This winter has been mild, yet I am soooo ready for sunshine and warm days. But, as I dash through the produce section at the store, with both kids shoved into the cart that has the plastic car on the front end (you know, the one that takes up the entire aisle and inspires looks of heartfelt pity from total strangers), it feels like springtime is still weeks away, even though the official first day of spring has come and gone.
Do you find yourself getting into food routines? Like, you make some muffin or soup or sandwich and you find yourself making it over and over again for a few weeks? I (ashamedly) am the queen of that. Most recently it’s been roasted cauliflower (purple cauliflower has been everywhere), cornmeal pancakes (a low- intensity version of one of my great loves: cornbread) and farro and chickpea salad. All of these items have been presenting themselves into our weekly rotation for the last month. I love these dishes because they can all be made for one meal, then served for the next 2 or 3 days, a benefit I enjoy as a result of having a husband who is totally content to eat the same things over and over again, so long as he doesn’t have to prepare it.
My point? Basically, it’s this farro salad. It’s chock full of fresh herbs, which makes it feel like spring and summer are truly on the horizon. And though I have been adding roasted tomatoes, you could easily toss in any roasted (or raw!) veggie you were feeling, which means it will still feel seasonal months from now when the sun is blazing and strange summer squash is all around. And, while it won’t totally bridge the gap until warmth and blue skies, it will help you recover from last weeks sugar bomb and singlehandedly give you the bikini body you have always wanted. I swear.
Herby Farro and Chickpea Salad
2 pints grape tomatoes, slow roasted (see how to here) or 3-4 cups of any other roasted or raw veggie, chopped into bite size pieces
4 C cooked faro (about 1.5 C uncooked)
Scant 2 C garbanzo beans (cooked and cooled if using dried, or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
1/3 C fresh flat leaf/Italian parsley, minced
1/3 C fresh oregano, minced
¼ C fresh chives, minced
2 TBSP shallot, minced
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of one lemon, about 3 T (or more, to taste)
¼ Olive oil
¾ tsp allspice
¼ tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste
Grated parmesan, roasted/shelled pistachios (optional)
Toss the farro, beans, herbs, shallot and lemon zest together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients. Pour over farro mixture, tossing to coat. Add roasted tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, and stir gently to combine.
Just before serving, can top with pistachios and/or a bit of grated parmesan, if desired.
Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 3 days. Farro will soak up dressing as it sits, so you may want to add a bit more olive oil/lemon juice and toss before serving on days 2 and 3 :).