The chewy, nutty farro that forms the base of our grain bowl was supereasy to make: We just poured it into plenty of boiling salted water and cooked it like pasta. While the farro cooked, we roasted broccoli rabe, red bell peppers, and sweet Italian sausages all on the same baking sheet and prepared pickled grapes to add some juicy brightness to our bowl. We mixed a portion of the pickling liquid with mustard and the garlic-infused oil left over from the garlic chips to make a potent dressing. We stirred some into the drained farro to ensure that every bite was flavorful. Topped with roasted vegetables, sausage, pickled grapes, and garlic chips and drizzled with dressing, this grain bowl makes a satisfying hot dinner or a great packed lunch.
The recipe for Farro with Vinegar-Glazed Sweet Potato and Apples from the editors of Food & Wine’s book Potluck, brings together the flavors of autumn. Every element of this salad can be made ahead of time and pulled out when ready to eat. Farro or wheat berries are cooked with fennel, onion and garlic in stock until al dente. While the farro simmers, roast sweet potatoes and apples in the oven until tender and then toss them with a bit of sherry vinegar. When you’re ready to eat, mix the farro with dried cherries, cashews, a bit of parsley, and the roasted squash and apples. Serve with a shaving of pecorino cheese and commence!
Sometimes we feel like a substantial salad that is a meal in itself with all the elements of good food—plenty of greens, crunchy raw pepper, and loads of flavor. This is also a great way to use up leftover chicken or turkey. Serve with a tzatziki dressing and tomato salad. This is our friend Anne Hudson’s method of preparing the wonderful Greek yogurt and cucumber dip, which she learned to make the local way when living in Greece. You can also enjoy the tzatziki with bread or as a dip for vegetables. (Gluten-free if using quinoa or brown rice.)
One of our star salads, we first started making this at our restaurant Gorski & Jones. It has great textures and is one of those salads that's even better the next day. We’ve made this a few times for family functions and every time someone will turn around and say, ‘Wow, that’s amazing, what’s in it?’ And that doesn’t happen very often. They’re quite picky, my family, so if they like it, we're doing something right.
Although in Italy the seeds from these sunflowers are usually pressed for their oil, it seemed logical to us to pair them with farro, a nutritious hearty grain seen throughout that country.
This salad is delicious for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It's easy to make (particularly if you have cooked farro on hand), healthy, and satisfying. To add more spice, fold preserved Calabrian chiles or pickled chiles into the farro in place of the Aleppo pepper. If you're an anchovy fan, add some chopped anchovy to the saute pan along with the garlic. In place of the broccoli raab, try toasted broccoli or cauliflower. Or prepare the salad without the eggs and add a handful of tiny cubes of aged or fresh pecorino.
Making the stuffing a day ahead gives it a chance to come into its prime. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Reprinted from the November 2008 issue of Gourmet magazine. Recipe by Maggie Ruggiero.