I've become kind of obsessed with the salads (or "salads") that ditch lettuce and instead bulk things out with heaps of whole grains. Not only do they make filling main courses, but I always make sure to have leftovers hanging around in the fridge since they also make for tasty latenight snacks. In this case, the bulk is farro—a grain I don't use as much as I'd like.
There is nothing especially revelatory about this version from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty; no special tricks or hard-to-source ingredients are used. It's just a mess of flavorful items all tossed together in the same bowl. If there is anything that sets this apart from the many others, it's probably the dressing, which gets some complexity from allspice and smoked paprika.
- For the Dressing
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from about 1 medium lemon)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 garlic clove, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- For the Farro Salad
- 3/4 cup farro
- 2 red bell peppers
- 10 black olives, pitted and quartered lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces feta, crumbled
For the dressing: Whisk together all of the ingredients and set aside.
For the farro salad: Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the farro, reduce heat to maintain a simmer, and cook according to the directions on the packaging, anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. When done, drain in a colander or sieve, rinse under cold water, and set aside to drain.
Meanwhile, using a small pairing knife, cut around the stem of each pepper, removing the stem along with all the seeds. Set a grill pan over high heat. Place the peppers on the grill pan and cook, flipping occasionally, until totally black on all sides, 20 to 30 minutes. When done, transfer to a bag and set aside for a few minutes to steam. Once cool, remove the blackened skin, and cut the flesh into 3/8-inch-wide slices.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked farro, red pepper slices, olives, thyme, scallions, most of the feta, and the dressing. Toss gently, and season to taste with salt. Serve with the remaining feta and a sprinkle of paprika.