9.20.13 Farro Salad with Balsamic Roasted Vegetables
I recently ended up with a large supply of farro in my kitchen. It was bequeathed to me by a friend who was paring down her kitchen items before moving. As someone who loves all things food, of course I couldn’t say no. And lo and behold, it was now mine. Now I should say that up until this point, I had never before cooked with farro, so I didn’t really have much of an idea of what to do with it. The poor farro sat sadly in a jar on the shelf, until recently, when I decided something must be done.
Let’s just say that the decision to cook up some farro was a good one. Before I knew it, I was making it into salads, stuffing peppers with it and throwing it into soups. This little grain is pretty fantastic. For those of you who may also be in the dark about farro, let me enlighten you. Farro is a type of whole grain wheat, also known as emmer. Besides having names that are fun to say, it’s a deliciously versatile grain (not to mention healthy and high in protein) that has a nice chew to it. And you can easily buy it at most grocery stores - it’s usually in the bulk section.
Now, as I’ve mentioned, there are a myriad of ways to use farro, but my favorite thus far is in salad form with roasted balsamic vegetables and a lemon herb vinaigrette. The idea for this salad started out as a way to use up some extra veggies I had hanging around in the fridge, and the result is, in my opinion, the perfect dish for early fall. Hearty enough for the cooler weather but still not heavy, earthy grains and mushrooms balanced by grassy herbs and a hit of citrus. Let me just say YUM.
Farro Salad with Balsamic Roasted Vegetables
- 1 pint cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
- 2 red or yellow bell peppers, cut into about 1 inch pieces
- 1 red onion cut into about 1 inch pieces
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 ½ cups dry farro
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ½ c olive or canola oil
- 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 Tbsp chopped tarragon
- 1 Tbsp honey
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Mix the mushrooms, peppers, onion, garlic, 1 Tbsp olive oil and balsamic vinegar until all vegetables are evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper (about ¼ tsp each). Spread vegetables evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes until vegetables are roasted and fragrant.
3 While the vegetables are roasting, bring 3 ½ cups water to boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, add the farro, bring to a simmer, and cover. Cook until farro is tender - about 25 to 30 minutes. Drain farro well and put into a medium bowl.
4. Combine the lemon juice, oil, parsley, tarragon and honey in a bowl or jar and mix rapidly to combine.
5. Mix the cooked farro, roasted vegetables, and vinaigrette together until evenly mixed. Serve warm or at room temperature.