Roasted Carrot and Farro Salad

IMG_20191009_121848637 (3)I was flipping through cookbooks for inspiration this week and landed on a recipe in my perennial favorite cookbook, Dinner, for a farro salad with crispy leeks and chickpeas. It sounded delicious, but also made me think of Smitten Kitchen’s Honey and Harissa Farro Salad. For my ultimate fall salad I decided to combine the two for a hearty, one bowl meal that has sweet carrots, robust harissa, salty feta, tangy lemon, and crispy leeks, united with the heft of chewy farro and chickpeas. It can easily be made vegan by omitting the feta and swapping maple syrup for the honey, and is excellent at room temp for lunch on the go.

My full share this week was cucumbers, tomatoes, yokatta-na, leeks, carrots, onions, potatoes, lettuce, basil, and parsley. The cucumbers went into sushi bowls (I just make a quick pan roasted salmon with soy sauce instead of the packets). The yokatta-na is going into a quick noodle dish with tofu and soy sauce. Any mix of roasted an raw vegetables are great toppings for tofu bowls. My absolute favorite leek and potato soup is a great fall meal if all this rain doesn’t have you in the mood for salad. If you’re looking for a grain-free option for dinner, these root vegetable bowls are filling and so bright tasting you’ll forget the days are getting shorter.

Roasted Carrot and Farro Salad

Adapted from Dinner and The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.

Serves 4 as a main, or 8 as a side.

  • 3 small leeks (about 6 ounces/1 1/2 cups sliced)
  • 1/2 lb carrots (3-4 depending on the size)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 cup farro
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (1 15.5 ounce can)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons harissa
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 8 ounces full-fat feta, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup minced dill

Preheat oven to 425F. Slice leeks in half lengthwise and then into 1/4″ slices, then wash and dry. Quarter carrots lengthwise and chop into 1/2″ pieces. On separate sheet pants, toss the carrots and leeks each with 1 1/2 teaspoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt (the last 1/4 teaspoon salt will go in the dressing). Spread the carrots out on the sheet pan, while keeping the leeks close together in the middle of the pan so they brown but don’t burn. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring the pans halfway through. The leeks should get charred, but not completely burned. If the leeks are starting to burn clump them closer together.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Put in the farro, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 30-35 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl whisk the harissa, honey, extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the drained farro, chickpeas, feta, leeks, carrots, feta, dill, and parsley. Stir to combine, taste, and add more salt or lemon juice as needed.

Athena Bowls

IMG_6979 (3)When I came home with my CSA share I laid the mountain of vegetables out on my kitchen table and started pulling out cookbooks. I was paralyzed with dinner indecision, but after much perusing I saw a recipe in Plenty  for “mixed grill” with parsley oil, that was essentially grilled eggplant and zucchini with a parsley sauce. I loved the idea but knew that I didn’t have quite enough vegetables for dinner and lunch leftovers. That recipe reminded me of my favorite root vegetable bowls with parsley sauce, which combine starchy vegetables and chickpeas to make a bright meal. Plus there was feta in those bowls, which paired with eggplant screams “Greek!”

This all led to the happy invention of what could be called Greek burrito bowls, but that sounded weird, and since there was no exact Greek dish I was turning into a bowl, it needed a whole new name. And thus we have Athena Bowls! Greek inspired, summery, filling, and vegetarian (easily vegan). Perfect for August, when the humidity breaks enough that turning on the oven is a thinkable act.

My full Potter Hill share this week was eggplant, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, shishitos, broccoli leaves, fresh onions, cucumbers, lettuce, thai basil and scallions. I’ve been eating the tomatoes and cucumbers in the morning over yogurt with Alison Roman’s savory granola from Dining In and it is heaven. The scallions went into a slaw for fish tacos, and the lettuce is went into BLTs tonight (first of the summer!!) with some charred shishitos and aioli alongside. If you need basil ideas I posted a bunch last week.

Athena Bowls

Inspired by The Mediterrenean Dish

Roasted Vegetables

  • ¾ lb eggplant, chopped into 3/4″ pieces
  • ½ lb cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 oz onion (1 small onion), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Lemon Rice

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 oz onion (1 small onion), diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups of water, plus water for soaking
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Parsley Sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¾ cup parsley leaves and soft stems
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For serving

  • 6 ounces full fat feta, crumbled
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas (from one 15.5 ounce can, rinsed and drained)

Preheat the oven to 425F. Toss the eggplant, cherry tomatoes, and onion on a baking sheet with the olive oil and salt. Roast for 20 minutes, then toss. Roast for another 15-20 minutes, until the eggplant is completely soft with some charred bits.

While the oven is preheating cover the rice in water and let soak for at least 15 minutes, then drain. In a small saucepan heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes (the onion should star to become translucent). Add in the rice and stir to coat. Add the 1 1/2 cups of water, cover, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, then remove from the heat and let sit for 10.

Turn on a food processor with an S blade and drop in the garlic cloves. Let them process until you can no longer hear them bouncing around, then turn it off and scrape down the sides. Add the parsley and salt and process until minced. Turn on the food processor and stream in the olive oil and lemon juice until it is a uniform sauce. Alternatively, mince the garlic and parsley, then stir in olive oil, lemon juice, and salt.

To serve prepare bowls with rice, chickpeas, roasted vegetables, feta, and parsley sauce.

 

 

Fattoush

IMG_20190701_192719600 (3)Fattoush is a Syrian salad defined by the pieces of fried flatbread in it and sprinkled sumac. Lettuce is the base, with other crunchy vegetables included. I know it seems wrong to turn on the oven to make a salad, but one taste of your fresh, homemade pita chips will convince you otherwise. This seems like a lot of oil for the pita chips, but that is what makes them stay crispy.

IMG_20190701_181040847 (3)My complete share this week included lettuce, parsley, cabbage, Red Russian kale, radishes, turnips, basil, and bok choy. I doubled this salad for 8 meal servings, so I used up all the lettuce (plus some leftover from last week), radishes, and turnips. I used the radish greens, turnip greens, and boy choy cooked with some Short Creek green garlic sausage, served over polenta with parsley and garlic. If you still have any greens around, I finally made this spanakopita which was unbelievably good (I used couscous as the mix in and it worked great). I’ll probably use the cabbage for a classic barbecue slaw, but this lo mein is a favorite (vegan) cabbage dish.

Fattoush

Adapted from Soframiz

Instead of thinly slicing the vegetables you can dice them for a more textured salad. If you don’t have pomegranate molasses and/or sumac, up the lemon in the dressing significantly. It should be very tart when you taste it alone, and will mellow on the salad. I also threw a handful of sprouts in the salad as I wanted to use them up. This is a great salad to use up any vegetables that taste great raw. I added in the chickpeas to make this a more filling meal, but if you just want this as a side salad you could leave them out.

Serves 4

  • 2 pitas (mine were about 8″ across)
  • 10 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sumac
  • 2 salad turnips, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 3 French radishes, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup chopped parsley (a large handful)
  • 9 ounces of chopped lettuce (about 8 cups, or a large bowlful)
  • ¼ English cucumber, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas

Preheat the oven to 375F. Slice the pita bread into 1″ squares. Place pita pieces in a large bowl and pour 6 tablespoons of olive oil on top. Massage the pita so that all of the oil coats the pieces and is absorbed. Spread on a baking sheet and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Bake for 20 minutes, tossing the chips and rotating the tray halfway through. Allow to cool. (Try not to eat them all.)

In the same large bowl (no need to wash) make the dressing by whisking the pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, and remaining salt, and then slowly whisking in the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the turnips, radishes, parsley, cucumber, lettuce, sumac, chickpeas, and pita chips. Toss to combine.

If you don’t want to serve the whole salad right away, store the pita chips, vegetables, and dressing separately, and combine just before serving.

Winter Root Vegetable Bowls with Vibrant Parsley Sauce

IMG_5457 (2)This recipe was born before I was headed away for a weekend and trying to use up veg in the fridge. After an overzealous trip to the winter farmers market I had celeriac, beets, radishes, and sweet potatoes. I knew I wanted something bright to counter the earthiness of the root vegetables, so out came the parsley and lemon. Chickpeas made it into a full meal. The feta adds a great salty tang, but can easily be omitted for a vegan meal. This bowl is distinctly wintery, but much more like bright sunshine reflecting off of white snow than dreary, pervasive brown.

IMG_5436 (2)IMG_5444 (3)Winter Root Vegetable Bowls with Vibrant Parsley Sauce

Serves 6

  • 3 lbs root vegetables, such as radishes, beets, carrots, sweet potato, potatoes, kohlrabi, and celeriac (for these photos I used watermelon radishes, purple daikon radishes, yellow carrots, orange carrots, beets, and sweet potatoes)
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil, divided
  • 3.5 cups cooked chickpeas (2 15.5 oz cans, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups of packed parsley leaves (about 1 bunch worth)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Scrub all of the root vegetables and peel as needed. I peel veg with tough skin like kohlrabi and celeriac, plus winter radishes like watermelon, but don’t always feel the need to peel beets, carrots, and potatoes depending on how dirty they are and how thick their skin is. Chop all of the root veg into ½ inch pieces (you are aiming for them to be about the size of a chickpea). Toss the root vegetables in 2 tablespoons of neutral oil, ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper and spread on to 2 baking sheets (the photo above is after I tossed them in oil on 1 baking sheet – the pieces should not be that close together for cooking). Roast them for 15 minutes, then take them out of the oven, toss them, and put them back in the oven on opposite racks. Roast them for another 10 minutes until they are starting to brown and can be easily pierced with a fork.

While the root vegetables are roasting, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion slices and a pinch of salt. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are thoroughly browned (about 30 minutes). I don’t usually go far enough to fully caramelize them, as that would take longer than it takes the root vegetables to cook. When the onions are cooked through, add in the chickpeas and stir to combine. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the chickpeas are warmed through.

Turn on a food processor with the S blade in and drop the garlic cloves through the opening at the top. When the garlic cloves stop bouncing around they are fully minced. Turn the food processor off and scrape down the sides with a spatula. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper, parsley leaves, and lemon juice. Turn the food processor on to chop them, then drizzle in the olive oil so a smooth sauce forms. Alternatively, very finely mince the garlic and parsley, then stir in the salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil.

Serve the root vegetables with a big spoonful of the chickpeas and onions, topped with crumbled feta (if using) and a generous drizzle of parsley sauce.

If you happen to have any parsley sauce leftover it is amazing stirred into hummus or labneh.