ROASTED VEGETABLE FARRO SALAD
The smell of roasting vegetables is soul satisfying. A myriad of textures and colors united make for a hard to resist culinary cornucopia. Sweet peppers and squash, nutty cauliflower, slightly acidic eggplant, and grassy green beans with chewy, organic farro, and a light mustard based vinaigrette complete a belly filling comfort food inspired dish perfect for Meatless Mondays. As a bonus, this veggie salad holds up for 5 days in the refrigerator. On Tuesday, make a panini of these veggies with a good, artisanal loaf of sourdough bread, and a couple slices of Fontina cheese. Skip a day and come back end of week and toss remainders with market rotisserie chicken, some harissa, and dry pan fried halloumi cheese. This is one recipe that keeps on giving.
The bottom part of the oven is the hottest. Cooking the peppers on the bottom rack insures a good char that makes peeling the skin off easier. Curly kale works fine, but the texture of dinosaur or Lacinto kale means the salad may be eaten straight away rather than a couple hours later when the dressing helps to soften the kale. Add a kick to the salad with a couple of teaspoons of harissa instead of the mustard in the dressing.
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Rinse the farro in cold water and drain. Place the farro in a SMALL POT and add 1.5 cups water (the water should cover the grain). Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid.
3. Place the peppers, skin side down, on a half sheet baking tray. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and lightly drizzle with olive oil.
4. Place the butternut squash on a half sheet baking tray. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and lightly drizzle with olive oil.
5. Place the eggplant and the green beans on a half sheet baking tray. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and lightly drizzle with olive oil.
6. Place the cauliflower on a 1/4 or 1/2 sheet baking tray. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and lightly drizzle with olive oil.
7. Place the peppers on the bottom rack of the oven, the butternut squash on the top rack of the oven, and the eggplant and green beans on the middle rack of the oven. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the vegetable are caramelized, turning all the vegetable except the peppers once halfway through the cooking time.
8. Remove the vegetable from the oven and slide the cauliflower tray onto the bottom rack. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the vegetable are caramelized, turning once halfway through the cooking time.
9. Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, pull off the blackened skin and chop into 1" pieces.
10. Put the cooked farro, all of the cooled vegetables, and the kale into a large SERVING BOWL. Sprinkle the salad with the capers.
11. In a small glass bowl, whisk the 1/4 cup olive oil, mustard, vinegar, and garlic together. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
12. Pour all but two tablespoons of the dressing over the salad and gently mix to combine. Taste. Add more dressing as needed.
SERVES 6 TO 8
1/2 cup farro
1 red pepper, seeded, cored & cut into 4 pieces
1 yellow pepper, seeded, cored, & cut into 4 pieces
1 orange pepper, seeded, cored, & cut into 4 pieces
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, & cut into 1" pieces
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1" pieces
1/2 pound green beans, cut off ends, & cut into 2" pieces
1/2 small cauliflower head, florets only, large pieces sliced in half, small pieces left whole
1 bunch Lacinto kale, fine julienne
2 tablespoons capers
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for roasting vegetables
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper