Note: When cooking grains or dried beans, I find it easiest to cook the entire package and then use what I need in my recipe, and freeze the rest to use later. Neither semi-perlato farro or lentils require presoaking as some other whole grains or larger dried beans do. To cook both the farro and lentils, place a package of either in a large pot and cover with cool water by an inch or two and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and slowly simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes or until al dente, then drain if needed.
Though I included farro, lentils, and some small white beans in this salad, feel free to use all farro, or any combination thereof, so long as you end up with 12 cups total. This salad stores really well, and actually improves in flavor if prepared ahead. Simply store covered in the refrigerator, then allow to come to room temperature again before serving.
About the Author: Deborah Mele is the owner of Italian Food Forever, an Italian recipe blog, as well as Recipe Rebuild, a healthy recipe blog she shares with her daughter Christy, an RD. Deborah lives 6 months a year in Umbria, Italy where she oversees her guest house Il Casale di Mele.
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- Yield:Serves 8 to 10
- Active time: 25 minutes
- Total time:45 minutes
- 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch dice, about 4 cups
- 2 Japanese eggplants, cut into 1-inch dice, about 4 cups
- 1 sweet red pepper, cored and seeded, cut into 1-inch dice, about 1 1/2 cups
- 1 yellow pepper, cored and seeded, cut into 1-inch dice, about 1 1/2 cups
- 2 medium sweet onions, cut into 1-inch dice, about 2 cups
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 cups cooked, cooled farro (see note)
- 2 cups cooked, cooled lentils (see note)
- 2 cups cooked small white beans, (or one 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed; or use additional farro)
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 1 cup chopped fresh greens (such as celery leaves or arugula)
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, toss together the zucchini, eggplants, red and yellow peppers, onion, garlic, 1/2 cup olive oil, dried oregano, salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables out onto two large foil-lined baking sheets and roast until soft and lightly browned, stirring every so often as they cook, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, add the farro, lentils, beans (if using), parsley, celery leaves, and cooled vegetables. Toss to mix well. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and remaining olive oil and mix weel. Taste, and adjust salt and pepper as needed.