This versatile vegetarian dish serves equally well as a main course or a hearty accompaniment. Substitute whatever produce you have on hand — zucchini, eggplant, cherry tomatoes and peppers in the summer or carrots, parsnips, fennel, broccoli, cauliflower and winter squash in colder months. Whatever vegetables you choose, the flavor is sure to be deep, complex and oh so good. Roasting takes any ordinary veggie and intensifies the flavors, delivering taste that’s utter magic.
Farro is an ancient wheat grain from Italy. It has a chewy, soft texture and nutty flavor when cooked. It’s worth seeking out — you’ll find it at Whole Foods and other quality markets.
(Serves 4-6 as a main course)
- 1-1/2 cups farro
- 4 cups water
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups cubed vegetables, including some onion (cut to uniform size)
- 2 – 3 cups roughly chopped greens of choice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup (or more to taste) parsley or basil, roughly chopped
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 ° F.
- Place farro and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt and continue cooking until farro is tender, about 10 minutes more. Drain well.
- Meanwhile toss cubed vegetables with some olive oil to coat. Place on a baking sheet and roast until tender (time will depend on what vegetables you select — you may want to separate them by type, on different baking sheets, if they’ll take varying amounts of time to cook). Turn once or twice during roasting for even browning.
- While vegetables are roasting and farro is cooking, sauté the greens with garlic. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Place greens in the pan and cook until wilted. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute.
- Add the drained farro and roasted vegetables to the skillet with the greens and garlic. Stir gently to combine. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Add herbs and more salt and pepper as needed. Drizzle of olive oil for serving if you like.