.

    Many thanks,

  2. Love the look of this and love hearing your “random train(s) of though” 😉
    what are your favourite herbs for the cheese?
    h xx

  3. This recipe looks amazing and I just love reading about your beautiful perspective on life and where you are. Thanks for sharing it. It helps guide mine 🙂

  4. Farro is such a treat- I love that toothsome little grain. In a pinch though, I’ve found that barley can make for a tasty (and even more economical) substitute. Can I put in a vote for more millet recipes? It’s amazing stuff, but beyond simple millet porridge and mashed millet with cauliflower, I tend to get a bit stuck for ideas. It would be fun to see your spin on it. 🙂

  5. this sounds great; I only discovered farro recently, I had never seen it in the shops before. I am a fan!

  6. I’d love to have a shelf with glass jars full of grains, nuts and seeds in my flat. Sadly I can’t put up shelves in my rented flat… but someday! 😉

    Looks like a lovely salad for autumn!