Have you had a chance to wander into a bookstore recently? The other day I had a rare few minutes to spare and made my way to our local Barnes and Noble and went straight to the cookbook section, of course. I was immediately drawn to “Roots: The Definitive Compendium with more than 225 Recipes” by Diane Morgan. It is a beautiful book with gorgeous pictures, fascinating information, and delicious-sounding recipes for root vegetables. One, in particular, caught my eye: Farro with Carrots, Red Grapes and Pearl Onions. In my mind’s palate, this tasted amazing and I couldn’t wait to give it a try. And when I made the dish, it didn’t disappoint. Here is my version of Diane’s dish.
Warm Farro Salad with Roasted Pearl Onions, Carrots, and Grapes
Serves 8-10 as a side dish
For the farro:
6 cups water
2 cups farro
1 1/2 tsp salt
For the roasted pearl onions, carrots and grapes:
2 cups frozen pearl onions (thawed and drained)
4 carrots, peeled then sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 1/2 cups red seedless grapes
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
For the dressing:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. Add the water, farro, and salt to a heavy bottomed pot and bring to a boil.
3. When the water starts to boil, cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook the farro for 20-45 minutes (it’s amazing how widely the cooking time can vary with farro – definitely start checking for doneness after cooking the farro for 20 minutes). The farro should be cooked al dente.
4. While the farro is cooking, toss the sliced carrots, red grapes, and pearl onions with the 3 Tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp salt on a sheet pan and pop in the oven for 25 minutes, stirring twice while roasting.
5. When the farro is done, drain and transfer to a large bowl.
6. Add the roasted pearl onions, carrots, and grapes to the farro, making sure to scrape any liquid into the bowl.
7. For the dressing, combine the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and pour on the farro and roasted fruits and vegetables.
8. Add the parsley and lightly toasted pine nuts and toss to evenly distribute everything.