The Best Black Bean + Corn + Farro Salad

  • By Jess Dang
  • June 13, 2012

Black Bean, Corn, Farro Salad | 3 Ingredients / 3 Ways | Cook Smarts by Jess Dang

Part of our “3 Ingredients / 3 Ways” Series, featuring: BLACK BEANS + CORN + FARRO

Can you smell the taste of summer yet? I sure can. Every year the heat of summer ushers in a season of cookouts, picnics, and way too many (but yet not enough) ice cream trips. As the season arrives, I am always looking for new dishes that showcase the best of summer produce, that can be eaten cold so it doesn’t matter when people are dropping by or easily transported in case there is an impromptu potluck picnic involved (because there always is, right?). Luckily the trio of ingredients that we’re launching our “3 Ingredients / 3 Ways” series with – BLACK BEANS + CORN* + FARRO – is perfect for throwing into a salad and checks all my summer dish requirements. Toss these three ingredients with sweet and crispy red peppers or a juicy heirloom tomato (or both!) and dress with just about any simple vinaigrette, and you’re all set for a summer dish that will shine as a side or on its own as an entree.

*While frozen corn can definitely be used, summer is the season of sweet corn, so spend the extra minute to shave those fresh corn kernels off their cob. You won’t regret it.

1 4

Black Bean, Corn, and Farro Salad Recipe

Serves: 6


  • 1 cup of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup of cooked farro (1/3 cup of dried semi-pearled farro)
  • 3 cobs of corn or 2 cups of frozen
  • 1 red pepper and / or
  • 1 heirloom tomato
  • A handful of cilantro leaves
  • Salt & pepper
  • Ingredients for suggested vinaigrette
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbs. red wine or sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tbs. olive oil



  1. Farro: If you haven’t already cooked the farro, prepare it like you would pasta. Farro absorbs a lot of water so use a 1:6 farro to water ratio (e.g., 1/3 cup of farro = 2 cups of water required). Bring water to a boil, salt heavily, add farro, and boil uncovered for about 25 minutes or until al dente (tender but with a bite). Drain
  2. Corn: If using fresh corn, shuck the outer leaves. Stand corn on one end and shave kernels off with a knife. Place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes. If using frozen, microwave on high for 2 minutes or until defrosted
  3. Red pepper / tomato: Dice. For a great how to dice a red pepper video, check this KinCommunity video out
  4. Cilantro: Rinse, dry, and chop


  1. Combine rinsed and drained black beans, cooked farro, corn kernels, diced red pepper / tomatoes, and chopped cilantro in a deep salad bowl.
  2. Make vinaigrette by combining dijon mustard, minced garlic, vinegar, salt, and sugar in a smaller bowl. Drizzle in olive oil and whisk together with a fork
  3. Toss ingredients with vinaigrette. Taste and decide if it needs more seasoning. Salt and pepper as you please. Don’t be afraid of the S&P. It’ll make your dishes taste so good
Serve / Substitutes / Supplements
Feed your inner carnivore:
Meat is definitely allowed in this dish. If you’ve got your grill on already, BBQ some chicken breasts and dice them right into this salad
Yes, that’s a verb! Wrap this up in your favorite tortilla and add a dollop of sour cream and guacamole
Switch up the vinaigrette:
Don’t feel wedded to my suggested vinaigrette. The red wine or sherry vinegar can easily be substituted for balsamic or champagne. Substitute a tablespoon of oil for a tablespoon of creme fraiche, mayo/veganaise for a creamier dressing


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