Coming in hot with a new iteration of my Spring Kitchen Capsule in the form of another satisfying spring salad. So far I’ve loved having a go-to shopping list of seasonal produce and a limited selection of pantry items. I tend to want to buy things as soon as I run out of them, squirrel them away, and eventually forget I have them, resulting in an over-packed and chaotic pantry experience. This kitchen capsule is teaching me to chill, work with what I’ve got, and only buy what I need.
We’re using farro again because it’s so dang nice in a salad as a slightly nutty, chewy foil for crunchy raw veg and caramelized roasted carrots.
If you don’t like olives skip them, or use your favorite kind if it’s not a black olive. These oil-cured Moroccan olives are my current loves. They’re very salty (a plus in my book) and have a really unique herbaceous, almost floral quality. I get mine at the Whole Foods or Union Market olive bar. Give them a try if you haven’t already and let me know what you think!
Farro & Fennel Salad
Makes 2 big bowls
- 4 medium carrots, chopped into 1-inch thick rounds
- 1/2 cup uncooked farro
- 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced or shaved with a mandoline, reserving some fronds for garnishing
- 2 big handfuls of arugula
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup olive oil-cured black olives, pitted and torn (sometimes called Moroccan black olives)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste
- Juice of half a lemon
- Salt & Pepper
- Chili Flakes
- Avocado, to serve (optional)
- Toasted pine nuts, to serve (optional)
1. Heat oven to 415°F. Prepare a baking tray with a thin layer of olive oil (about a tablespoon) and arrange carrot slices on it. Sprinkle with salt and cook in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and tender.
2. Meanwhile, cook farro according to the package instructions. The cooking time will vary depending on the type (some take 10 minutes, others 40 minutes). I generally combine 1/2 cup with 1 1/2 cups water and a pinch of salt, bring to a boil and cook at a simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the farro is cooked through.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, toss shaved or thinly sliced fennel with a tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper until well combined. Add arugula and toss again.
4. Once farro is cooked, add that along with the torn olives, parsley, and a pinch of chilli flakes to the bowl with fennel and arugula and toss to combine. Taste and add a little more lemon juice and/or olive oil and salt depending on your preference.
5. Portion into bowls and top with roasted carrots, a few fennel fronds, chopped avocado and toasted pine nuts (if desired).