inspired by the Smitten Kitchen recipe, this is one of my favorite grain dishes for the chilly months. sweet and spicy, toothsome and creamy, vibrant and earthy, this recipe highlights the delightful grain farro, which is endearing in its light nuttiness and rustic elegance. Canvas Ranch is growing farro locally here in California, but I haven't purchased from them yet - I've been ordering from Bluebird Grain Farm in Washington state.
- 1 cup uncooked farro
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 4 medium carrots
- 2 large parsnips
- 1 medium red beet (optional)
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon harissa, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- pinch of cumin
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta
Cook farro: Bring the farro and broth to a boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the farro until tender, for about 15 to 20 minutes. If any extra water or broth remains, drain it. Set the farro aside until the vegetables are ready.
Prepare roots: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Wash the carrots and parsnips and beet, if using. Cut each into 2- inch lengths and then into matchsticks about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Toss in olive oil and a generous pinch or two of salt. Spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet or two (you want them to be in a single layer and not overlapping). Roast for 20 minutes, then toss them about in their pan before roasting them for a further 10 minutes.
Assemble salad: Whisk the dressing ingredients together, seasoning to taste with pinches of salt. Use more harissa if you’d like more heat; start with restrained amount because the heat of harissas can vary widely. In a large bowl, combine farro and roasted carrots and parsnips. Stir in most of the mint and feta, leaving a spoonful of each for garnish. Stir in dressing, to taste. Serve, garnished with beets* (if using) and also the reserved feta and mint. *The beets will turn the whole salad pink if you stir them in which can be fabulous if you like that kind of thing. If you don't want a fuchsia salad, just garnish the beets on top and let the color mixing happen on the plates.
*Do ahead: This salad keeps in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days in the fridge.