This is a delicious nutty salad with roasted or sauteed vegetables, farro, (also called wheat berries) some dried cranberries and some lovely fresh goat cheese. While the farro is cooking on the stove you can roast some veggies in the oven. Toss with some beautiful Olive Oil like the Viola Sincero oil I used. Makes a great lunch or dinner.
You will need:
- 4-5 tbsp best quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil - I used Viola Sincero from Italy
- 1 1/2 cups farro
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries - chopped
- 1 leek - sliced finely
- 10 cremini mushrooms - sliced
- 1 small fennel - shaved thinly on a mandolin
- 4-6 small tomatoes - cut in half \
- 1 garlic clove - minced finely
- 3-4 oz of best quality fresh soft goat cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
I always like to gather all my ingredients together so I don't forget something!
Step 1: in a large pot add 2-3 tbsp of great extra virgin olive oil like this Viola Sincero which is a Moraiolo from Umbria, Italy. You want something that is medium or robust to match this hearty salad.
Step 2: turn on heat to medium and add the farro and the chopped cranberries. Saute for 5 minutes to toast farro, stirring to avoid burning.
Step 3: add the water and let come to a boil, then turn down to simmer for 50 minutes until tender.
Step 4: shave fennel, slice leeks, mushrooms, tomatoes and garlic.
Step 5: place sliced tomatoes on a plate with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and roast in a 425 degree F oven for 20-30 minutes or until partially dried and slightly browned. You could roast all the vegetables if you like in the oven. I would suggest making the pieces larger to ensure they all cook evenly in that case.
Step 6: in a hot saute pan with the remaining 2-3 tbsp olive oil saute leeks, fennel, mushrooms and garlic for a few minutes on medium-high heat until browned and cooked. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Step 7: drain farro and add to a large bowl.
Step 8: toss vegetables with farro. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Add a few more chopped cranberries for a chewier taste.
Serve on two plates dividing roasted tomatoes and adding some globs of fresh goat cheese and a final drizzle of fresh oil for an addition level of raw olive oil.