Farro Salad with Lemony White Beans, Roasted Red Peppers, and Cauliflower

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Photo credit: Evi Abeler

Photo credit: Evi Abeler

There’s no clear consensus about the term “farro,” but it’s generally applied to emmer, spelt, and einkorn, ancient species of wheat that are making a comeback. Farro is most closely associated with Italian cuisine, but emmer and einkorn, which first grew wild in the Fertile Crescent, were staples in ancient Israel. This hearty salad will feed a crowd, which makes it ideal for entertaining or potlucks.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 6 - 8Servings

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1  ½ cups semipearled farro
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and broken into bite-size florets
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 1 (15-ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Juice and zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

Dressing

  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly shaved Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)

Preparation

Salad:

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the farro and enough cold water to cover by 2 inches in a large, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until the farro is tender but still al dente, about 18 to 20 minutes. Drain the farro and rinse under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Transfer to a large serving bowl.

While the farro is boiling, prepare the vegetables. Place the cauliflower florets in a single layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss to coat. Rub the peppers with about 1 tablespoon olive oil and place in a baking dish. Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven, stirring the cauliflower and turning the peppers once or twice, until the florets are crisp-tender and beginning to caramelize, and the pepper skins char. This will take about 15 to 20 minutes for the cauliflower and 20 to 25 minutes for the peppers. Once roasted to specification, remove from the oven. 

Place the beans in a medium bowl. Add the lemon juice and zest, 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, parsley, and cumin. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel, seed, and chop them, and add to the bean mixture. Add the cauliflower and bean mixture to the farro and toss together.

Dressing:

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil. Pour over the farro salad, and toss well. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Top with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese, if using.

Storage: Leftover salad will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

Recipe posted with permission from Bubbe and Me in the Kitchen: A Kosher Cookbook of Beloved Recipes and Modern Twists.