It’s Monday! And if you’re like me, that means clean eating to make up for the sins of the weekend (rosé, fries, and an inordinate amount of caramel corn… check.) Let’s start by talking about these roasted lemons. They’re a new thing for me, and I currently want to put them in everything (i.e., last night I threw a few into a roasted cauliflower and caper topping for grilled pizzas. Divine.) The technique of boiling the lemons for a couple minutes before roasting them eliminates their natural bitterness, creating the perfect mix of chewy, tart and sweet. And speaking of eating the same thing over and over lately… anyone else out there on a major tomato and cucumber bender? I think I’m starting to panic about summer winding down, because I’ve been hoarding tomatoes at the grocery and eating them with practically every meal. (breakfast included — tomato and spinach frittata, tomato-topped avocado toast… you get the picture.)
*photos by kate zimmerman
I love this salad because I usually have all the ingredients on hand to make some variation of it. Based on what’s hanging out in my refrigerator drawers, I’ll swap in roasted peppers for the tomatoes, zucchini ribbons for the cucumber, any types of herbs (parsley, dill, and cilantro are all fair game), and pine nuts are a great alternative to the walnuts. Quinoa or wild rice can stand-in for the grain base, although farro is hands-down my favorite of the trendy grains of the moment; its nutty, chewy texture is really satisfying and filling, plus it’s loaded with enough fiber and protein to make this a main-course meal, no meat required.
Do y’all usually use store-bought salad dressing, or make your own? I go through phases of doing both, but this 5-ingredient vinaigrette has been my favorite lately and it’s definitely worth taking the extra two minutes to mix it up. Triple the batch and keep extras in a mason jar in the fridge so you’re ready for lunches all week long.
Keep reading for the recipe for this Farro, Tomato & Herb Salad with Roasted Lemons, and leave a comment letting me know if you give it a try, and especially if you mix it up with any different ingredients!
- 1 cup farro
- 2 lemons, thinly sliced and seeds removed
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes (I used multicolored heirloom cherries because they look so pretty!), halved
- 1 large or 2 small persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup mint, chopped
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup sprouts or micrograms
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta (I used Israeli feta, although any will work -- or try goat cheese!)
- coarse sea salt (like maldon) and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- coarse sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350. In a medium saucepan, cook the farro according to package directions, until tender. Remove using a slotted spoon and let cool; return pot to heat and resume boiling.
- Cook lemon slices in the boiling water for 2 minutes (this removes bitterness.) Drain and pat dry, then toss with sugar and oil in a bowl. Spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake 15 minutes. Let cool, then chop each lemon slice into quarters.
- Make dressing: In a large bowl, whisk together dijon, both vinegars, and honey. Slowly stream in olive oil while whisking then season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To the dressing, add the farro, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, roasted lemons, mint, basil, red onion, and sprouts. Toss well. Sprinkle with feta, salt and pepper, toss gently, and eat!