Healthy Lunch Idea: A Farro Niçoise Salad

A travel-friendly lunch recipe for a farro niçoise salad, excerpted from Aviva Wittenberg's new cookbook, Lunchbox

Composed salads are a great way to dress up the odds and ends in your fridge, and make for an easy all-in-one meal. While I adore potatoes (a key ingredient in a classic niçoise), some people do not like them at all, so this is for them. In place of potatoes, I use farro, a chewy form of wheat available at Italian markets, health food stores, and many supermarkets.

Farro Niçoise Salad

Makes: 2 servings
Active Time: 5 minutes 
Total Time: 15 minutes + cooking farro

Tip: This salad can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to 2 days. Or get a jump on it by cooking the farro and storing it in the fridge for up to 1 week. Hard-boiled eggs can also be made in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 1 week.


Tarragon Dressing

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1½ Tbsp red wine vinegar 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp packed chopped fresh tarragon, fine stems and leaves only
  • 1 Tbsp sliced green onions, light parts only
  • ⅛ tsp finely minced garlic Salt and pepper


  • Small handful green beans, trimmed
  • 1 can olive-oil-packed tuna, drained
  • 3 cups leafy salad greens 2 cups cooked and cooled
  • farro (see Note)
  • ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, halved Olives
  • Pickled onions (optional)


  1. Make the dressing: Place the dressing ingredients in a small blender or a tall jar suitable for use with an immersion blender. Blend for about 90 seconds, until combined into a lemon-yellow dressing with tiny flecks of green. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed (see Note below).
  2. Place the beans in a microwave-safe dish, cover, and microwave on high for 90 seconds to steam and soften them a little. Break the tuna up into chunks using a fork.
  3. Make a bed of the salad greens in your lunch bowl and top with the farro, softened green beans, cherry tomatoes, tuna, hard-boiled eggs, olives, and pickled onions. Pack the dressing in a separate container and toss with the rest of the salad at lunchtime.

Note: Some red wine vinegars can be very acidic; if the dressing catches you at the back of your throat, add ½ to 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and blend again to mollify the acidic flavor. If you can’t get your hands on farro, feel free to substitute with quinoa or, of course, some boiled baby potatoes.

Lunchbox Cover

Excerpted from Lunchbox by Aviva Wittenberg. Copyright © 2022 Aviva Wittenberg. Photography © 2022 Aviva Wittenberg. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Next: Fun Lunch Idea: Baked Pear, Vanilla, & Spiced Donuts With Seeds and Fruit

Originally Published in Best Health Canada