Farro with Roasted Vegetables

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.

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Farro with Roasted Sweet Potato, Kale and Pomegranate

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Earthy, nutty-tasting farro gives substance to this hearty dish—brilliant as a side, but able to easily stand on its own as a main course too (consider adding cooked beans like cannellini or chickpeas for even more heft).  The sweet potatoes, onions and nuts are roasted to add deep flavor, and the pomegranate seeds offer a gorgeous pop of color and a sweet-tart surprise in each bite.

Farro is an ancient strain of wheat from Italy that’s becoming more and more popular in the States.  You’ll find it in many high-end markets, such as Whole Foods (look in the bulk food section).  I prefer semi-pearled grains—they cook more quickly then the whole-grain product, while retaining much of the bran and fiber content.  Substitute spelt, wheat berries or brown rice if you like.

You can use ordinary lemon juice if you’re unable to find Meyer lemon in the market.  Meyer lemon is a cross between a lemon and orange, and its juice is sweeter, less tart, than lemon.

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