mustardy farro and roasted winter vegetable salad

April 4, 2015

farro and winter vegetables

Technically it’s spring but given that the earth is still in a deep freeze here and that spring won’t really come to our plates for several months yet, our table is still adorned with winter vegetables. This recipe is a case in point. It’s a warm salad starring winter vegetables – carrots, parsnips, celeriac and cauliflower, with a solid supporting role given to farro – a warming hulled wheat grown in the Garfagnana region of Tuscany  which can receive an IGP designation (Indicazione Geografica Protetta) by law guaranteeing its geographic origin. If you can’t find farro, barley is its identical twin. Topped with a little parsley and some toasted pine nuts, it takes centre stage nicely on its own, or accompanied by a little baked tofu or grilled chicken depending on your preference. It’s from Diana Henry’s new A Change of Appetite which I recommend picking up on your next visit to the library or local book store.

For the salad

6 carrots, trimmed, peeled and halved lengthwise (quartered if very fat)

3 parsnips, trimmed, peeled and halved lengthwise (quartered if very fat)

1/2 head of celeriac, peeled and cut into wedges

1/2 head of cauliflower, broken into small florets

3 tbsps olive oil

sea salt and black pepper

1 cup semi-pearl farro

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tsps white balsamic vinegar

2 tsps mixed seeds or nuts

For the dressing

1 tsp whole- grain mustard

1-2 tsps honey

5 tsps cider vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

pinch of dried red pepper flakes

1 tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss the carrots, parsnips, celeriac, and cauliflower with olive oil and a little sea salt and pepper. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for approximately 40 minutes, or until tender and slightly burnished in patches.

Meanwhile, cook the farro. Put it into a saucepan and cover with plenty of cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 20 – 25 minutes until tender (even when cooked it retains a bite in the centre). Drain and immediately dress with the olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, and seasoning.

To make the dressing, put the mustard, honey, and vinegar into a small bowl, season well, and whisk in the oil in a stream. Now mix in all the other dressing ingredients and taste.

Gently toss all the vegetables together with the farro and the dressing, adding any seeds or nuts you prefer.

 

 

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