HEYO IT’S FINALLY FRIDAY. Let’s have another fabulous recipe from Mycologie and then chat, yes? Yes!
Roasted Veg & Farro Salad with Sun-dried Tomatoes & Feta
Ingredients: Cauliflower, sweet potato, farro, garlic, feta, sun-dried tomatoes, pistachios, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey
Grain bowls, amirite? Everywhere you look there’s a delicate vessel filled with artfully-arranged, color-coordinated mini-vegetables garnished with tiny edible flowers that look like a woodland fairy placed each one with forceps. Watermelon radishes! Micro-basil! Green goddess dressing! You will be so glowing with health and wellness that you will elevate to a higher plane of existence!
While I love the idea of grain bowls, I’ve tried many grain-and-vegetable combos and a lot of times I find them to be just blah. Plus, in one of the many ways that I am terrible at being a millennial, I **whispers** don’t really like quinoa. (I was born in the earliest year of the millennial generation so I feel like it hardly counts.) In my ongoing quest to eat more vegetarian food, I’ve worked on making grain salads that are as exciting as a bowl of grains and veg can be (there’s a limit to how exciting this can get though, tbh). Here’s one iteration that I’ve pieced together through various blogs plus a bunch of trial and error (where “error” equals a boring, bland dinner). This version is pretty flavorful and I’ve done this particular combo a bunch of times now and haven’t gotten tired of it yet. You can use any types of roast-able veg that appeal to you.
LET’S DO IT :
Preheat your oven to 380F. Cut a small head of cauliflower into bite size pieces and chop a sweet potato into approximately one-inch cube-ish shapes. Sometimes I also include baby carrots, they roast pretty well too. Spread a thin layer of vegetable oil on a baking sheet and arrange the veg in a single layer on the sheet. Season with salt and pepper. If you like roasted garlic, add a few unpeeled cloves to the pan. Roast for about 25-30 minutes, or until the veg is at your desired level of done-ness. Roasting time will vary depending on how big you chopped your veg and how al dente/soft/crisp you like them to be roasted.
While the veg roasts, prepare your grain. I have a strong preference for farro since it’s chewy and nutty (and…isn’t quinoa). For real though, quinoa would work well here, as would brown rice, wheat berries, etc. [Ed.: Black rice is delicious and would also be excellent here, but know in advance that it WILL make everything it touches dark purple, which is a pro/con dep on your outlook.] Cook your grain according to the package instructions BUT season the water you cook it in. I add a generous amount of salt, and sometimes several smashed cloves of garlic. You could also add like, an earthy spice such as cumin if you like that kind of flavor, or cook the grain in vegetable or chicken stock.
While the grains cook and the veg roasts, prepare the rest of your salad. Crumble a few (or more than a few) ounces of feta, chop your sun-dried tomatoes, and shell and chop a few handfuls of pistachios (walnuts, pecans, etc would also be fine, as would pumpkin seeds. Use something crunchy). Shake up a basic balsamic vinaigrette (3 parts oil, one part balsamic vinegar, a blob of honey). I prefer sun-dried tomatoes in here for a couple of reasons – a) it’s winter and tomatoes are expensive and bland right now, b) sun-drieds have a rich, sweet flavor and c) if you’re planning to eat this as leftovers, fresh tomatoes go mushy and weird very quickly while the sun-drieds keep really well.
When the grain is cooked, add the hot grain to the feta and sun-dried tomatoes in a large bowl to let the heat from the grain soften them a bit. If you like a stronger garlic flavor, mince a clove of garlic and add it to the grain here too. Mix in the vinaigrette. (If you want to dirty fewer dishes and you’ve used a big enough pot, you can mix all that stuff with the farro right in the pot.) The veg should be about done, so pull that pan out of the oven. Pop the garlic cloves out of their wrappers and add them to the grain. You can mix the veg directly into the grain or arrange it artfully on top for your Instagram shot. Sprinkle on the chopped pistachios and add some capers if you’re like me and need something pickle-y and acidic in every meal. I’ve also served this on top of a bed of greens and it’s good that way too.
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GORGEOUS. Def doing this, tho I’ll probably use QUINOA because I love it. Or black rice if I’m feeling goth.
Also, since we’re doing RECIPES today, I should note that I made Key Lime Pie for the bf Wednesday, and it is suuuuper easy and also glorious and remains my fave pie recipe :
And that is a very shitty photo, SORRY. Anyway, if you want to make a perfectly amazing Key Lime Pie, do this :
Smash about 1.5 envelopes of graham crackers (appx half a box) to crumbs. The easiest way to do this is to dump them in a Cuisinart, but if you’re like me and enjoy doing things the hard way (or just momentarily forgot “oh, right, I have a Cuisinart”), slap ’em in a giant ziploc and rolling-pin them until they’re dust. Mix in about 6-7 tbsp (most of a stick) of softened butter, a couple tablespoons of brown sugar, and (my personal flair) a dash of ground cloves. Once it’s thoroughly blended, moosh it into a pie pan, and bake it for about 6-7 minutes at 350 or so. (I’m going to experiment with crust next time, and maybe add some egg white? This one came out okay but I should’ve baked it longer.) Once the crust/baking dish have cooled some, slam it in the fridge.
Put a few inches of water in a sauce pan, medium heat, and chuck a stainless round-bottom bowl on top. Dump in a can of sweetened condensed milk, and warm it up a bit. Then add (a bit at a time) a dozen egg yolks. Whisk. Whisk while you’re adding them, continue to whisk, WHISK THE ENTIRE TIME FOREVER. If your eggs cook too fast and aren’t whisked they’ll want to form little eggy clumps, ew. Add the juice and zest of 2-3 good sized limes, depending on how limey you like it. (I use at least three.) (I’ve tried using Actual! Key! Limes! before, and could detect no difference, plus they’re annoyingly tiny.) CONTINUE TO WHISK. Keep whisking (and scraping the sides of the bowl) until the mixture thickens noticeably — and will THICKLY coat a cool metal spoon dipped in it, and not immediately run off when spoon is turned upside down. Obvs it’s going to set when it cools, but you gotta get it partway there via cookin’ or else you’ll have Lime Soup En Croute.
Once you’re pretty sure it’s “done” enough, pour it into the crust, and refrigerate! It should set up nicely in like three hours. If you’re into topping your pies, I prefer this one with pure whipped cream — no sugar, no vanilla, just cold fresh naturally-slightly-sweet creaminess to offset the tartness of the pie. Berries optional, but a GREAT addition.
WHAT’RE YOU DOING THIS WEEKEND? We’re seeing Black Panther (WOO!) and having cocktails and probably some loud music and likely making a nice salad and hopefully there will be french fries at some point. Or else. <3