While I was in LA for the Pom Wonderful trip, we had a beautiful pomegranate themed dinner at Tavern. In particular, I loved the farro salad with vegetables and pomegranate salsa. While I would never call myself a vegetarian, I tend to eat and cook a lot of vegetarian food. I am always looking for new ways to make hearty vegetable based meals. When I got my Crop Share this week, it had lots of carrots and parsnips in it so it was the perfect time to try to recreate this dish. While I only had my memory to work from, I think that I did a pretty good job recreating this salad.
I love farro, and if you have not had it, this is a great introduction. Farro is an ancient grain and used a lot in Italian cooking. It cooks in the same way as rice, but takes a little bit longer. At Tavern, this was served with squab, so if you wanted, you could add chicken or even fish for some extra protein.
1 small acorn squash, peeled and sliced
2 carrots, peeled cut into sticks
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into coins
2 shallots, sliced
1 bunch broccolini
1 cup farro
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 Tablespoons honey
salt and pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
Line a baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil. Lay all of the vegetables out in a single layer (I add the mushrooms about halfway through) and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
Take the broccolini off of the pan and put on a plate. Add the mushrooms and bake for 20 minutes more, or until the vegetables are tender.
This is farro. Rinse 1 cup of farro under cold water.
Add to a saucepan and cover with 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil and add a lid. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Make the dressing by whisking lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper.
Drizzle olive oil slowly while whisking. Here is the easiest (and least messy) way that I have found to peel a pomegranate. Slice a pom in half. Submerge in a bowl water. Pull the arils out of the skin while underwater. The seeds will fall to the bottom and the fibers will rise to the top.
Put the arils into a container and set aside.
Now you have all the pieces. Pour half of the dressing into the farro and toss to coat. Top with vegetables and drizzle the remaining dressing over.
Sprinkle with pomegranate and chopped parsley.