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.
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound cherry or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
3/4 cup uncooked farro
1 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
5/8 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°.
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.
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.
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
i've been cooking quinoa dishes lately, but it was my 13 year old grandson who introduced me to farro with this recipe. He is working on a cooking badge for boyscouts and this one of his favorites. It has become one of mine too. We have never had it cold, as once we start smelling that garlic, we can't wait to dig in! I personally reduce the farro to 1/2cup, because I also can only find cherry tomatoes in 10 oz clam shells, but keep the other ingredients as listed. Well, I actually like pecans instead of walnuts, so not quite! Fool around with this, I don't think you could make a mistake with small changes.
We didn't like that it was not warm. The container of cherry tomatoes that I had was 10.5 ounce so I should have reduced the amount of farro. The ratio of farro to the tomatoes was too much and you didn't get much of the tomato in each bite. Anyway, good, but not great. I can't imagine serving it cold.
Last CL had a challenge to eat one new grain per month. I tried farro and liked its chewy nutty texture. This recipe is easy! Next time I would roast thyme with tomatoes for more depth. I didn't have feta but I did have homemade ricotta insalata which worked great. Going to my easy lunch or light dinner vegetarian file. Enjoy!
I had never even heard of Farro before, but this recipe has made me a fan. The directions were perfect and the flavors were delicious. I had some left over pine nuts from another recipe so I substituted them for the walnuts and they worked great. I will definitely make this again!