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Fall Farro Salad

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    Fall Farro Salad

    This hearty salad is a bright combination of the nutty ancient grain farro, crisp mixed greens, lemony chickpeas, sweet roasted grapes, and colourful petals—a meal as pleasing for the eyes as it is for the palate.

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    1 cup (250 mL) cooked or rinsed canned chickpeas
    3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    1 tsp (5 mL) paprika
    1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated lemon zest
    1/2 tsp (2 mL) chopped fresh rosemary
    1/2 tsp (2 mL) chopped fresh thyme
    1 1/2 cups (350 mL) seedless red grapes
    3/4 cup (180 mL) farro
    1 small red onion, thinly sliced
    1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
    1 Tbsp (15 mL) sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
    2 cups (500 mL) mixed greens
    1/4 cup (60 mL) each, unsprayed edible dianthus and garden mum petals, washed and dried
    4 oz (115 g) goat cheese or feta cheese, crumbled
    Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    Place oven rack in top third of oven. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).

    Using salad spinner or clean towel, thoroughly dry chickpeas. Place on rimmed baking sheet in single layer and roast for 10 minutes. Stir chickpeas and continue to roast until chickpeas are a bit crisp, about another 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

    In medium bowl whisk together 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil, paprika, lemon zest, rosemary, and thyme. Transfer warm chickpeas to bowl and toss to coat. Return chickpeas to baking sheet and roast until fragrant, another 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let chickpeas cool on tray while preparing the rest of the salad.

    Arrange grapes in single layer on parchment-lined baking sheet and roast until shrivelled but still juicy, about 15 to 20 minutes.

    Meanwhile, place farro in saucepan and cover with water by 1 in (2.5 cm). Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to large bowl.

    Heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil in large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and starting to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil, plus vinegar. Stir onion mixture into farro along with red grapes. Let sit 15 minutes, allowing flavours to meld.

    When ready to serve, gently toss chickpeas, greens, flower petals, and cheese into farro mixture. Divide among serving plates and garnish with sprinkle of freshly ground pepper, if desired.

    Serves 4.

    Each serving contains: 416 calories; 14 g protein; 18 g total fat (6 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 51 g total carbohydrates (12 g sugar, 8 g fibre); 256 mg sodium

    source: "Cooking with Edible Flowers", alive #359, September 2012

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    Fall Farro Salad

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