I first had a memorably delightful salad with farro at a bakery in Cambridge, MA called Hi-Rise. It's a notoriously posh place (often joked around being called hi-price) but they do have some delicious treats and occasionally I'd just like a real treat.
They had this herbed buttermilk dressing they'd serve with the salad, along with farro, olives, and feta. It's an absolutely deluxe salad. A few months back I made it for José and he became enamored with farro - the chewiness of it was really the draw. So on my quest to find new and interesting ways to use farro, I came across this salad from Ottolenghi. If you're not vegan, you can absolutely use regular dairy feta. I tried this recipe with a vegan feta and was a fan, but next time I may just stick with extra olives for the fatty, salty, briny taste.
I also charred the scallions in part because I don't love a mouthful of fresh ones, or rather the lingering aftertaste, and in part to up the smokiness of the salad.
2 red bell peppers
10 pitted black olives, roughly chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme
2 green onions, cut into 1" batons
50g vegan feta
a pinch cayenne
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp turnip syrup
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once it's boiling, add the farro and season the water with salt and turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook for around 30-45 minutes or until it's tender but still chewy. Drain and let dry a bit.
While the farro is cooking, prepare the roasted scallions and peppers. Bring your oven to broil. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place the peppers and scallions with plenty of space around them on the tray. Place close to the broiler coil or flame and keep a close eye on them. You want to char the skin so you'll have to rotate them a bit. The scallions will cook faster and you'll likely have to remove them halfway through. Once they're cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the peppers and remove the stem/seeds. Then tear into 1cm wide strips.
To make the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
Place the cooked farro into the bowl with the dressing and add the peppers, olives, thyme, green onions and most of the feta, reserving some for the garnish. Gently mix everything. Season with salt according to taste.
To serve, pile up the salad on a plate or in a bowl and finish with the reserved feta and a sprinkle of cayenne.
Every Sunday evening, I send out a newsletter with the following week's dinner menu, and the seasonal produce featured. The newsletter is free, and I won't share or sell your email address.
If it turns out it's not the content you're looking for, you can easily unsubscribe with a link at the bottom of the email. This project was originally a way to wrap my head around the evolving seasonal produce in the supermarkets.
I'm so excited to share the journey and learn from you as I go along!
- Julia Feld