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Farro with Caramelized Root Vegetables

Farro, a hearty, healthful and highly prized Italian grain, fits comfortably into menus year-round. In winter, toss it with roasted root vegetables such as turnips, parsnips and carrots, as it is here. This dish is sweet and savory and is delicious served at room temperature, making it a great option for both the lunch box and the salad plate.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups (8 oz./250 g) farro
  • 1 3/4 cups (14 fl. oz./430 ml) vegetable or chicken broth 
  • 2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) pieces
  • 1 turnip, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) pieces
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) pieces
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) pieces
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the farro, stirring often, until lightly toasted and aromatic, about 3 minutes. Add the broth and the 2 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and the farro is tender but with a bit of a bite remaining at the center, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly. 

In a large fry pan over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, turnip, parsnips and carrots and toss to coat with the oil. Sauté the vegetables until they start to release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until they are golden and have begun to caramelize, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the honey and season with salt and pepper.

Add the vegetables to the bowl with the farro and toss to combine. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Vegetable of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2012).