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choppin’ broccoli

Recipe: roasted broccoli and farro salad with feta

I’ve spent the past two weeks trying to get myself back into the groove over here. Somehow, I managed to catch the tail end of tomato season so I could process and can those precious red orbs for our long winter ahead. And there are those things we do every fall like trim mistletoe from our trees, clean out the gutters while the squirrels chatter angrily at you, spread all of that dark and earthy compost in the yard to make room in the composter for the winter. I’m attempting to get back to a regular trail running regimen as thoughts turn to ski season and limited days on clear trails by foot. Last week, I passed a woman with a black lab puppy on a leash near the elementary school. Ten weeks old, she told me as it sat on its little haunches trying to eat its leash. I smiled and continued on my way, thankful that the trails were empty, running through the woods wiping away the tears. But the good thing about long trail runs is that my mind won’t linger on one topic for too long. Eventually it will turn to the client shoot I have to finish or those photos from the fall shoot that I haven’t even looked at since capturing them weeks ago.

a sea of clouds at sunset

pink clouds hugging the mountain top at sunset

first light hitting blowing snow

While I was on the fall shoot, I spent a good bit of time driving and hiking around the mountains by myself. My brain never shuts up and I’ll be the first to admit that food is always on my mind. So I began compiling a list of recipes I wanted to try that popped into my head while hunting aspens. My kitchen in Nederland is my headquarters – my base of operations. Once home, I couldn’t wait to get started. Something I had been craving was a hearty grain salad.

green onions, salt, red pepper flakes, feta, farro, parsley, broccoli, olive oil, red wine vinegar, black pepper

cut the crowns into bite-size florets

slice the stalks

Jeremy and I have enjoyed farro prepared in restaurants, but I never cooked it at home before. I love the slightly chewy texture of the grain and how it practically pops in your mouth when you bite it. A word to those not in the know – farro is NOT gluten-free. It is, however, delicious and nutty and simple to prepare. Boil it in salted water until it is tender and drain the water off. This can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour depending if you get pearled farro (shorter cook time) or whole grain farro (longer cook time). That’s it.

prepped ingredients

dress the broccoli with salt, pepper, and olive oil

toss to coat

roast until browned

While the farro cooks, you can prepare your broccoli. Break the crowns down into bite-size florets, but don’t throw away the stalks or leaves! Peel away the tough outer skin of the stalks and then slice them. Keep the leaves out of the oven until the last five minutes of roasting – just toss them onto the baking sheet right quick. The broccoli leaves are my absolute favorite part.

roasted broccoli, red wine vinegar, chopped parsley, sliced green onions, cooked farro, feta, red pepper flakes

place everything in a bowl

toss together

The salad comes together with minimal effort. Adjust seasonings to your preferences. The original recipe has two green onions, but we both found it to be a little strong for our tastes. I would probably use one next time. If you like onion, then go for two. We absolutely loved this farro salad. It has a creaminess from the feta, the satisfying crunchy-chewy texture of the farro, and additional crunch from the broccoli. This salad is fresh, slightly spicy, slightly bitter, nutty, and zingy. Serve it as a side salad or enjoy it as a meal in itself.

healthy and delish

mmm, dig in!

Roasted Broccoli and Farro Salad with Feta
[print recipe]
from Fine Cooking

3/4 cup farro (pearled or whole grain)
1 lb. broccoli
3 tbsps olive oil
black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
2 green onions, thinly sliced (use 1 if you don’t like strong onion)
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsps fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 400°F. Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil. Boil the farro until tender – about 20-30 minutes for pearled and 45-60 minutes for whole grain. Drain the farro and transfer it to a large bowl. While the farro boils, break down the broccoli into bite-size florets. Don’t throw the stalks away! Peel the thick outer skin away and then slice the stalks lengthwise, then slice into 1/4-inch pieces. Toss the broccoli with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and the salt and pepper to taste. Spread the broccoli out on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes or until the pieces are tender and browned at the edges. Add the broccoli, feta, green onions, red pepper flakes, and parsley to the farro in the mixing bowl. Sprinkle with red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss everything together. Season with salt to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 5 cups. Serves 4.

more goodness from the use real butter archives

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11 nibbles at “choppin’ broccoli”

  1. Kristin says:

    I’m always up for a new salad recipe, and this is one that even my husband will eat (especially if I put his feta on my serving!). Can’t wait to try this. I love the pink clouds & the light hitting the snow.

  2. Chani says:

    Looks wonderful, I love roasted broccoli! You should consider toasting your farro before boiling it, the nutty flavor becomes tremendous :-)

  3. Twila says:

    This reminds me of a favorite “winter berry” salad recipe. So easy to make: farro (or similar), currants, walnuts, scallion or green onion, olive oil, feta, cayenne, salt, pepper. Yum! Hope you are enjoying this amazing “fall” (seems like summer?!).

  4. jill says:

    Oh those pink clouds are like heaven on earth.

  5. Pey-Lih says:

    This looks wonderful!!! Makin’ my mouth water when I am already drinking coffee to start the day. The pictures are really beautiful, especially the sea of clouds…very mesmerizing! I have never used farro before, and I had to look up this grain in my food science textbook. OK….off to school!

  6. Alanna says:

    Choppin’ broccoli!! The salad looks delicious, and those landscapes are stunning as always. Now I’m off to Youtube Dana Carvey. :)

  7. Kat says:

    I’m getting broccoli tomorrow!! I also have everything else, so hell yeah I’m making this! XO

  8. farmerpam says:

    Lovely, lovely photos. Thank you.

  9. jenyu says:

    Kristin – I quite like how this one is healthy and filling and so versatile!

    Chani – oooh, sounds like a GREAT idea!

    Twila – nice. I want to make more salads with winter berry and other grains!

    jill – :)

    Pey-Lih – you should give it a try, it’s quite tasty!

    Alanna – ;)

    Kat – ha ha, yay!! xoxo

    farmerpam – thank you xo

  10. Erin says:

    Just popping by to thank you for posting this! I had a head of cauliflower in the fridge and no desire to go back to the grocery store, so a quick swap later I had a lovely side for dinner and will have a few lunches this week. Yum!

  11. Melanie says:

    This was GREAT!! I also roasted some mushrooms along with the broccoli. When I tossed everything together I added some toasted almonds as well. Nice little crunch to this. My husband said ” i’d eat this again!” So you know its a winner!

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