Farro is one of my favorite grains; it has a nutty flavor; a chewy bite and a great base color. Farro sets the stage for the addition of seasonal ingredients, creating a colorful, flavorful vegan dish.
This Farro with Roasted Potato, Peppers & Chickpeas recipe is a salad; allow it to cool completely or lukewarm, whatever you prefer. There is however no reason why you cannot eat this dish warm. Simply mix the ingredients once they are cooked and roasted and omit the cooling step.
Roast three ingredients together on one baking dish; sweet potato, bell pepper and chickpeas. Clean the sweet potato, peel it if you like, but you don’t really need to. The potato skin is fiber rich and thus a healthy addition to your diet. Cut the sweet potato in cubes. Cut the bell pepper in half, take the stem out and place it cut side down on the baking sheet. Chickpeas, I used canned chickpeas, (you’ll only need half of a 14 oz. can); need to be rinsed and dried.
Drizzle oil over the potato cubes and the chickpeas and coat both with the oil. Place in an oven of 400 degrees F and roast for about 20-30 minutes.
Once the bell pepper is done, place it in plastic bag and let is sweat. After about 10-15 minutes you can easily take the skin off. The sweet potato needs to be cooked soft, but not mushy. The chickpeas can be roasted until crunchy.
While the roasting is happening in the oven, cook the farro in water, apple cider and add salt and a bay leaf. Of course you can cook the farro in water only, but a little extra flavor coming from the farro is always a good thing. It adds an extra dimension to the dish. Cut the tomatoes in half and cube the avocado.
That’s basically all you need to do. Then decide whether you want to eat it cold, lukewarm or warm. If you opt for the first two, you can follow my recipe for Farro with Roasted Potato, Peppers & Chickpeas until the end. If you want to eat it warm, follow the recipe until step 4.
By the way; roasted chickpeas with your own salt/spice blend makes a healthy snack.
As far as a dressing is concerned; this salad does not need one. There is enough flavor, enough oil. If you want to add some dressing, you can always make it from a little bit of olive oil and the cooking liquid from the farro.
Just before serving, sprinkle with finely chopped parsley.
Farro with Roasted Potato, Peppers & Chickpeas
- 1/2 cup farro
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 1 whole sweet potato
- 1 whole red bell pepper
- 7 ounces chickpeas
- 4 ounces tomatoes cherry or grape
- 1 whole avocado
- olive oil
- parsley finely chopped
- In a small saucepan, bring farro, 1 cup water, apple cider, bay leaf and salt to a simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until the farro is al dente.
- Cover a baking dish with a non-stick silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Preheat an over to 400 degrees F.
- Wash sweet potato and cut in cubes (no need to peel), wash red bell pepper and cut in half. Rinse chickpeas and dry. Place all three on the baking dish, do not mix; they may have different roasting times. Sprinkle olive oil on the sweet potatoes and mix. Do the same with the chickpeas. Place the bell pepper halves with the cut side down.
- Roast for about 20-30 minutes. The potatoes will be soft enough to eat, the bell peppers show a charred skin and need to be placed in a plastic bag to steam for about 10 minutes. The chickpeas have become crispy and need to be salted. Cool.
- Once the farro is cooked, drain (if necessary), discard bay leaf and cool.
- When all ingredients are cool or lukewarm if you prefer, mix farro with sweet potato, red bell pepper, halved cherry or grape tomatoes, cubes avocado, salt and pepper.
- At the last moment add chickpeas and chopped parsley and serve.