Warm Farro salad with roasted vegetables

My Christmas tree is finally up yay! Took only about three hours to figure out how to get the lights connected.  I had some very choice words for my sister-in-law who suggested I buy a pre-lite tree; the connections are horrible to find. Not to mention the hurt from trying to open the tree, Santa better have seen that and be listening to my whining.

I was recently told well more like nudged towards watching a movie on Netflix.  My cousins seemed to think that it would be a good movie for me to watch; I have seen it multiple times but never thought of hitting play on it.  The movie Today’s Special, is a I think Bollywood movie but made in English so there was the confusion.  Regardless the movie was good and very inspiring, how the character Akhbar (played by Naseeruddin Shah) talks about food and its sensuality, he just puts on a good classic Bollywood song and goes mixing them up.  Movie starts with rolling parathas, stuffing samosas, frying puris, and delicious kebabs coming out of the tandoor.  The main character eventually comes back to his roots after dabbling a little in French cuisine.  The idea of when two cuisines unite, how delicious the flavors can be.

I was inspired by Akhbar and decided to recreate a dish I had at Butcher and the Rye, one of the most memorable meals I have had.  Not the best company I must admit but the food was mouthwatering.  The dish I had there was roasted cauliflower with farro, and dill yogurt sauce.  The mistake I made was instead of Bollywood classics; I put on Criminal Minds and started blending my spice for the vegetables.  The stress and violence reflected in the blend, it was a bit too bitter so I had to switch off and fix it.  The spice mix has a lot of warm spices, so to balance it out I added a bit of dark brown sugar to the mix.  I of course tasted a whole spoon full of sugar, had to make sure it wasn’t poisoned you know.  Overall the dish came out good and tasty.

Farro is an ancient grain that was consumed in Egypt, have been on the plates of Romans, Italians, and eventually made it to the most royal person’s plate that is mine.  The grain has a very nutty flavor to it, a little hint of cinnamon and very earthy.  It is good for your health and pretty hearty for a winter dinner.  The spice blend contains cinnamon to enhance what little hint of it was in the grain.  The butternut squash sweetness, the pungent flavor of turnips and mellowness of cauliflower roasted together works really well together.


Spice Mix

  • 1½ tsp.  Ground ginger
  • ½ tsp.  Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. sweet paprika
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. Dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups butternut squash diced
  • 1 cup turnips diced
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • Farro cooked three cups (I used ten minutes precooked and boiled it in vegetable stock)
  • 1½ cup tatziki


Preheat the oven at 425 degrees, mix all the spices and add it to the vegetables.  Roast the vegetables for approximately 25 minutes or until done.

Bring water/stock whatever you decide to use to a boil, salt it generously just as you would past.  Add the farro and cook it for ten minutes.  Drain the liquid and add it to the roasted vegetables.

Mix in the tatziki and give it a good mix to the farro and vegetables.  Be careful here not to mush everything so use your gentle loving touch.  If it still seems a bit dry or dense for you, then you can add stock to the mix to loosen it up a bit.  Adjust according to your taste buds.

It was a hard dish to take a photo of, as it just doesn’t look that great.  But trust me you need to see the inner beauty of this dish, the wholesomeness and the goodness it will bring to your body.  Surprisingly it tasted good and close to what I had, and to my defense the restaurant was pretty dark so I couldn’t see how bland the dish looked.  I also had a couple of glasses of wine so that must have impaired my judgment. I really want to make this (spiced curried yolks), so might give it a try coming weekend.   Now I am thinking I should have really packed my bags for my trip and not sat on my bum, another trip awaits.  This time will be next to the sweetness of the Hershey Park, and I am really looking forward to the weekend.  So more on the trip later enjoy the dish.


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