Farro Salad with Spice Roasted Chickpeas and Cauliflower (Pareve)

Farro, Cauliflower, and Chickpea Salad
Farro Salad with Spice Roasted Chickpeas and Cauliflower. © Miri Rotkovitz
  • 45 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Ratings (4)

Farro is a catch-all term that refers to emmer, spelt, and einkorn, three ancient species of wheat. Today it's often associated with Italian cuisine, but wild forms of farro likely first sprouted in the  Fertile Crescent. Emmer and einkorn were staples in ancient Israel, and may be the wheat to which the Torah refers when it outlines the 7 Species of Israel.

Whatever variety you find, farro is a delicious whole grain with a satisfyingly chewy texture. You can use it in pilafs or cook it risotto style, but I particularly like it as a base for salads. Here it's tossed with roasted cauliflower and spiced chickpeas and dressed simply in lemon and olive oil; the interplay of textures and flavors is seriously craveworthy.

Prep smart, and you'll have the dish ready in under 30 minutes -- you can roast the chickpeas and cauliflower simultaneously, while the farro simmers. Offer it as a side dish with roasted meats. Or turn it into an entree salad, served over greens and topped with grilled fish. 

Tip: Feeling creative? Use the recipe as a template, and customize to your heart's content. Great add-ins include golden raisins or other dried fruit, toasted nuts, or roasted veggies. Tahini, silan, or date balsamic vinegar are ideal drizzles.

What You'll Need

  • 1 1/2  cups (280 g) semipearled farro
  • For the Chickpeas:
  • 15 ounce (425 g) can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • For the Cauliflower:
  • 1 medium head cauliflower (trimmed and broken into bite-sized florets)
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • For the Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (Freshly squeezed juice of a lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Dash sea salt (or to taste)
  • Dash freshly cracked black pepper (or to taste)

How to Make It

1. Preheat the oven to 425° F (220° C).  Place the farro in a large, heavy saucepan with enough cold water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until farro is tender but still al dente. Drain the farro, rinse under cold running water, and transfer to a large bowl.

2. While the farro is boiling, prepare the chickpeas and cauliflower: Place the chickpeas on a rimmed baking sheet.

Sprinkle with the cumin, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and salt and toss to coat. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss again with a spoon or clean hands until the chickpeas are evenly coated with the spices and oil. Place the chickpeas in the oven and roast, shaking the pan a couple of times during cooking, until they're tender inside and beginning to turn golden and crisp on the outside, about 20 minutes.

Place the cauliflower florets in a single layer on another large, rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil, toss to coat, and place in the preheated oven along with the chickpeas. Roast, stirring midway through cooking, until the florets are crisp-tender and beginning to caramelize, about 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Add the warm roasted chickpeas and cauliflower to the farro and toss together. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil. Pour the dressing over the farro salad, and toss together. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper if desired. Enjoy!