Cancer-Fighting Recipe: Farro Salad with Tomatoes and Herbs

Deb DeMille

Debra DeMille, MS, RD, CSO is a nutritional counselor at Pennsylvania Hospital. Debra has worked at Pennsylvania Hospital since 1988 with the last 12 years specializing in oncology. Debra guides individuals receiving chemotherapy and radiation as well as addressing survivorship issues including the use of integrative therapies.

This is a wonderful grain salad that can be very versatile. Farro is a wheat grain that is high in fiber and protein. Farro also has cancer fighting lignans and may aid with blood sugar control. The down side is that along with recent popularity, the cost has risen. So brown rice, barley or quinoa are easy substitutes.

Parsley is a wonderful herb which is known as a palate and breath cleanser. This herb is high in Vitamin C, beta-carotene and folic acid.

Chives contain the compound as is found in garlic called allium which also has cancer fighting properties. And tomatoes are well known for being high in Vitamin C, potassium and lycopene which may decrease the risk of prostate cancer and have anti-inflammatory properties.

farro salad

Farro Salad with Tomatoes and Herbs

Serves 6


  • 4 cups water
  • 10 ounces of farro
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes
  • ½ Vidalia or sweet onion (chopped)
  • ¼ cup snipped fresh chives
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • Dressing ingredients:
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Combine water and farro in a medium saucepan. Add the salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain the grain and transfer to a large bowls to cool.
  2. Add the tomatoes, onion, chives and parsley to the grain and toss to combine.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients and add to the salad. Toss to coat the ingredients.

Source: by Giada De Laurentis

Debra's note:

This salad will also work well with many other whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, barley or whole wheat couscous.

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