A Wonderful Summer Salad – Roasted Broccoli, Farro and Feta

I made farro over the weekend that we had with lamb chops and purposefully made extra to use in a salad to take to this week’s concert at Chesterfield's Faust Park. We still had broccoli from last week’s CSA box, and I found an interesting recipe at Fine Cooking, a website that I need to reference more frequently. Every recipe I’ve tried from the site, as well those when I occasionally pick up the magazine that is well-organized with gorgeous photos, has been outstanding. I’m in lovelovelove with roasting veggies, especially broccoli, and I liked that it can be eaten warm or room temp. Perfect for a picnic. Surprisingly, the only change I made is I substituted fresh oregano for parsley. This recipe is quite versatile and would work with numerous grains – quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat orzo – cauliflower in lieu of broccoli, or goat cheese. Don't skip the red wine vinegar, and use a high quality one, as it adds the perfect brightness and contrasts to the saltiness of the feta and the soft farro texture.

Roasted Broccoli, Farro and Feta Salad
Serves 4

Kosher salt
3/4 cup farro (either pearled or whole-grain)
1 lb. broccoli
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled feta
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley – OR – fresh oregano
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar; more as needed

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. In a 4-quart saucepan, bring 2 quarts of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Boil the farro in the water until tender, 20 to 30 minutes for pearled and 45 to 60 minutes for whole grain. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, remove the broccoli crown from the stem and cut into bitesize florets. Peel and halve the stem lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the broccoli florets and stems with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Roast until tender and browned in spots, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, feta, scallions, red pepper flakes, and parsley to the farro. Sprinkle with the vinegar and 1 tsp. salt and toss. Drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and toss. Season to taste with more vinegar and salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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