Meditarranean Farro Bowl with Lemon-Tahini-Yogurt Dressing

This dish is a mouthful, in more ways than one!  Get it?  Terrific.

I can’t take credit for inventing it, sadly.  I got it out of the Sunday edition of the San Francisco Chronicle.  It was in the Food & Wine section (the only section I ever read.  I get all my news from The Daily Show.) The article had three recipes for bowls featuring whole grains, which are super great and delicious (and expensive.)  Apparently, whole grains were staples in our diets before the Industrial Revolution when the mass production of refined rice became a thing.  Whole grains are way better for you and way more flavorful.  So take that, Industrial Revolution!

Here are the ingredients:

3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest

2 tbsp finely minced parsley

2 tbsp finely minced mint

1 tbsp tahini

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

1/4 cup EVOO

Salt and pepper

6 cups semi-pearled farro, cooked (about 2.5 cups uncooked)

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 cups cooked garbanzo beans

1 large cucumber, seeded and diced

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes (I didn’t end up using these because it’s winter and tomatoes are kind of lame right now)

Okay, two things.

1) Semi-pearled farro is expensive, especially when purchased at Whole Foods, which is the only place you can find such a specific grain, I’m assuming.  Also, the farro I bought was Umbrian.  So.  Yeah.

2) Tahini is also really expensive, but, you only need about a tablespoon of tahini in almost every recipe I’ve ever seen it in, so a jar goes a long way.  You can make hummus!  Also, I opted for the local stuff made in Berkeley because I’m super environmentally conscious like that.

Okay, now on to the cooking.  I cooked the farro kind of like I cook rice, but it only needs to be cooked for about 20 minutes.  First, boil 4 cups of water in a large pot.  Then add the farro (I used the whole package, 500g.  That’s about 2.5 cups, maybe a little less.) and stir.  I turned down the heat to medium-low after the water returned to a boil with the farro in it.  I left it uncovered for about fifteen minutes, then covered it for five more with the heat on and about ten more with the heat off.  Those weren’t exactly the instructions in the article, but it totally worked.  So now your farro is ready.  Reward yourself with a pat on the back.

Next, move on to the dressing.  Whisk the lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, mint, tahini, yogurt, olive oil, salt and pepper together until combined.  Set aside.

does my hand look like a lobster claw?

Now you want to de-seed your cucumber.  I did this by cutting it in half lengthwise and then scooping the seeds out with a spoon.  In the end your cucumber halves should look like little cucumber canoes.

this wouldn't really hold up in the ocean.

Now dice your cucumber and onion.  Add those, feta cheese, garbanzo beans and tomatoes (if you use them) to your cooled farro. 

You’re done!  This makes a pretty hefty batch, enough for four separate bowls.  I suppose you can dress the whole thing and let it marinate, but I stored the dressing separately in my fridge.  Now you have a healthy, pretty meal to eat.  Yay!  Thanks again to the San Francisco Chronicle!


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