RECIPE – Farro “Grain Bowl” w/ Roasted Eggplant & Spicy Tahina Sauce

by Henry Gould – May 6th, 2020

Did you buy a big bag of farro to make last week’s risotto recipe, and now don’t know what to do with it? You’re in luck!

Haven’t had a chance to buy farro yet but are looking for an excuse? Now’s your chance!

This grain bowl is based around farro (ancient wheat grain very high in protein / fiber) and chickpeas, sitting on a spicy tahina sauce that sits on the bottom of the dish. From there, any number of substitutions or additions could be made, so don’t feel like you need to make all the components.

Also keeps very nicely in the fridge for a few days; this recipe makes enough for at least 6 portions.

Farro “Grain Bowl” w/ Chickpeas, Roasted Eggplant & Spicy Tahina Sauce
  • 1 cup farro
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked and cooked (or 1 x 19oz can of chickpeas)
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, leaves picked, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh Italian parsley, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 half cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1 eggplant, cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 1 tbsp curry powder (or ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric)
  • Feta cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 1 lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Spicy Tahina Sauce
    • 1/3 cup tahini
    • 1/3 plain yogurt or kefir
    • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 clove of garlic, smashed
    • 1 Lemon
    • Sea salt
    • 1 tbsp Harissa hot sauce
  • Crispy Onions
    • 1 medium white onion, peeled and sliced as thinly as possible
    • Extra virgin olive oil
    • Sea salt

To make the crispy onions, preheat your oven to 400F. Get a large sheet pan and arrange the onions on it. Drizzle all over with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, then mix up with your hands to coat each onion.

Put in the oven for 10 minutes, then check. Each oven is different and the onions can burn quickly, so keep an eye on them. You want them to be just on the edge of getting dark brown, but not black. Keep cooking, moving them around until nicely brown.

Remove from the pan and put on a cutting board covered in paper towel and allow to dry. Try to arrange in one layer so they’re not clumped together. Set aside.

To make the roasted eggplant, toss the cubed eggplant in salt, lots of olive oil (they soak it up quickly) and the curry powder. Arrange on the same sheet plan you did the onions on and stick back in the 400F oven for 30 minutes, or until the eggplant is nicely golden brown. Once brown, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

To make the tahina sauce, mix all over the ingredients (except lemon and salt) together in a bowl until smooth and combined. Squeeze in the juice of ~1/2 a lemon and season with salt. Taste, and adjust to your liking.

Get a pot of water boiling, then add the cup of farro and boil for 30 mins. Immediately drain the water and allow to cool.

To assemble, in a large bowl add the cooled farro, chickpeas and eggplant. Dress with a little olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon, sea salt and black pepper. Don’t go too crazy as the tahina sauce should be well seasoned, so that acts like a dressing too.

Toss everything around, then add the mint, parsley, cucumber and feta. Put some of the spicy tahina sauce on the bottom of your plate or bowl, then a spoonful of the salad on top. Garnish with the crispy onions.

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