Yield: 4 servings as a main course, 6 as a side dish or starter
This is a great fall salad as either a side dish or a light dinner. Lots of flavor and vegetables and just a little fat! Make it vegan by substituting vegetable stock for the chicken stock, and omitting the cheese and honey (replace all agave or maple syrup-you need a little sweetener in the dressing). Make it for carnivores by adding some perfectly roasted salmon or chicken. Only prepare the amount you plan to eat-this does not hold up well when left to sit. If you do happen to have some left over, add additional fresh greens to mixture before eating. You should have some dressing left over. This salad would be equally great with goat cheese or feta substituted for the Parmigiano. Play with the ingredients!
ROASTED GRAPES AND ONIONS:
1-1/2 cups red grapes, halved lengthwise
1 small red onion, cut in 1/2-inch rings
1 shallot, cut in 1/4-inch rings
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Juice of half a Meyer lemon (regular lemon is just fine if you can’t find a Meyer)
1 teaspoon whole-grain Dijon
1 tablespoon Dijon
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons maple syrup
Zest of one Meyer (or regular) lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup farro, rinsed under cold water for about 30 seconds
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 springs fresh thyme
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, chunked with the tip of a knife from a wedge of cheese
5 cups greens (mixture of spinach, arugula, baby kale, mesclun, etc.)
Preheat oven to 250°. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment or foil, and drizzle onions with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper over grapes and onions. Bake for 1-1/12 hours until grapes are smaller in size, but still hold their shape.
Whisk together dressing ingredients in small bowl. Set aside.
For the farro: place all of the ingredients in medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 25-28 minutes until tender, doubled in size, but still chewy. Let cool to room temperature before adding to salad.
Combine the cranberries, parsley and Parmesan with the farro, roasted grapes and onions. Add half of the dressing and mix thoroughly. Let sit for a few minutes. Add the greens and additional dressing if necessary and mix again. Drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil over the top right before serving. Be careful when adding the dressing-start with a little and increase if needed. The dressing has a tendency to mysteriously multiple when added to the salad, and can seriously detract from the quality of the salad if too much is added.
Inspiration: Martha Stewart’s Farro Salad with Oven-Roasted Grapes and Autumn Greens on marthastewart.com