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Mustardy farro with roasted winter vegetable salad

Farro is an ancient grain, actually, it is a collection of grains that are so classified. There are three distinct grains, emmer, einkorn and spelt that are termed as farro. They are all ancient varieties of wheat and can be traced back 20,000 years to Mesopotamia. farro comes in 3 forms, pearled, semi-pearled and whole, depending on if the outer bran husk is removed. The easiest to cook is the appeared. These grains are prized for their nutritional content and their minerals, and the whole version is an excellent source of fibre. When cooked they have a delightful nutty flavour and soft chewy texture.

This salad steps away from the norm and is delightful. The chewy farro is nutty and spiced with the mustard vinegarette and the roasted vegetables add distinct flavours that compliment the farro. The toasted nuts add a crunch and additional flavour. This is a healthy salad that is lovely. You can serve it as both a salad or a side dish.

Like every recipe I have cooked from Diana Henry, this recipe is absolutely delicious. Subtle flavours dominate this meal, and the spices are balanced. This was my first Diana Henry cookbook, and after making a couple of recipes from it, I was addicted to her cooking. There are flavours and cuisines from around the world and her writing style is fun and easy. Like this recipe, the dishes step away from the ordinary and are just amazing.

For more wonderful recipes from this cookbook, click here.


For the salad:

6-8 baby carrots, halved or quartered longitudinally depending on their size

1/2 head cauliflower, broken into small bite-sized florets

3-4 baby sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into long strips

Salt, to taste

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Olive oil spray

3/4 cup farro

4 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, white preferred, but black will also work

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted

1 tablespoon sunflower seeds, lightly toasted

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, lightly toasted

Other vegetables:

3 parsnips, peeled and cut into strips longitudinally

1 large celeriac peeled and cut into batons

For the dressing:

1-2 teaspoons whole-grain or smooth Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4-5 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

2 garlic cloves, minced finely

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Add all the vegetables to a lined baking tray and roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes till they are soft and the vegetables have charred slightly. Remove and set aside.

Mix the salad dressing well and allow to sit on the counter for 30 minutes at least.

Add the farro, water and salt to a small pan and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for 35-45 minutes till the farro is soft but still retains a good bite. Do not cook till mushy, please. Drain well and toss with 1-2 teaspoons of the mustard dressing. Set aside.

To serve the salad: To the d=farro add the olive oil and balsamic and toss well. To individual plates add a scoop of the farro in the center. Surround the farro with roasted vegetables. Drizzle 2 teaspoons of the dressing over the farro and vegetables, serving the rest on the side at the table. Garnish with the toasted nuts and serve immediately.

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