Well, we are definitely in the doldrums of January. While most of my family members are basking in the golden, dripping sunlight and 70 degrees that is Phoenix, AZ, I’m here trying to protect myself from 20 mile-an-hour winds and 11 degree temperatures even on the short walk from my office to my car. I also woke up this morning inexplicably thinking it was Sunday morning, and halfway through thinking about my plans to lounge around all day, I realized that it was indeed just 5:15 on a Tuesday. Oy.
But instead of complaining about the cold, which I’m sure all of you agree is your favorite thing to read about on a blog, let’s list some things I’m super happy about that have happened this week: we finally took the long-awaited Trip To Ikea and got not only the bookshelves we’ve been needing (why yes, we have just been living with about 15 plastic bins full of books in our living room for the last 3 months, isn’t that how you decorate?), but we also got a cool little desk, two lamps, and a few kitchen knickknacks that I will never have enough of. I also tried two new restaurants this week, both a Korean fried chicken place that was perfect on a cold day, and a Mexican chain restaurant that turned out to surpass my expectations wildly. And I have been cooking most nights (most… not all) and enjoying it. Huzzah for these things!
And I’m here today to share one of the recent major successful recipes: this simple, easy farro and roasted broccoli salad.
A couple of weeks ago I delved into this farro salad. It is packed with flavor for how simple the ingredients are, and hearty and filling while still being bona fide healthy. I’m almost certain this could be just as good with some simple brown rice, but do try to find some farro. Most stores now are selling some version of it, and it gives such a nice texture and nutty flavor to the salad.
Finished off with feta, a bit of green onion, and red wine vinegar, the salad all the sudden gets a bright and complex spectrum of flavor: earthy roasted broccoli and farro, tangy feta, and a very slight sharpness from the green onion and vinegar. I was amazed at how not boring the result was, and how I wanted to eat the entire bowl of it.
Roasted Broccoli and Farro Salad with Feta
from Fine Cooking, via Use Real Butter
Makes about 5 cups of salad. Serves 4.
3/4 cup farro (pearled or whole grain)
1 lb. broccoli
3 tbsps olive oil
black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
2 green onions, thinly sliced
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsps fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Cook farro according to package directions (or just boil 2 quarts of salted water and boil the farro until tender). Pearled farro can cook as quickly as 15-20 minutes, semipearled farro 20-30 minutes, and whole grain farro more like 45-60 minutes. Just check the package to see which kind you have. When farro is fully cooked (tender but still has some bite and chew to it, like barley), drain it and transfer the drained farro to a large mixing bowl.
While the farro cooks, cut your broccoli into bite-size pieces. Feel free to also include the stalks, they are very good if you just peel the stalk and then chop them into quarter inch pieces. Toss the broccoli with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread onto a foil-lined baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes – until the pieces are tender and browning at the edges.
Add the broccoli, feta, green onions, red pepper flakes, and parsley to the farro. Add the red wine vinegar and another tablespoon of olive oil, mixing and tossing it together. Season with salt to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature, both are delicious.