Italian Farro with Roasted Vegetables

I'm forever seeking to serve a variety of healthy grains to my family. Yet, married to an Italian, much scrutiny surrounds the whereabouts of my search. Look no further. Enter Italian Farro! He even added it was one of the best meals I've ever made - WTF (wow, thanks, farro)!

Be flexible with this recipe. Add the vegetables that you and your family love; don't be bound by the ingredients here. I must confess I'm not a strict vegetarian, more like a lazy carnivore. So, I turn to beans as my protein of choice and on occasion compliment a dish with a touch of meat. I digress because if you can't stand the thought of beans, substitute some Italian sausage. I bet it will be simply delicious!

Remember, a return to simple only requires your flexibility and creativity. A recipe is just a guideline; it should always lead you to ingredients you love and have on hand. So, get creative and eat great! And still: smile at your attempts, enjoy your accomplishments, and share your knowledge!

Preheat Oven to 450.

In a large-sized mixing bowl, combine:

1 lb. peeled and roughly chopped heirloom carrots

1 small roughly chopped eggplant

2 roughly chopped bell peppers (I like to use orange and red)

1 diced shallot

2 tablespoons olive oil (you want to coat the vegetables evenly)

salt & pepper to taste (less is more, you will season the dish at the end)

Combine all and evenly spread on a large cookie sheet pan. I use a non-stick sheet on all my pans, but you can also use cooking spray if needed. Put pan into oven and bake until browned, about 20 minutes.

While the vegetables cook:

In a medium saucepan, cook your Italian Farro as directed. I use one 8.8 oz package to feed a family of five. Drain and set aside.

When your vegetables are browned, take the pan out and add:

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 - 15 oz. can rinsed and drained garbanzo beans

1 - 2 minced garlic cloves

Gently toss and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

While the vegetables are in the oven: In the bottom of your serving bowl, combine:

the juice and grated rind of 1 lemon

1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes (you can always use regular cherry or grape tomatoes)

1 - 2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 teaspoon of cumin

1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons of roughly chopped fresh Italian parsley

Add the farro and roasted vegetables to your serving bowl. Toss gently to coat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Happy Eating!

#grains #vegetarian #food