Thursday, October 22, 2015

Goodbye Not Dogs

 Farro with Roasted Vegetables and Mustard Dressing

   I love mustard, so much so that there was a time, back in the 90's, when I would eat those processed soy (not) hot dogs just to have something to put mustard on. I would put a couple of those rubbery wieners on a plate with a big blob of mustard, stab them with a fork, dip them in the golden condiment, and savor the sharp, salty heat. I have made a lot of progress in the kitchen since then, and I am happy to say that I no longer eat soy dogs. As you can see, I now get my mustard fix elsewhere. 

   As with most grain salads this one can accommodate a whole range of vegetables, but I suggest sticking with brassicas and roots. I think their density is better suited to the chewy texture of the farro, and it is their heartiness which gives this recipe it's main dish status.

Here is the recipe. 
Serves 4

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
for the roasted vegetables:
3 large carrots
1/2 head of cauliflower
1 lb. of brussel sprouts
1T. olive oil

1c. farro
3/4 t. salt
3c. water

for the dressing:
2 1/2t. of grainy dijon mustard or other strong mustard
2T. cider vinegar
1t. lemon juice
1t. honey (can be omitted)
2 cloves of garlic crushed
4T. olive oil
1/2 t. salt
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

2T of parsley 
2T of sunflower seeds to garnish (preferably roasted)

   Prepare the carrots by cutting them into 4' lengths and then into quarters lengthwise, and the cauliflower by removing the core and cutting or breaking apart the florets. The brussel sprouts can be left whole if small, but larger (anything approaching the size of a walnut) 
should be cut in half. 
   Toss all of the vegetables with the 1T. (or a bit more) of oil. Spread them in a single layer on your baking sheet. I like to toss each vegetable separately and keep them that way on the sheet, but that's mostly my need for aesthetic order. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.
  Put them in the 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until tender and beginning to brown. You will want to give them a stir after about 20 minutes to check on their progress.
   Meanwhile rinse the farro, then cook it in the salted water by bringing it to a boil over high heat, and then keeping it at a simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes. Check the texture. It should be soft and yielding, but still retain a good amount of chewiness. Drain off any excess water.
   While the farro is cooking, make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients with a fork.  Taste and adjust if necessary. Always taste and adjust as you go with sauces and dressings.
   Toss the roasted vegetables with the farro, pour on the dressing and mix well. Sprinkle on the parsley and give it a quick mix. Then top it with the sunflower seeds and serve. Any leftovers will be excellent the next day cold or at room temperature.

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