A few weeks ago I went to dinner with a girlfriend to a very popular French restaurant in town. Needless to say, a French restaurant has very limited vegetarian options but what little this restaurant has, they do it very well. I had their Warm Farro Salad which in addition to farro it featured butternut squash, a little cauliflower, olives, and a few kale chips all on just a handful of radicchio leaves. It was very good and left me quite satisfied.
As I often do, I left the restaurant wanting to replicate the dish at home in my own way. I’ve featured Farro and all of the other ingredients in this dish in various recipes on this blog and knew that the combination of them would work well. However, my goal is to always do something different, creative, and healthy and not replicate a dish exactly how someone else may prepare it. What came to mind was adding edamame. I absolutely love edamame (aka soybeans). It is considered a complete protein because it has all nine essential amino acids, in addition to a host of other vitamins and minerals. I try to keep them on hand but they spoil fairly quickly, within 2-3 days. They make a great snack in between meals.
The flavors I derived from the dish at the restaurant were a combination of pesto, a little red wine and/or balsamic vinegar for acidity, and fresh herbs. There are so many ‘stars’ in this dish in addition to the farro and edamame it seems a little unfair to highlight just those two, but perhaps that’s the element of surprise. I roasted my cauliflower which adds a certain smoked flavor; then there’s the sweetness of the butternut squash along with all the other ingredients make this a nice warm topping for a bed of greens. Instead of a few kale chips sprinkled throughout, I used fresh, slightly roasted kale chips as the bed instead of salad greens. After having it this way, the next night it worked well as just a side dish without the kale chips. Whatever you decide, you won’t be disappointed.
Feed the wellness in you!
- 1 cup farro
- 1 cup edamame, cooked
- 1 cup chopped butternut squash (1/4 in pieces)
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 tbl pesto
- 1 cup pitted greek olives (I used a combination), chopped
- 1.5 cups roasted cauliflower
- 2 cups kale
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Kale Chips - Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Wash, dry and remove stems from kale. Break leaves into bit size pieces. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place the kale on the parchment paper, drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Bake for 10 minutes. Put aside
- Roasted Cauliflower - Similar to the kale chips, wash, dry and break into bite sized pieces. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. The edges of the cauliflower should be slightly charred. It should not be soft but a fork should easily go thru each piece. Put aside
- Cook the Farro according to its directions in the vegetable stock. Do not drain.
- Sautee the chopped butternut squash in 1-2 tbl of olive oil for 10-15 minutes. They should be tender but not too soft. Mix in with the cooked farro.
- Add your edamame, pesto, butternut squash, cauliflower, red wine and balsamic vinegar. Mix well.
- Place some kale chips on your plate or deep bowl.
- Add the warm farro mixture on top and serve.