Frequently mundane and often overlooked, salad at a cook out is easily passed over when competing with savory grilled meats and filling sides. Sure, you need something green on the table when potato salad and baked beans are present but why bother making it spectacular? Some lettuce, a couple grape tomatoes and a bottle of ranch will do the trick, right?
Or you could make it great with grilled zucchini and summer squash tossed with farro and goat cheese then dressed in a bright basil vinaigrette and topped with sun dried tomatoes. It’s the end of summer, after all, and I don’t want to let the season end without making the most of the produce available. Bring this to your Labor Day celebration this weekend and no one will even miss the coleslaw.
This salad is the perfect solution for those late summer zucchinis and squash. They pair so well with tangy goat cheese and bold sun dried tomatoes. A fresh basil vinaigrette brings home that fresh summer flavor making this salad a must for your end-of-summer celebration.
I grilled my zucchini and squash while I cooked my farro then tossed everything together while the ingredients were still warm. This melted the goat cheese making for a creamy, decadent texture. This salad is even better the next day, too. If you do plan on making this for a crowd, you can prepare it a day in advance then toss in the arugula when you’re ready to serve.
Do you have big plans for the holiday weekend? Share them with me in the comments below!
Grilled Zucchini Farro Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
Serves 4 as a meal or up to 8 as a side
For the salad
- 1 Large or 2 Medium Zucchini
- 1 Large or 2 Medium Summer Squash
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Pepper
- 1 Cup Farro
- 4 Oz. Goat Cheese
- 6-8 Sun Dried Tomatoes, sliced
Preheat the grill or a large skillet over medium-high heat. Slice the zucchini and squash into half-inch thick rounds. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss the zucchini and squash in the olive oil and place on the grill or in the skillet, working in batches if necessary. Allow the vegetables to cook for 5-6 minutes per side or until they’re tender and cooked through. Remove from the heat and quarter the rounds so you’re left with smaller chunks.
While the vegetables are grilling, cook the farro according to the package directions. Add the grilled vegetables, farro, and the rest of the ingredients to a large bowl. Pour the basil vinaigrette over the top then toss to combine.
For the Basil Vinaigrette
- 1 Cup Packed Fresh Basil Leaves
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup White or Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tsp Honey
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
- 1/4 Tsp Pepper
Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend on medium speed until just combined. Optionally, you can finely chop the basil then whisk the ingredients together before adding to the salad.