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.
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
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
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.
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