8 portions. Maximum cost £9.79 for all ingredients, 

Skill level: Easy, 

Total cooking time: 45 minutes, 

  • Prep time: 15 minutes, 
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes, 

Equipment used: 1 baking tray, 1 saucepan, 1 large mixing bowl, 

Original recipe: (David Frenkiel & Luise Vindahl) Farro salad

 

Whole grains are everywhere; quinoa, spelt and buckwheat can be purchased from any health food shops (but watch out for the price tag) or most supermarkets.  

Bought in their most basic form, most require overnight soaking, but quick cook varieties are widely available as are pre-flavoured and ready to eat packs if speed is of the essence.

To make this dish in its simplest form; add roasted vegetables, fresh herbs, nuts and olives to a bowl of farro – If you’re feeling fancy, Ottolenghi also adds chunks of feta cheese and finishes with a paprika and allspice dressing, or if you want to make it easier,  use a pre-cooked packet of farro (or any grain) and add olives or other ready prepared antipasti. 

 

To prep:

(Original recipe in bold font)

  • Place the farro in a bowl, cover with twice as much water and soak for at least 1 hour (maximum 12 hours) – If using quick cook farro, there’s no need to soak
  • Chop 1 courgette, 1 pepper, fennel (or red onions), and 15 tomatoes into small cubes –  if using cherry or plum tomatoes then leave these whole – they will blister and burst whilst cooking and the juice will coat the other veg and slightly thicken / caramelise.  You can also add sliced leek and spring onions here.
  • Finely chop a handful of mint and a handful of basil, 150g of green olives and a handful of shelled pistachios and set aside. 

 

To cook:

Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.

Place the chopped veg on a baking tray, add 2 crushed cloves of garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and give the mixture a good toss with your hands. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes until soft with slightly crispy edges. Carefully stir every now and then.

Drain the farro, (not applicable if using quick cook) place in a saucepan and add twice as much fresh water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until tender. Add ½ teaspoon sea salt towards the end of the cooking time. Remove from the heat and drain any excess water.

Place the cooked farro in a mixing bowl together with the lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil (alternatively use the remaining olive oil from the pan) Add the roasted vegetables, finely chopped herbs, olives and pistachios and toss to mix. I’d advise letting the farro and veg mix cool a little before adding the herbs as these will become a little soggy if added to a hot mixture.

Shave a few large slices of Parmesan cheese on top before serving, if using. The salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.

 

Ingredients:

All prices from Sainsbury’s, April 2017, unless otherwise stated

  • 225 g farro, oat grains or pearl barley or buckwheat – I use Waitrose quick cook farro (250g @ £1.79)
  • 1 green courgette (20p)
  • 1 yellow pepper, halved and seeded (60p)
  • 1 fennel bulb, any green fronds reserved – I replace this with 2 small red onions, 60p
  • 15 ripe small tomatoes (90p for a 250g bag – If adding to salads, I often buy the slightly more expensive on the vine variety, however as these are being cooked and served alongside a bunch of other veg, I think you can save a few pennies by getting the more basic range
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed (50p for a bulb)
  • a little cold-pressed olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon (30p)
  • a handful basil, finely chopped (80p)
  • a handful mint, finely chopped (80p)
  • 150 g olives, pitted (£1.30 for a very small pot at the counter)
  • 25 g shelled raw pistachios, coarsely chopped /  same amount of pinenuts, approx £2 for a 100g bag
  • some fresh Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, shaved (optional)

 

View other side salads