Between a birthday cake, cookies, and scones, I have actually eaten a few healthy things here and there. For instance, I finally got around to making a farro salad after seeing similar ones like this, that, and this. Farro is a chewy whole grain that’s similar in taste and texture to barley. I started with a pound of farro which I placed in a large bowl, covered with water, and let soak for 25 minutes. Once drained, it was placed in a large pot with a bay leaf, was covered with water again, and was brought to a boil and left to cook for another 25 minutes. The first 25 minutes was just enough time to chop the other ingredients, and the cooking time for the farro was about the same as the time needed to roast the vegetables.
I cut a head of cauliflower into florets, tossed the florets with several cloves of garlic, chopped fresh sage, olive oil, and salt and pepper, and roasted all for 30 minutes. For the last few minutes of roasting, I pushed the cauliflower and garlic to the side of the baking sheet and added some pine nuts. In a very large mixing bowl, the cooked and drained farro joined rinsed and drained, canned white beans, zest from one lemon, a big handful of chopped parsley, a little bit of chopped sage, the roasted cauliflower, garlic, and most of the pine nuts, and a quick vinaigrette of lemon juice and olive oil. This was seasoned with salt and pepper and just a shake or two of crushed red pepper flakes. Once on the plate, it was topped with crumbled goat cheese, a few more pine nuts, and chopped parsley as garnish.
This hearty, healthy dish can be adapted to include whatever vegetable, herb, and cheese combination sounds good to you. It makes a generous amount and stores very well as a leftover. It was also delicious with a sliced hard-boiled egg on top. Follow one of the examples above, or make your own version, but definitely try a farro salad.