As much as I love cooking, there are times (especially in the dead of summer), when the kitchen is the last place I want to be. That's why I love having salads like this farro and roasted cauliflower salad in the fridge. It just gets better over time, so you can make a large batch, and it's there to rescue you from hunger when you need it.
While I have nothing against meatless/cheeseless dishes, I often find that they lack flavor. That's why it's important to fully develop the flavor of each ingredient that goes into a vegan dish. Roasting the cauliflower in this case intensifies its mustard notes, sweetens it, and brings out a robust aroma that happily compliments the nutty farro.
Unlike most dishes that call for truffle oil, it's in the dressing only to lend the faintest hint of mustiness without stealing the spotlight from the other ingredients. The sesame oil might sound like an odd addition, but there's not enough of it to make it taste Asian, and it does a great job of tying all the earthy components together.
This salad makes a wholesome snack, but it also makes for a great meal. Just toss the extra dressing with some greens and add in the farro to give the salad some substance.
- 2 cups farro
- ½ medium head cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley (minced)
- ½ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 3 drops truffle oil
- ground black pepper (to taste)
- salt (to taste)
- Cook the farro according to the package directions. If you really want to give the flavor a boost, tie up a bundle of your favorite herbs and throw it in the pot when you're cooking the farro.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Trim the stems off he cauliflower so you have small florets no larger than ½" in size. Put the florets in a bowl, add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly. Spread the cauliflower out in a single layer on a sheet pan and place it in the oven. Toss the cauliflower around the pan a few times while roasting to brown evenly and roast the florets until they turn a golden brown.
- Combine all the ingredients for the dressing and whisk together until the mixture is emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the faro, roasted cauliflower and parsley in a bowl and combine with enough dressing to evenly coat the grains. Taste and add additional salt if needed. Serve at room temperature.