Roasting vegetables until they are soft and browned brings out a delicious natural sweetness. I use roasted vegetables as side dishes, tossed with hot pasta, in soups, and in salads like this one. I enjoy making farro salads for both lunch and light dinners, and combining roasted vegetables with nutty cooked farro creates a delicious salad that I make often.
Ancient grains such as farro are an excellent base for any salad. Farro is rich in fiber, has 28 grams of protein per cup, is full of antioxidants, and is fat-free and low calorie. As well, farro is rich in magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B3. So, as well as tasting great, farro is good for you too!
By changing the ingredients you add to the cooked farro, you can create a new salad every season. I chose to mix farro with my favorite roasted Italian vegetables in this recipe, but you could add just about any vegetable you choose. Roasted asparagus, mushrooms, or artichokes would also be delicious in this salad. I added lightly toasted pine nuts in this version, but chopped Kalamata olives and/or capers would be tasty additions as well.
We often make this salad for lunch, but it is also perfect for packing for picnics or outdoor barbeques. Farro is a close cousin to spelt, so you can substitute spelt for farro if it is easier to find. Both grains are rich in protein and fiber and are therefore a great alternative to meat. I enjoy this salad just as it is, but you could also add cubed mozzarella to the salad or top it with crumbled feta or goat cheese.
Deborah Mele Revised 2021
- 1 1/2 Cups Dried Farro
- 1 Medium Eggplant
- 2 Small Zucchini
- 1 Red Pepper
- 1 Yellow Pepper
- 1 Medium Red Onion
- 1 1/2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes Cut In Half
- 1/3 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves, Chopped
- 1/3 Cup Lightly Toasted Pine Nuts
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- 4 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley Finely Chopped
- Salt & Pepper
- Cook the farro in lightly salted boiling water until tender to the bite but still just a bit chewy, about 25 minutes.
- Drain and reserve in a large bowl.
- Cut the eggplant, zucchini, peppers, and onion into 1 inch dice.
- Preheat oven to 400 degress F.
- Toss the vegetables in a bowl with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Spread the vegetables across two foil lined baking sheets, then roast for 10 minutes.
- Turn vegetables, then roast another 15 minutes or until vegetables are soft and lightly browned.
- Add the tomatoes, basil, and pine nuts and mix.
- Mix the dressing ingredients together in a separate small bowl and pour it over the farro mixture.
- Toss well and serve on four individual plates.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 453Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 110mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 7gSugar: 10gProtein: 7g