Photo: Cary Norton; Styling: Lindsey Lower
This hearty side was inspired by the simple recipe for roasted tomatoes in the River Cottage Veg cookbook, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. The sweet, garlicky tomatoes go great with earthy farro, which has risen to Favorite Grain status for me. Unfortunately, you'll often find farro overcooked, but it's best chewy, with the grains intact and not "blown out" into starchy, wet puffs. This is a dish that's delicious year-round; cherry and grape tomatoes are sweet in the winter. You can serve as soon as the tomatoes and farro are cooled and combined, but I find that the dish benefits from a couple of hours in the fridge.
Serves 6 (serving size: about 1/2 cup)
1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Combine oil, honey, and garlic in a large bowl. Add tomatoes; gently, with your hands, toss until thoroughly coated. Pour tomatoes onto a jelly-roll pan; turn tomatoes until they're all cut side down. Draw tomatoes together until they're cozy and touching. If there's any honey mixture left, drizzle over tomatoes. Bake at 375° for 20 to 25 minutes or until wrinkled and soft but not mushy; do not brown. (Note: Grape tomatoes may take less time than cherry tomatoes.) Remove tomatoes from oven; cool to room temperature.
3. While tomatoes cook, place farro in a medium saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above farro. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until nicely chewy and not puffed open and starchy. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain.
4. Combine farro, tomato mixture, vinegar, and salt in a large bowl; toss gently to combine. Top with walnuts and feta; garnish with thyme. Serve immediately, or let the flavors marry in the fridge for an hour or 2.